The summer before 10th grade, my world changed. My mom remarried, and my life was uprooted. We moved into another house in a new school district. I lost all my friends. I lost the life I had. I was angry. I'm pretty sure there was kicking and screaming involved.
And then God moved.
The day I enrolled in my new school, I met the mom of my soon-to-be new best friend. They introduced me to their church, which quickly became my second home. There, I grew in my relationship with the Lord. There, He began to form me into the person I was to be.
Because of that, I chose to go to a college I never would have picked in my old life. Because of my experiences at that school, I found myself taking a summer job at a summer camp. Because I worked at summer camp, I met my husband.
And I owe it all to the summer before 10th grade, when my world was crashing down around me.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD (Isaiah 55:8).
Tonight, I find it appropriate to simply praise God. For His thoughts. For His ways. That He is infinitely wiser than I could ever be. That He knows the plans He has for me, and those plans are for prosperity, not harm.
Tonight, confession is also appropriate. I need to confess my refusal to trust. I need to confess my desire to take control of every situation. I need to confess that many times I think I know better than God.
Tonight, I want to shout to the world what the Lord has done for me. How He has cared for me. How He has carried me through the valleys. That He knows the way through the wilderness.
Because, just as I felt like my world was crashing around me back in 10th grade, I've felt the same way this year. And just as I whined and moaned and complained that life was so unfair back then, I've felt sorry for myself this year. I couldn't see, and I still can't, really. But I don't have to -- that's the beauty of having the Lord for your guide.
And in the same way that I can look back and see how many blessings stem from the heartache of the Summer of 1999, I know I will look back to today and say, "Look what blessings came from that."