I've started working my lesson plans for next year and as I was reading the YouCat (a youth catechism), I came across this great quotation from St. Edith Stein: "What did not lie in my plan lay in God's plan. And the more often something like this happens to me, the livelier becomes the conviction of my faith that - from God's perspective - nothing is accidental." I don't know what the context of this quotation is, what the "something like this" is referring to, but I agree with the message of the quotation.
So many times I make decisions by trying to predict the outcome of my future if I take one path over another. If I do Fidesco and/or stay for two years, will I miss out on my chance to get married and have babies? If I take one job, will I miss out on a better one that would have come along later if I kept searching? I'm always trying to predict the future and to plan what will come next, but St. Edith Stein's message is that we don't have to try so hard. We don't have to stress ourselves out trying to control the future and the outcome of every decision. What if we just relaxed, tried to make wise decisions each day, and then let life happen to us? God knows what's best for us anyway and he wants that for us.
An example of what I'm talking about is a friend of mine who was heart-broken over an ended relationship. She moved back home to be close to her family and to heal, I assume, and there she met a good man and it about to be married. She so wanted to marry the first guy, but when that didn't go as she planned, God used the heartbreak to bring her home where she would meet her future husband. His plan was better than her plan.
As to how this relates to my own life, I have been blessed in Rwanda to live day-to-day. I know the future is out there, with decisions to make as to whether I will renew my Fidesco contract at the end of my year or what jobs to apply for and in what state(s) when I return home, and questions that come with those decisions, like which increases my odds of meeting my husband or being happy in my work, etc, but I don't worry about those things out here. And even those questions are the wrong questions. The future is not a matter of odds; it's a matter of God's Providence. I could meet my husband in a city with very few Catholic men or I could not meet him in a city full of them. Nothing is accidental so as long as I serve God and strive to do his will, he will put me in the right place at the right time for all things. And here in Rwanda, I feel I am in the right place, doing the right thing, and even if I had always planned to do Fidesco with a husband (that's why I waited 8 years before finally doing it), God had a different plan and I'm happy with it. I look forward to discovering step by step what else he has planned for my crazy, blessed life.