Friday, March 18, 2016
You know that opportunity? The ship that passed us by, but we're still mourning? The career, relationship, friendship, place, chance that we could have had, but didn't (or couldn't) jump on when it was right there in front of us? Yes. We've all had that experience, haven't we? We truly wanted something, we could have had it, we watched it pass us by, and we never really, truly, got over it. For me, it was moving to and living in New York City. This was a dream that started for me from a very, very young age. I would say as early as 9 or 10 years old. It was a dream that was solidified at age 15 when my parents first took us to Manhattan for Christmas. I honestly thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. It was my soul mate city. I felt like I could move there and be so incredibly happy.
Then, years later, the opportunity presented itself... until, it didn't. I was applying to law schools and made St. John's my number one choice. I was working for J.P. Morgan Chase in Tampa at the time and it would have been an easy transition. St. John's had a part-time law program and if accepted, I could have easily moved there and transferred to a J.P. Morgan Chase in the NYC area. I would have been set. I wasn't in a relationship. Had no kids or responsibilities tying me to Tampa. I was free to go wherever, whenever. I waited and waited and waited for that acceptance letter from St. John's that never came. I got into Loyola, F.S.U., and Stetson though. When I got the Stetson acceptance it seemed like the right choice because it had a terrific reputation for trial advocacy law and that's what I wanted to focus on. So, since I never did hear from St. John's, I paid the acceptance fee of $500 and sent Stetson my commitment acceptance letter. Boom. I was in.
A couple of weeks later I received a letter from St. John's telling me that they'd given my spot to someone else because I never responded to my acceptance letter. "Wait, what????? WHAT acceptance letter!?!?!?!?!" I never got one! Ahhhhh!!! I cried and cried and cried. It was a tough pill to swallow, that's for sure. It still, sometimes, is. But...
I look at my life today and it makes sense as to why that opportunity never came to pass. Yes. It was something I really wanted. But, it was not what God wanted for my life. Sometimes God's plan does not align with ours and it's really hard to accept in the moment, until a few years pass and you realize why it couldn't happen.
I look at my husband and daughter and students now and it's all very clear. God definitely had a better plan. I graduated from law school, but didn't like it at all. In fact, I hated it and longed to return to the classroom ( I was a teacher first). I also can't imagine my life far away from my parents. Tampa Bay is where God wanted me to build my life. I met my husband here without whom I wouldn't have our beautiful child. I get to work in a school where I get to minister to students through the Gospel. I get to make a significant impact each and everyday and feel so very blessed to do so. Would I have had that same opportunity in NYC? I don't know.
What I do know is that everything happens (or doesn't happen) for a reason. Life doesn't make sense sometimes. It feels like we missed out on something or that we weren't given something we thought we deserved. But, the truth of the matter is that we are part of someone else's puzzle. There is a grand plan that we are all a part of and without us it can't be fulfilled. It's not all about us. Perhaps when that "ship has sailed," it just means that what was meant to happen did.
Let's accept the "missed opportunities" and be grateful for the opportunities we did get to have because we missed the others. Life is exactly as it should be. It's how we view it that makes all the difference. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."