God’s Puzzle Pieces

I’ve always been a daydreamer.  Dream-chaser.  star-gazer.  A goal-setter and achiever.  Call it whatever you would like.  The truth of the matter is that when I dream I set goals, and when I set goals I do everything possible to make it a reality, if I feel it is within God’s will.

13 years ago before my husband and I married, the dreaming had already begun. We wanted a new house, so we built one and were moved in before our first anniversary.  We wanted to travel, so we did, but only taking trips within the United States since that’s all the budget would allow.  Adoption had always been a goal of mine personally, so we adopted.   We wanted birth children, and even though that was a struggle for years, we eventually had them.  A few years into our marriage we fell into hard times and lost our beautiful house.  We spent several years moving from rental home to rental home, and living paycheck to paycheck.  Our savings ran out, my husband was out of work, and I was working a dead-end low paying job.

I remember sitting on the couch one day, watching the characters on an episode of CSI: Miami as they analyzed evidence in a crime lab.  The thought suddenly crossed my mind about how cool it would be to work in a laboratory.  This led me to searching the internet on how one would obtain a job in a lab.  In that moment a new dream was born.  Maybe I was sleep deprived or just down right crazy, because I had four kids under the age of four and was dreaming about going back to college.  Within a year I was enrolled in a 4 year university and with the amount of time it took me to finish, I should have received an award for  “Student Taking the Longest to Graduate”.  It was exhausting attending college, studying, working, and caring for 4 young children who I eventually homeschooled as well, but I did it!  After college came hours of studying for the board exam, and promises to my children that my days and nights away from them were almost over!  At the same time I was pursuing a job that God had prepared especially for me and would work out perfectly for my family.

With the board exam completed, a reliable career, and my husband’s new job, we began working towards our next dream:  buying another house.  After a year of saving money, we were able to purchase a home with enough bedrooms for our expanding family.

When I look back at everything we’ve achieved and the intricate details of each experience, including the difficult times and struggles, I see God’s hand at work.  I picture it as individual puzzle pieces being placed into the large puzzle of our lives.  Some pieces are boring and dull, some are bright and colorful, and some leave you frustrated because they are difficult and you can’t figure out where they fit in.

It’s been 2 years now since we bought our home.  Since then we’ve full-filled another dream, which was to have one more child.  A sweet baby boy who our older 4 children just can’t get enough of.  Now recently we’ve found our minds wandering again in search of what that next dream will be, and despite all the achieved goals and dreams, we always are brought back to the seemingly impossible one – the one that never fades:  AdventureExploring the world.  Giving our kids memories and experiences that will last a lifetime, and in the process offering the world what God has blessed us to give.  We want to travel and volunteer, explore and experience, visit with missions groups and serve, and maybe even meet our sponsored child one day.

It has always seemed impossible, until recently.  As God adds more puzzle pieces to our lives, the picture starts to become clearer.  It’s all coming together and I finally understand where all these situations in our lives have been leading!  We finally know how to make our dream a reality.. With a degree in a field that allows me to travel, and a home to return to if we ever desire, we feel we are in a position to start planning our adventure.  If God wills it, we will have the ability to begin our journey within the next 2 years.  I don’t know if he’ll add more difficult pieces to our puzzle, or if he’ll scrap the puzzle completely and start over, but I do know that we have held on to this dream for long enough and it’s time to start making it a reality.  Let the preparations begin! 

**Side note on dream-crushers:  We all know them.  They tell you you’re crazy and it’ll never happen.  Either ignore them or let it be a driving force.  Because what they say doesn’t matter anyway.  God is building your puzzle, not them.  And if your dream doesn’t work out, it was never that those dream-crushers were right.  It was that God didn’t use that puzzle piece, or that you were trying to take over and do your own life puzzle out of fear, frustration, or impatience.  Remember that difficult times are sometimes necessary to achieve the bigger picture of the completed puzzle of your life.  If you know God, and you trust him with your puzzle pieces, you’ll one day look back and see how they all fit together.  Or at least how you HOPE they fit together….well that’s how we hope they fit together anyway….Pray for us people!

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