Disappointments Led Me in “Write” Direction

 

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It was a crushing high school disappointment.

My goal was to be the  president of the Future Farmers of America my senior year.  I planned to run for state office the following spring, then maybe national office. They were ambitious, teenage plans. I’d gone to regionals in extemporaneous public speaking, won awards in livestock judging, won Star Greenhand, and had been FFA Sweetheart.  I thought my accomplishments and investment into the local chapter proved my ability to lead.

My peers, a room full of farm guys, didn’t agree and I was elected secretary. In a 9 to 5 move, I refused the position. I’d already been the FFA reporter for two years and accepted that nomination instead. My friends were also elected to office,  Janet, vice president, Christine, parliamentarian, and Jeanette, treasurer, making 50% of officers female.  I was excited for my gender and my friends, but was personally disappointed.

The election revealed deeper obstacles in accomplishing my goals.  If I couldn’t convince the local chapter I was competent enough for high office, could I convince the state or the nation?  Even more than a matter of personal ambition, it was a matter of belonging.  I loved the farm life, but I wasn’t blessed with an ancestor who homesteaded.  My grandfather, Arne Sather,  was a talented carpenter from Norway, who built country churches and barns that still grace the North Dakota landscape.  I lived on a farmstead with my family, but we didn’t farm.  I identified with my farm friends, I longed for their lives, but did I really fit in?

For the final weeks of the school year, I wrote about FFA activities and brought my articles the newspaper office. Reporters were judged at state competition on the amount of pictures and  column inches printed and I was determined to win gold. 

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When I dropped off this article, the new editor introduced himself and offered me a job on the spot. It was official, I was an FFA reporter and a Cavalier County Republican reporter. My life instantly changed course.

 

Brainard Joins Republican Staff pm

 I photographed and wrote about llamas.  I photographed and  interviewed farm wives and attended city meetings where the adults talked about issues I didn’t understand.  I loved every minute of it.

 

I was slow to understand the cause and effect of disappointments and accomplishments.

Another crushing disappointment occurred when I was a happily married mom of six kids.  We purchased our dream home in August of 2003, an older two-story home with arches, woodwork, many windows, and a library.  In the master bedroom, a perfect alcove positioned my writing desk under a window overlooking the trees and grassy acres of the nearby college.  We were city dwellers with the country feel. I loved that house and joked many times, “When I die, just doze the house and bury me with it.”

In September there were whispers that my husband would be relocated to Seattle.  I cried for a week.  I feared the city and didn’t want to leave my friends, our home Bible study,  and my new home.  By faith,  I put on my “I-go-where-he-goes, his-people-become-my-people” attitude. In May the rumors were confirmed, and I packed up everything from the home I planned on dying in and headed west.

 

TweetThe Lord always has a plan and a way we cannot see.

 

Not fully knowing the layout of the land, we  bought a house halfway between his job and our church. I discovered I was four blocks from the meeting place of the Northwest Christian Writers Association.  Four blocks.

I’ve been so slow to learn the Lord’s “No” is often, “I have something better for you.”  If I’d been elected president, I wouldn’t have been offered the reporter job.  If I’d stayed in my comfort zone of familiar friends and family and my dream home, I wouldn’t have found my Christian writers group and rekindled my writing career. This year I was thrilled and honored to be elected president of  NCWA. The first person I called with the good news was Janet, my best friend from high school.

 

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The Lord used disappointments to change my course of direction and to guide me in His “write” direction.

 

TweetWhen you surrender your dreams, the Lord will fill your heart with His.

 

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6 Responses to Disappointments Led Me in “Write” Direction

  1. Kendra March 7, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    What a cutie!

    • Mindy Peltier March 8, 2014 at 7:08 am #

      I actually call those The Awkward Years. Bad layered hair and braces — but we made it through!

  2. linda t March 9, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    Thank you so much Mindy for reminding me that He’s not always saying “No”, but rather “Trust Me, I have something better”. Needed this so much. I’m in a real hard season, that may very well become my new normal. Thank you for your prayers.

    • Mindy Peltier March 9, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      So good to hear from you, Linda, but I am so sorry to hear about the hard season in your life. May you feel the Lord’s tender mercies as He guides and directs you into this new path. May you walk by faith, knowing that He loves you with an everlasting love and that He is upholding you with His victorious right arms. May you arrive on the other side of this season and see that He truly guided you and kept you. My love, blessings, and prayer are pouring out for you.

  3. Tandis March 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    It is amazing to look back at things in life that turned out differently than we were planning, but see how God was really working in our lives in a better way. Maybe someday whenever retirement happens, God might have you live in the country and having a writing nook. 🙂

    “If I’d stayed in my comfort zone…” I’m having some of these encouraging nudges from the Lord to get out of my comfort zone these days. I see Him working and I pray I am obeying and trusting

    Number 499 in the red hymn book is reassuring.

    ~Trusting Jesus~

    Simply trusting every day,
    Trusting through a stormy way;
    Even when my faith is small,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Refrain:
    Trusting as the moments fly,
    Trusting as the days go by;
    Trusting Him whate’er befall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Brightly doth His Spirit shine
    Into this poor heart of mine;
    While He leads I cannot fall;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Singing if my way is clear,
    Praying if the path be drear;
    If in danger for Him call;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

    Trusting Him while life shall last,
    Trusting Him till earth be past;
    Till within the jasper wall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

  4. Mindy Peltier March 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    You have been such an encouragement to me, dear Tandis. Thank you for your gracious words of faith. I know you’re walking some new paths in service, and I am so excited to see what the Lord has planned for your family. Much love and blessing to you!

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