God has a wonderful plan for my life...


1 Corinthians 10: 13 . . . He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.


Did you know the average person changes careers five times in a lifetime? Proves I'm not average! I began working as a car hop and in the summer did secretarial work at the Navy Reserves. Nursing home work quickly proved not to be my forte. After I married I worked retail. Then came the years in real estate which led to a job as a loan processor . . . I quit working when my daughter was born and stayed at home with my children. Volunteering at the Boys' Club led to a staff position as Activities Director. Downsizing at Caterpillar forced me to "get a real job" and I accepted a position managing a one girl office.  When that company was sold, I began a career in accident, life and health insurance -- Seemed to have a lot of promise . . .


Have you ever heard, or said to someone that you're witnessing to, that God has a wonderful plan for your life?


What happens when that wonderful plan is not one you would have designed for yourself?


It was almost Christmas, 1993. I was working with the Pekin school teachers on a new enrollment. I had three schools left and three business days to complete the task . . . But I never did.


Saturday, I drove my two youngest children, Charlie and Veronica to the Quad Cities for the first practice session for the new season of drum corps. Sunday, December 19, I returned to bring them home. With the largest mall in Iowa on our path, I couldn't pass the opportunity to shop. As we left the mall, I threw Charlie the keys and settled in the passenger seat. I reached for the seat belt, then laid it back down, thinking that I would recline and just be comfortable for the 90 minute trip home. . .


The next thing I remember is waking to Charlie's terrifying screams. I looked ahead and only saw grass and darkness. Soon I awoke in Intensive Care, strapped to a rotating bed. My legs were badly bruised and my teeth broken, but worst of all, my back was broken in three places and I was paralyzed from the waist down.


Each year 12,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries. 37% occur because of automobile accidents. These injuries have a physical, emotional, and financial impact on the family. I never really thought about this. I didn't worry about it because things like this always happen to "the other guy," not to me . . .


Many times, we become so complacent with our lives that we are not prepared when that wonderful plan becomes one we would have designed for ourselves. Even many strong Christians struggle with that awesome question "Why would God permit this to happen to me?" Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.(1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) I know that God loves me. He tenderly watches over me and cares for me. He loves me so much that He sacrificed His son for my sins.  


God wants us to make the most of our lives regardless of the circumstances. Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are probably right." In a reception room of the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehab in N Y City, there hangs a bronze plaque that is credited to an unknown Confederate soldier. It reads:



I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak,
that I might learn humbly to obey . . .
I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things . . .
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise . . .
I asked for power,
that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness,
that I might feel the need of God . . .
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things . . .
I got nothing I asked for
- but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself,
my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed!


Yes, bad things do happen to good people. I would like to close with this though "Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."