These words weren't new to me. I had heard them used with graduates who were ready to take that next step in life. But I was not a graduate. I was not a young person. At the age of 43, I was suddenly a single mother of two boys. I did not have hope. I did not see a future.
I won't go into the sordid details. Suffice it to say that divorce had never been in my plan. My marriage was forever. I found it takes both parties to make that plan work.
I fell apart. Emotionally, I was betrayed, devastated, down-trodden. Physically, I was sick, struggling to eat, to sleep, to wake, to function. Mentally, I was frightened; how was I supposed to raise my sons on my own when I was barely functioning.
I claimed this verse. I trusted in the promise.
I would be lying if I said the past seven years were easy. There is nothing easy about divorce. There is nothing easy about a broken family. There is nothing easy about children emotionally torn between their parents.
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you."
No, we didn't suddenly become wealthy, but we have all prospered. I have learned that I am able as an individual to care for my family. I am capable of making decisions on my own. I am okay. My oldest son went on to be a starter on his high school football team, an honor student in his classes, a friend to many people, a university engineering student. My youngest son has gone from a withdrawn child of autism to a warm individual with a heart as big as the sun, a student in regular classes, a new member of the vocal jazz group, a dreamer of his future.
"Plans to give you hope and a future."
Seven years ago, I had no hope. I felt all of my dreams had been shattered. Now I realize that it was just one dream. I still have a secure job in a career that I love. I still have family and friends to be with. I still have my sons, who are growing and maturing in phenomenal leaps. I have a Father who has kept His promises. I have hope for tomorrow. I look forward to what comes. It is The Plan.