Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Good Life

Today's guest blogger, Sarah Ortiz, is a very dear friend of mine. We met back when she was in high school and, since then, I have been able to witness her grow into an amazing woman of God. I rejoice in all the wonderful things HE has done in her over the years. Sarah's words are real and come straight from the heart - a heart that has been mended and healed by the Great Comforter. It is a joy for me to introduce my precious friend to you all today. May her story be a reminder to you of God's great love and faithfulness...

My sister was not a fun person to play Barbies with.  I remember sitting on the floor of the Pepto-Bismol pink bedroom we shared in Queens, Barbie case cracked wide open.  My dolls were always impeccably dressed.  Barbie and Ken were married.  Their perfect little children wore perfect little clothes and they drove a perfect pink convertible through their perfect little city.  Meanwhile, my sister’s mission in life was for some tragic event to occur in Barbie world. They drowned in our toilet, fell off cliffs (stairs) and ran each other over with their corvettes.  They also had stiff necks because she’d pull their heads off and they’d never, ever go back on the right way.

From that age, I daydreamed of the perfect life I was going to have when I grew up.  All I really wanted was to have a “normal” family.  My mother passed away when I was seven years old and that event was followed by some difficult years.  As I grew, I couldn’t wait to have a family of my own, to experience family the way I wanted.  

Yet it didn’t quite work out the way I planned it.

Fast forward to late 2007.  I found myself sitting alone in a restaurant with my then toddler and one-month-old baby.  I’d only been married a little over four years and the night before, I’d found out my husband had been having an affair.   As one would expect, it hit me like a freight train.  I still remember sitting in that booth, looking at my babies and thinking...
“How is this my life?!”  

The next few months were an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least.  It wasn’t until then that I understood the term “heartbreak”.  There was often a physical pain in my heart as a host of hidden things came to light, and the life I thought I created for myself began to crumble.  Being divorced in my mid-20’s totally blindsided me.  But it never, for once, blindsided God.

Psalm 138:8 (NLT) says “The LORD will work out his plans for my life--for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.”  See, for years I tried putting together the life I wanted for myself.  When it all fell apart, I was left with so many questions and seemingly no answers.  Why didn’t I deserve a normal family?  Why couldn’t my kids have better?  When would I stop being sad? Would I ever trust again?  How do I raise these kids alone?

I may not have some of those answers on this side of eternity but the simple truth is this:  the Lord has a plan for your life.  Does it mean you’re always happy? No.  Does it mean it will all make sense? No.  Does it mean we give up on the dreams and desires our hearts hold, ones God has given us? Absolutely not.  It means that His plan is perfect and is so much greater than anything we can work out and far better than we can imagine.  It is our privilege to lean back and give him control.

Almost five years after the world as I knew it fell apart, I can confidently say that I’d go through it all over again to be where I am now.  The love story He’s writing in my life is greater than any I could have dreamed up.  I’ve experienced His presence, peace and provision in a way I never would have known had the plans I made worked out.

And hey, I’m no nun! I do want to be married again one day. I want someone to love, someone who loves my children and I.  Yet, I’m content in knowing the One whose love is unfailing and who will unfold his plan for my life according to His unfailing love for me.  Now that is the good life!

Sarah Ortiz is a recovering New Yorker who now makes her home in friendly North Carolina.  She has two children, Josiah (6) and Ella (4), and works in internal communications for a well known non-profit organization.  When she's not working, playing tooth fairy or manhandling the kids, Sarah can be found shoe shopping, traveling, cooking and making cleaning schedules she never actually follows. 

Check out Sarah's blog and Facebook page, and, while you're at it, go ahead follow her on Twitter, too!

How have you experienced God's unfailing love and goodness when the world, as you knew it, fell apart? If you have yet to experience Him in that way, can you trust that He has a perfect plan when things around you begin to crumble?


Mom Roth said...

Sarah is another of God's princesses and in her life the best is yet to come.

alifewelldone said...

GREAT post.