When I was in college, I read an article written by a mother of a special needs child. She likened her journey in motherhood to planning a fantastic trip to Italy. Imagine that you've done everything you can to prepare for the trip: learned the language, packed your bags, and planned your itinerary. You are ready to go, but when the plane lands, it lands in Holland, not Italy. Holland is nice, but you weren't prepared for Holland. There is a new language, new itinerary, and you would have packed differently.
I feel like my journey in motherhood, and life, has been very much like this lady's. I am a planner and organizer. I try my best to have my ducks in a row. I went into college knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I was in and out in 3 years and finished my last year at home student teaching. I worked hard in various schools to get a dream job. I got married, had three children, and now have moved to my dream home. I planned out my financial future and work hard to meet those goals. A lot of my life looks like Italy, but it's not.
Somewhere along the way, my trip changed. My course got rocky and bumpy and I had to do an emergency landing somewhere else. I had a child with special needs, constant medical debt, resigned from my dream job, and drive a van that seems to be breaking down at every turn. Friends and family members have passed away and others have betrayed, isolated or judged me. It's so easy to focus on the "why me?" and there have been plenty of days like that.
However, I now recognize that I was safe all along. God was my pilot and he landed me where I needed to be. I can look around Holland and see all of the wonderful things it has to offer: three bubbly, energetic, intelligent kiddos who I adore and a husband who adores me and provides for our family, doctors and nurses who love my son and are doing their best to give him a better quality life, a nice home with land, an expanding farm, friends and family who love and support us, and an opportunity to stay home with my kiddos and educate them. I'm at peace and my faith is strong.
I've always dreamt of going to Italy, but it turns out Holland is where my dreams come true.