Sunni Jeffers reminds us that though plans can fall through, there is often a sunny side.
- Posted on Jul 1, 2013
I’m an optimist, and life rarely lets me down. Not that I haven’t had struggles. There have been plenty. But the sun always comes back up, eventually.
Three years ago, my husband, Jim, and I made a major life change. We sold our farm and built our retirement dream home on a wooded lot behind our daughter’s home (with her blessing). We’d always been close, and now we’d be neighbors.
We moved into our lovely new Craftsman bungalow two days before Christmas. Our children surprised us by decorating it and we had 14 people in our new house Christmas day. Life is good. Our dream came true.
And then, the day after Christmas, our son and his family packed up and left for his new job in Kentucky, 2,173 miles away. Oh, how we cried, excited for them to start a new chapter (he’d been jobless for a year), but now they’d be so far away! At least we had our daughter’s family next door, with a woodland path between us.
Our house completed, we took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska for the summer. During this trip, I wrote Coast to Coast, in which Margaret struggles to come to terms with a woman who seems to despise her. Margaret likes people, and she expects them to like her. It’s painful for her to think that this assumption she holds so dear might be wrong. As I worked through her story and how she deals with this problem, I had no idea I was about to face my own dashed expectations and disappointment.
When we got home, our daughter and her husband came over for dinner and shared their exciting news with us. She was so excited! She had a new job. Of course, it required them to move across the state, 400 miles away, immediately.
Our dream shattered. All expectations of the closeness we would share during our golden years died. We are happy for them. Truly. But Jim and I looked at each other and silently communicated, “Now what?”
Isn’t that just like life? We make our plans, then life happens and expectations turn to disappointments. But there is a sunny side. It’s wonderful to see our children and grandchildren stepping up to their own life challenges with boldness and courage and determination. We fulfilled God’s call to us to raise up our children, and now it’s their turn.
Award-winning author Sunni Jeffers and her husband are exploring the U.S. and Canada in their motorhome. As they travel, she continues to write heartwarming stories of women living out their faith in small town America as they face the challenges and adventures of everyday life.