Broken Dreams and Beautiful Changes

All my life God has been busy shaking up my plans.

At fifteen I was determined to be a world-renowned television
journalist. I would be known as brilliant, politically savvy, and never tied
down to such mundane things like a husband and babies. I praise God for turning my mixed up priorities and desires around.

When I was twenty-one I prepared to attend a four year
university three hours from home; I was going to join the choir, be known for
my hard work, and make a difference. After discovering that I would not be able
to wear a headcovering, plans changed. I later found out that I was accepted to attend
a three month mission training school and, with some trepidation, packed my
bags for Ghana, Africa. Those three months were life altering and an amazing gift from God.

By twenty-three I was intending to graduate the next year
with a degree in elementary education. Afterwards I was to journey somewhere
far off—maybe Mongolia, Ghana, or Detroit, Michigan—and utilize my skills while
ministering in the name of Jesus. However, my plans where turned upside down
when my counselor and I discovered a missing math class. It seems one cannot
progress without the important stuff (like algebra). Hah! So with a broken
heart I laid aside my plans . . . two more years. Two more years.

By this time I felt like I was going nowhere. Several of my
friends were getting married, graduating, or going off to the mission field . .
. sometimes all at once. “Lord, I’ve tried to be faithful here at home. I’ve
tried to be useful but it seems like I’m getting nowhere.” I know God just
smiled down on me; His will was perfect, His shaking up of my plans where
necessary. During this hard time I:

began to
find joy and contentment in serving in my local church.

 was able to be at home during a time when I
was needed.

 began to make quality friendships with my
fellow students on campus.

watched God
meet all my financial needs through a long, you-can’t-drive-to-school-on-fumes
winter.

 became (I still had my moments J) at peace with my single state.

 was finally at rest with where God had planted
me.

All in all, last winter was a season of fear, destroyed
plans, and discouragement. It was also a season of watching the Lord God work
in and through my wee life. So amidst my (I hate to say it) sighs and worried frowns
there were times of pure trusting in God
and rejoicing in His unknown will.  

And then one early spring day my dad came home and mentioned
this guy from church. It seemed his mom, who cuts my dad’s hair, thought her
son and I might be able to hit it off or at least become friends. I laughed.
This young man was normal in that my conservative dress and ways were sure to
make him roll his eyes and turn the other direction. (Yes, I had a serious case
of pride and prejudice going on!) Dad informed me of all the honorable traits he
knew about and I listened out of curiosity. He sounded great: a Christian man who
stood apart from the world, hardworking, and took care of his family. But he
was just that; a nice brother in Christ who would never be interested in me.

Then one Sunday his dear mom pulled me to the front where I could meet her son. It was a quiet,
short conversation in which I noticed that he was great with kids and had
lovely blue eyes. I was duly impressed with the comical calmness he showed
after his niece spit up all over his arm. (Remember my post on babies? J) But that was it. No sparks. No
confirmation in my heart. Only a quiet Sunday conversation.

Then the
phone rang on Monday.

It was then that I realized this young man was not only a
hardworking, Christian man who took care of his family and did well with
children. This was a young man of sincerity
and earnest heart. We talked briefly
when he asked me out on a date. A date. My
goodness! Frannie doesn’t go out. Is he sure that he called the right girl? I
mean, I wear dresses and headcoverings and watch Tangled far too often. I’m
headed to the mission field and such things like romance, well, I never thought
it would come my way.

Needless to say I eventually went on that date. And then
another. And then another. We’ve spent a lot of time in my family’s living room
awkwardly laughing over my granma’s blatant approval and my granpa’s story
about the time he was caught between the two ends of an inflatable raft without
a paddle. We’ve attended a wedding where every fellow guest seemed to radiate the
inquiry “Oh, Frannie brought a man along; are you . . . courting?” J We’ve had our moments of
miscommunication like the day when he said “I’d like to be more than friends”
and I heard him say, “I just want to be friends.” (Trust me, that is one astonishing
miscommunication there . . . so glad we got that straightened out!) And we’ve
had our moments of vulnerability like the time I shared my past with him totally
expecting him to walk away and he didn’t.

I am learning so much during this season of life. I’m
learning how to trust—my trustworthy God and this wonderful man. I’m learning
what I believe and why. I’m learning how to express my feelings. And I am learning
that sometimes God changes our plans only to replace our broken dreams with
something far more beautiful and good. I’m
seeing that my dreams can be completed in ways far greater by means far more
wonderful than I ever imagined.

This was a really l
o n g post but so many of you expressed interest in my story I couldn’t
help but share it. And guess what, dear readers? This is only the beginning.

With lots of love to you!

Frannie

 

5 thoughts on “Broken Dreams and Beautiful Changes

  1. Frannnie, it is so lovely to hear your story. Thank you for sharing it.You sound so happy.
    God knows the right moment!

    I wonder if my comments reach you, as I notice you rarely publish comments.

  2. Dear Mrs. Elizabeth,

    Oh, I so love your comments of joy and support. THANK YOU for always sending sunshine my way.

    With love to you!
    Frannie

  3. This is precious. Once again, thank you for sharing your heart.

    ~Jenna

    p.s. Do come to Michigan some day!! Detroit is only a few hours from our farm.

  4. Frannie, firstly, your sweet comment on my last post made my day. "Wondering what Vicki would think!" I don't think anyone's ever wondered that before!! <:'-} Someday, yes, we will meet in person. I will most likely be single and unattached for many years yet; and someday I would love to travel out to your part of the country and come visit you!!

    But, *ahem*, your beautiful story. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing it with us. You guys are adorable! I was truly inspired by your sweet and brave heart in agreeing to get to know someone who seemed very different from you. You're a great example (not just in this; in many respects) of how God can bless us in ways we don't expect, if we truly trust Him. You are such an encouragement to me, dear friend!! Please tell your (boyfriend? is it okay to use that word?) that we, your blog friends, are very glad to "meet" him … 😀

    I have been praying for you and will keep on doing so!!

    Hugs,
    Vicki

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