Wednesday, July 11, 2012

when life doesn't go as you planned. {guest post by amber!}

continuing our summer of guest posting, this post comes from a good friend and mentor in my life, amber. she is a beautiful - inside and out - woman of God. mother, wife, youth leader, friend, photographer, wannabe matchmaker, and writer. i absolutely love her heart and have been so blessed by our many conversations over the past year.

i think it's so cool to be able to share a glimpse of life from a married woman. there is a lot to be gained from the experience of those just a wee bit older [and wiser] than us. and by "us" i mean young, potentially single, women. sometimes it's good to be reminded that marriage isn't all rainbows, walks on the beach, and kissing in the eiffel tower. [wait. it isn't?!]

check out amber's beautiful blog at - look out for beautiful pictures of her four beautiful kids!

a miniature biography:
standard starbucks drink: iced chai tea latte
all-time favourite book: keep a quiet heart - e.elliot
someone you look up to: my best friend, susie. because she doesn't just talk the talk, she walks the walk. but in the most humble, real, let me walk along side you kind of way. through her i've seen more of the heart of my Lord, and i come away from our times together desiring to know Him better! to me, this is the best quality of all to have in a friend. one who draws you to Christ!
if you could be anywhere right now: on a beach. anywhere. i'm not picky.

thank you for sharing amber!

hope & jon's wedding~ 1680

standing in line at starbucks, i hear the high school girls behind me laughing and talking between smacks of their gum.

"well, i know what kind of guy i'm gonna marry someday. tall, hot, and.. and preferably rich!"

i couldn't see either of them. but i could feel the other girl nodding her head in enthusiastic agreement. wanting the same.

and i listen and feel an amused smile creeping up the sides of my mouth.
fighting the urge to turn around and say,

"honey, marriage is about so much more than what he looks like or the kind of job he has..."

but at the risk of sounding old and cynical i stay facing forward.
because, after all, wasn't that once me?
isn't that youth with all our plans and ideas and how things are going to turn out?

and i take my chai tea and sit in the van, holding the warmth between my hands, as the rain beats down my windshield..
and i feel the haunting question that i've battled with this past year surface once again..

what if life doesn't go as you thought it would.. ?"
and i tighten my hands around the warm cup as i half watch, half stare at the drops of water, racing as it seems, down the front of my van.
one drop rolls and collides into another and they fade from sight, only to be followed by hundreds more...
and my mind rewinds to that young, ambitious, knew all the answers, how life was gonna go,
our love will conquer the world, girl i was when i first said yes to shayne.

and though i still have ambitions, and do believe our love will conquer, atleast our own little world of the two of us.. ;)
knowing all the answers? not even close.
and how life's gonna go? not a clue now.

you can make your plans and set your course, but, as the Bible says, truly God is the one that orders our steps.
interesting it uses the word steps, isn't it?
one. at. a. time.
is that truly how He desires us to live? looking to Him for every step of the journey?
i don't know about you, but i'd like to see the whole path, thank you very much!
i want to know what's going happen.
this living step by step stuff is for the birds! it's just no fun at all. ;)

i think of how when i married shayne he was a pastor.
and i thought he would be a pastor, well.. forever, i guess.
i can't say living in a rental house in canada,
with him working in solar, fifteen years into our marriage was ever in my scope of sequence for our lives~

and this past year of change and unrealized hopes has sent us both into one of the hardest times spiritually we've ever been through..
it's felt as if every single area of our lives is being shaken, especially our marriage.



and as i've fought and struggled and kicked and screamed like a spoiled brat over not getting the plan i thought i'd signed up for~
you know the one.. where you're supposed to just do x,y,z and somehow everything falls perfectly into place!
i mean, shayne and i didn't even kiss before we were married, doesn't that merit for some kind of bonus prize or something. ;)

but as life has unrolled, and i haven't recognized the plan, i know it's because  it's not mine.

and when the question comes, "what if life doesn't go as you thought it would...?"
it's because it's not supposed to.
it's about something so much bigger than just me. what i can wrap my brain around.

and at the end of the day, either God is God, or He's not.
and if He is. then what He says is true, and our lives must be aligned with that truth!

and when He says the only way to real life is through dying to self, that means death to self in every area~
whether our personal dreams and goals, plans for our family, mothering, and most of all, marriage!

i wrote not long ago about when shayne proposed..
and that i didn't know all that saying "yes" would entail...
no, i didn't realize then the struggles and pressures and hard times that would come.
that he wouldn't be a pastor forever like i thought, and that maybe our lives wouldn't go as i had planned~
but regardless. that "yes" still sticks! and it wasn't a one time thing...

"I still say yes, everyday. No one asks if I will take this man every morning when I get up. But I do take him, whether the day is worse or better. He asked the question once. I answer him with my life.

Things going wrong or crazy or heartbreaking doesn’t mean I should have said no. It just means the world is broken and we still live in it. And so the success of our yes does not depend upon our circumstance but upon our convictions...."  ~chatting at the sky


but as i'm learning. so slowly, and yes, painfully..
my yes has got to be more than just to this man i married.
if my focus is only him we're not going to make it.. as i feel has nearly happened.
but my yes has got to go beyond, higher.
looking past what any human can give me.. looking past how i think life should go..

and looking only into the Sovereign face of my Savior that has ordained my ways before the foundations of the earth,
and to lay down all the turmoil in my heart and rest in the sole fact~
He Is God Alone. And He Makes No Mistakes!


all pictures taken by amber.


  1. This post really touched me. Thank you!

  2. i think i just wrote a similar post last night, with many of the same emotions/ struggles...

    i guess that's the journey of faith. all of these things driving us into Him more. at the root of every lesson, His endless love. i'm just such a slow learner, it takes awhile for me "to get it." ;) grateful for His grace, paving every step of the way.

    thanks allie, for trusting me enough to share some on this beautiful space of yours.

    love you girl.

  3. beautifully written and encouraging! =)

  4. Great post. I love the sincerity!
    Btw, thanks for the follow over on my blog, Allie! I'm so glad you found mine so I could find yours.

    PS. I really like your header :)

  5. WOW, i loved this.
    thank you Amber for this lovely post. I'm encouraged by your honesty and am in that place of trusting, fully trusting, the Lord with everything :)


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