the unexpected good is about exactly that: experiencing the good things that we do not expect.
While each of us has dreams and hopes--expected good things--sometimes life does not go as planned. When that happens, I've learned to look for the unexpected good things: the new dreams to replace the old ones, the new lifestyle that I never planned for, the new happiness that I didn't seek.
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You'll notice that this website has a theme: dandelions. I chose dandelions because they are resilient, useful, and beautiful.
While many flowers require just the right type of soil or sunlight to grow, dandelions bloom anywhere, even in seemingly impossible places.
Every part of the plant, from root to flower, can be edible or used for basic remedies. Even amongst the dingiest environments, their signature yellow bursts with sunlight and cheer, an unexpected good.
When they grow old and white-headed, they are not useless or ugly. We make wishes as we blow their seeds upon the wind, seeds which will continue the legacy.
Where there is even one, there will soon be many.
Maybe you see a weed, but I see a blessing. I want to be a dandelion: resilient in the face of trials, a blessing and resource to those around me, and a spray of Sonlight in a gray world.
When I was little, I had two dreams: to become a published speculative fiction author and to be a wife and mother. While I waited and worked toward the fulfillment of those dreams, my life path veered into unexpected territory.
In 2013, I realized that something was wrong with my body. I was in constant pain, exhausted, sensitive to light and sounds, and struggling to think clearly. Sometimes I was so weak I could barely walk. I quit my favorite job to focus on my health needs and spent the next three years chasing a diagnosis. What was wrong with me? In early 2016, one test finally came back positive. Babesia is a tick-borne illness with symptoms similar to malaria and requires long-term antibiotic treatment. It is often closely associated with Lyme disease, which my doctor believes is also in the picture. Researching these diseases has led me to one conclusion: while I might someday recover a great deal of my energy and quality of life, I will never be the same as before. In early 2017, I got out of a difficult home situation. Struggling with the realities of how family life had affected me, I began a long process of healing. Starting over in a completely new home state--with new friends, a new job, and a new lifestyle--was the hardest thing I have ever done. People talk about those stories where you drop your whole life and start over. I've lived it. And it can't be done without the Lord's kindness and provision.
It might seem like I have every reason to feel bitter, unhappy, and cheated. I can't deny that I have days where I feel that way, but they are fewer than you would think from reading my life story.
I love my life.
Because every dream that died became the fuel for a dream that I didn't even know I had.
My dream of being a writer finally came to fruition (though the reality of being a published author is not nearly as glamorous as the famous few will make you believe). You can learn more about my speculative fiction books at YaashaMoriah.com.
My dream of being a wife and mother died many times, but out of it, I grew the dream to make my life a gift to others. I was able to serve my mother and siblings through difficult times, to connect more deeply with other young women, and to offer my skills and time to Christ's body as a whole.
It was not just a substitute for the life I want, but an immensely fulfilling and enriching life in its own right.
Through the Lord's kindness, that dream came to be a reality in December 2017, through a series of events that could only be directly ordained by God. The way in which God brought my husband Paul into my life made my singleness all the sweeter, because I saw the why to the waiting. I saw why certain dreams had to die in order to give birth to a better dream.
My dream of being fully healthy is gone, but out of its ashes rose a dream to minister to those who also suffer--physically, emotionally, or spiritually. I can now recognize suffering and speak to another person's hurt in a way I never could before. My pain has become strength for others.
My dream of having a perfect family life has been obliterated, and the reality of our family's brokenness still grieves me. But there is more to this reality. I can't fix everyone else, but I can let the truth transform me--and set me free. And the story isn't over yet, for me or for my family.
Maybe this imperfect story will better demonstrate the redemptive power and intense love of my heavenly Father.
It is painful to say "Not my will, but Thine." But when you delight yourself in the goodness of God, He answers deep desires you didn't even know existed in you.