Woody Allen once said, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Since then, it’s been quoted in countless movies and songs. This saying’s continued use and many pop culture references stems from its truth.
Life rarely ever goes according to plan.
In just two weeks, I’ll be celebrating my first anniversary with Kansas City. Sometimes, I still marvel at the winding path that brought me to this charming “little big city” in the lower Midwest where country air is just minutes away. Every single time, though, I thank God for the journey that’s brought me here. The Kelly that sits here, about to celebrate one year in her new home nestled between the Ozarks and the Flint Hills, is a better, stronger, kinder, more patient, more level-headed, more open-minded, and more joyful person than I would have ever imagined I’d be.
I’m proud of myself. And I’m happy that my plans didn’t work out.
The plan was never a large city. A very serious relationship had me convinced I’d end up in the country, a farm wife with an “in-town” job. Even after that relationship ended, I was somehow convinced that my next serious relationship would be with someone every bit as rurally-rooted as I am.
Then, I went to California. I saw the world. I pushed my boundaries, and I realized that settling down in my hometown wouldn’t work.
When the opportunity to move to Kansas City arose, I leapt for it. Everything in my being told me that this was what I was meant to do. And I’ve realized that gut instinct was God picking me up, dusting me off, and nudging me in the right direction after He decided that my plans were off-course.
Now, it’s been almost a year. Even with the massive amounts of stress life can bring, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Where I once thought I could only love someone who could sweep me away to the family farm, I’m madly in love with Nightwolf. (Click here to read my introduction to Nightwolf and click here to read about how Nightwolf got his nickname.) He’s one of the most honest, kind, level-headed, compassionate men I’ve ever had the great privilege of knowing, and somehow, we clicked. Last night, we had an awesome talk about our early courtship. We both had misgivings, but we joked about how it seemed like the universe was sending us all the signs to be together.
He may not understand why I consider sticking my arm inside a cow to be perfectly acceptable vacation activities, and I don’t get why he loves the word “swagger” so much, but at the risk of sounding too gushy, he makes me happier than I could ever have imagined being in a relationship.
I may not be able to talk to him about “bovine hanky-panky” (that’s for you, Ryan) the same way I would a farmer, but that’s a small matter when you consider that our hearts and minds seem to line up so well.
Nightwolf is just one instance of how life seems to have fallen into place in many ways. So much about my life is so much more wonderful than I would have ever expected. Even in moments of pain or distress, I’m aware of how much joy I have. Is it perfect? No. It shouldn’t be. That’d take the fun out of the things that go right, and would rob me of so many learning experiences and opportunities for growth. (And I think that clarity and acceptance makes a huge difference in my happiness, as well.)
So, our plans don’t always work out. When that happens, have faith that God’s got your back. I read Pslam 121 each day to remind myself. It may take years to find clarity in our heartbreak. But now, I have pretty vivid hindsight on how spectacular of a journey life has been thus far.
And now, no matter where I’ve been or how long I’ve been gone, every time I round a bend on the highway and see the Kansas City skyline, I thank God for the life I’m leading. That skyline is a reminder of my blessings, each and every time I see it. It reminds me of how far I’ve come, and all that I have to look forward to. It reminds me of the new friends I’ve gained along the way, as well as the family members and old friends who have stood by me and understood that I needed to “find myself.” I am truly blessed.
I have friends experiencing twists in the road right now, and I hope that they can find peace knowing that that surprises and changes of plan help make the journey even more enriching, and brings them closer to the people they are meant to be.
Things fall apart, so that something better may fall together. And I’m incredibly appreciative of that. So, God, if You’re a blog-reader, thanks. Not that You didn’t already know how deep my gratitude is.