Alternative Plans | Articles | The Fellowship

Alternative Plans

    Nov 10, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough

    As a single mom with four children working two nursing jobs to make ends meet, I was stretched beyond capacity!  Recently divorced, I was struggling to establish a sense of normalcy for my children while dealing with a grieving heart.  Many of us have experienced the pain and disappointment of discovering that the spouse we thought we would grow old with has decided they are no longer committed to the marriage covenant.  It is a very lonely and isolating experience, one that brings much self-doubt and self-deprecation. 

    During this period of sadness and loneliness, I wrestled with my insecurities and questioned my ability to help my children heal from the void that was left when they were abandoned by their father. I was determined to provide a stable Christian home for my children and prayed for God to guide me in that effort.  The typical struggles of daily life raising four children ranging in age from 2 to 16 compounded with the emotional and financial impacts of divorce created some incredibly stressful and challenging days. 

    While the emotional challenges of going through a divorce were hard, nothing prepared me for the challenges of single parenting.  Juggling two jobs and four children was exhausting and overwhelming.  I am very fortunate in that I was raised in a Christian home that laid the foundation for strong faith in a powerful and Almighty God.  I found peace in the awareness of God’s constant protection and power.  I was determined to establish a loving home to help my children heal; however, there were so many days that I doubted myself and my abilities.

    I had multiple conversations throughout each day asking God for guidance in my decisions and challenging His promise to give me strength.  Psalm 28:7 became my daily mantra: The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise Him.  Seizing this promise each day and keeping this verse in the forefront of my mind helped me give my daily stresses over to God. I began to regain my confidence and face the future with optimism. 

    A few months later, I was headed to a meeting 40 miles away and was running late.  On my way I had the second flat tire in less than one week.  This happened about 100 feet from an exit ramp on an interstate.  I called for a tow truck -- and began a conversation with God questioning His timing.  I could not afford to replace the tire, especially after having another flat the same week!

    While I was waiting, a good Samaritan stopped to check on me and offered to change my tire. The tow truck had already been called, so I thanked him -- but politely declined.  He then offered to stay until the tow truck arrived.  My Bible was on the seat and he pointed to it and we struck up a conversation about God’s grace and timing.  He shared with me how he had never been on that road before and that a voice told him repeatedly to stop and help me.  After a short wait the tow truck arrived.  I expressed my appreciation to him for waiting with me.  I gave him my business card and asked him to contact me if he returned to the area in the future so I could buy him lunch to repay his kindness.  We then parted ways.

    We should never challenge God about His timing! He knows our needs before we do and His plan is so much greater than we can imagine.  I met my future husband on that interstate at mile marker 38 . . . a miraculous chance meeting that only God could have arranged!  God then placed it on his heart to embrace the role of husband and father of four more children (he had raised two older children).  This man’s commitment to provide a stable and supportive Christian home helped restore our children’s self-confidence and security and has impressed them that their true identity is in their value to God and His holy Son Jesus. 

    God does not prevent disappointment and challenging circumstances!  He uses these opportunities to help us grow and lean on Him and learn that we can count on Him to provide the strength to meet these challenges.  Our responsibility is to trust and have faith in His plan.  He has amazing alternative plans for us that we cannot see or even begin to fathom!  

    “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.” 
    Jeremiah 29:11 



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