One Year Ago

I am a closet melancholic. Anyone who knows me even the littlest bit knows how often I slip into brooding and obsessive analyzing. I was conversing on the telephone with one of my friends the other night, catching up on life’s little events and gabbing like a typical woman. She mentioned how stressed she was because of her thesis and how I probably knew how she felt. A few days later, I was privileged to see the movie Bella again in theaters, and was struck again by the line, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” These two tiny moments caused me to reflect on where I was a year ago.

I remember I lived in front of this computer. Every day, every night found me typing away in front of this little machine. I had to get an A. By this time, I think I was about eighty pages into my rough draft of my Senior Thesis and was scaling back a few thoughts that were superfluous. The final draft was due in a matter of days. It was a Friday night that found me alone in my room, listening to my romantic music, musing on what it if. I had just experienced a broken heart. I was lost in reverie about what the future held. In one year, I envisioned myself attending graduate school at a prestigious school and, since clearly I would be completely single, I would be assisting at a Church as a Youth Ministry Director for High Schoolers. I would be heroically struggling to make ends meet while traveling during my breaks from school. I would be living in Virginia, near my friends.

As my college graduation approached, I was looking at graduate schools in Virginia. Honestly, the schools were chosen only because my friends were near, but I would never have admitted that. I was looking at Youth Ministry positions, trying to register for the GRE, and was thrilled about the new life. And then, God laughed.

I laugh, too, thinking about how drastically my life has changed in the last year. Good times and bad times have come and gone. Crosses given and Crosses resolved. But, I am in no way where I had so romantically pictured myself. I am teaching Theology and English Catholic High School for ninth and tenth grade. After two and a half months of struggling to find my niche there, I have done it. I assist with the Youth Ministry program when I have time to breathe. Only now am I getting ready to take the GRE. Grad school may or may not be on the agenda for next year. I hardly have time to sleep or relax. Nights find me racing to grade all papers I need to get back to my kids. Days find me energetically teaching God’s sacred word to seventy innocent and trusting souls and running around trying to get everything done. But, more than anything, God has blessed me with an amazing man. Loving and supporting, he has been such a blessing during the most stressful point of my life. His gentle strength and deep-flowing faith are such an inspiration to me as I try to figure out life.

Despite the web of insanity in my life, I am so happy. Yes, God laughed. Yes, as it reverberated across the universe, my delicate plans fell from the shelf and broke. But, He had better plans for me. Such plans! As I teach, I learn. As I pray, I am in prayer. As I love, I am loved. Could I ask for anything more? And I have no idea what the future holds; I have become more flexible, though. God’s will, although known through our desires in our hearts and the petitions in our prayers, are always somewhat surprising. However, no matter how disappointing or frustrating the difference between our plans and His, I know that I shall learn a great deal. As another year flies by amidst tests, projects, fundraisers and love, I shall continue to take each day as an opportunity for sanctity and blessing.

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