“One thing I like about Pixar films is how the happy ending isn’t always what you think it’ll be. The toys don’t go with Andy to college, Gusteau’s restaurant gets closed down, Mike and Sully get kicked out of the university, Carl never gets Ellie to Paradise Falls. But they find out that what they wanted isn’t necessarily what they needed, and I like the fact that kids get to learn that life doesn’t always turn out the way they dreamed and that’s okay.” -Unknown
Each of us have an idea in our minds of how we want our lives to pan out. We have all created the perfect happy ending. For a young girl it might be becoming a professional actress, for a teenage boy it might be making it to the big leagues, for a young adult it might be falling in love and starting a family, and for a more maturely aged person it might be retiring blissfully on an island. However in real life, sadly, there is a very good chance that the perfect picture we have created may not become our reality.
There are a lot of people in this world whose idea of a happy ending isn’t really so unrealistic. Most of us just want to live a life that brings us joy, but what we need to realize is that what might bring us joy might not be the perfect picture we have created in our minds. Life is a whirlwind. When I think of life in general I imagine myself in a tornado going full speed ahead with God above it reaching his hand out to save me. For so long I allowed myself to stay in the eye of the tornado, but I finally realized that it was time to grab His hand and let Him pull me out. Don’t get me wrong, I still get caught in the tornado, but now I look for God’s help to pull me to safety. I’m going to paint a picture in your minds to help you better understand the point I’m trying to get across. Imagine yourself walking down the street when all of a sudden you get swooped up into a whirlwind tossing you around like a sack of potatoes. When it’s finally over everything has been changed and switched around, but eventually life gets back to normal. You realize that although it is different from before, it’s still possible for you to find joy in your life. We all get swept up into whirlwinds and have our lives completely rearranged. And although our lives in the aftermath of the storm may be drastically different than the life we had pictured for ourselves, it is still possible to be happy.
Wednesday, August 16th, will be the six-year anniversary of my dad going home to heaven. Six years ago twelve-year-old Haley had a very different idea of how her life would go. My mom was so excited for me to be starting middle school. She would also always talk about high school and all of the exciting things that came with it such as Prom. Two days before my first day of middle school she was taken away. She didn’t get to watch me go through middle school or high school. She didn’t get to go Homecoming or Prom dress shopping with me. She didn’t get to help me through the tough decisions or hold me after a boy broke my heart. Did twelve year old me ever even think that this would be my reality? Not even close. One random night that summer my dad gave me advice about boys. I wish with all my heart that I could remember what he had said, but at the time I didn’t think that it would be the only time I would get boy advice from him. I never imagined that he wouldn’t get to meet my future boyfriends, or that he wouldn’t get to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. You see, although my life is completely different from anything I had imagined six years ago, I am happy. I have found joy within myself, the people around me, and most importantly Jesus. I have been so blessed by so many amazing human beings that I have crossed paths with. I have a wonderfully loving family, friends with hearts of gold, and a partner in crime who has had my back since I was three. I’m not going to lie, at times it is still hard for me to accept that this is my reality, but I find peace in knowing that God has me in the palm of his hand. I came across a Bible verse the other day that stood out to me. Ecclesiastes 3:15 says “What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.” To me this means that nothing that happens to us is too much for God to handle. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. He’s a pro at taking care of us, He’s got us in the palm of His hand.
So, my friends, remember this: wherever life takes you, you will always have a happy ending as long as you have Jesus at the center of your life. We all need to ditch the picture perfect lives we have created in our minds and grab ahold of our realities. I’m going to end this blog with one of my favorite verses. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It is so true. God’s plan for our lives is so much better than anything we could ever create for ourselves. When it comes time for you to get caught in the whirlwind, just remember that it will be okay, and don’t forget to look up and grab ahold of God’s hand.