The dictionary defines process as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.” Take a second and look around, everything you see is the result of a process. Now look in the mirror and think about the process you’ve gone through in order to arrive at this moment. Maybe you’re in the middle of your process right now. Take comfort in knowing that your process is part of a bigger plan.
Every process starts with a plan. In Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV), The Bible says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” God has a divine design for our lives. We were all created with a specific purpose and plan in mind. Knowing that God has a plan for our lives, lets us know that He is intentional. He uses everything. While we may not understand why we go through certain things, we can rest assure that it’s all a part of our process and His plan.
Whenever I think about the word process, I always think about pregnancy, specifically my personal experiences with my children. Whether you’ve gone through a pregnancy or watched someone else go through it—we understand how the process works.
All pregnancies (like any other process) are not created equal. I was 19 years old when I got pregnant with my first child. I was a freshman in college and felt like my life was over. All the plans I had mapped out for myself seemed unattainable. I didn’t know how I was going to finish school and support a baby. I was embarrassed and afraid to tell my parents. I felt like I had failed in my walk with Christ. I felt like I had let people down.
I was in my second trimester, sitting in the back of the church, with my purse across my stomach. Suddenly, I felt my baby kicking. He kicked so hard that my purse fell to the side, revealing my growing baby bump. I can recall telling my mom what happened and her saying to me, “it’s ok. You need to know that it’s ok.”
My first pregnancy taught me a lot. It was a process. I learned a lot about redemption and strength. I recognized ways in which I had overestimated myself and underestimated God. In the words of my mother, I learned that it was “ok.”
I withdrew from school and while many of my peers were starting the first semester of their sophomore year, I was giving birth to a baby boy. My second semester, I enrolled in a school closer to home and on Mothers’ Day 2009, I graduated.
I was married and 26 years old when my second son was born. I was living in Louisiana on a military base, miles from home. My son was born in June and by August, I had all my things loaded up in a Uhaul preparing to return home. My marriage was falling apart.
I once again found myself feeling as if the life I planned was unattainable. I was overwhelmed and it was hard to return home as a single mother of 2 boys. I had to start completely over. I had two children, no job and I had to move back in with my parents. It was a process. I learned a lot about forgiveness, restoration and resilience.
I had only been back home a little over a month when my grandmother passed. The passing of my grandmother was devastating. I went through a period where I didn’t want to get out of bed and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. As tough as it was to walk away from my marriage, the loss of my grandmother was the first time I had ever really felt heartbreak. My children were the only thing keeping me going during that time in my life.
In 2014, I had been on my job over a year and my boys and I had a new home. I was also in a new relationship and things were going well. I felt like things were finally getting back on track and going according to plan.
The week before Thanksgiving, I received a call from my doctor confirming that I had breast cancer. I was 28 years old with stage 2 breast cancer. Once again, I was left with wrecked plans. I underwent 6 rounds of chemo, a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Towards the end of my treatment my doctor was preparing to schedule an oophorectomy to have my ovaries and tubes removed. My medical team was sure that I wouldn’t be able to conceive again after all my body had gone through.
After much prayer and against my doctors wishes, I opted to hold off on the surgery.
December 2017, my husband and I welcomed a healthy baby girl. The doctors had said “no” but God had other plans. It was indeed a process and it reignited my faith and reaffirmed the importance of trusting God through the process.
My children were born at very different times in my life. We all experience different circumstances in our lives. Everything that you go through is a part of your process. No one is exempt from going through, but we are equipped.
What’s on the other side of the process? Promise.
There were things that I had prayed about at a very young age and things that were spoken over my life that I felt were never going to happen. There were moments in my process that felt like MY plans were being interrupted, but I now realize that it was preparing me for the promise.
I have gone on to write a book, start a business and a blog. I’ve also been afforded several opportunities to share my testimony at conferences and news interviews. God continues to open doors for me. God’s plans for our lives are bigger than anything we have planned for ourselves. He is the creator and it’s through Him that we come to understand our purpose. There were times when I was so focused on what I wanted and MY plans, that I never stopped to consider what God had planned for me.
When you have a hold on God’s plan and purpose for your life you can move through your process knowing that in the end, you win.