Life Happens When You’re Busy Making Other Plans…And What Can Happen in Just Five Years

As you get older you start to realize that time passes much more quickly than when you were younger. You remember events as happening just a couple of years ago, and when you think back, you realize that it was actually five, ten or even more years ago. It still blows my mind that 1997 was actually 20 years ago, and not 10 years ago! But what’s really startling is when you take inventory and think about changes that have happened in your life. Sometimes these life events just snowball, and that carefully planned route on the roadmap of life causes you to take a detour. Sometimes they occur slowly, and you don’t realize how much your life has changed until you take notice and take inventory. 

I recently asked some of my facebook friends to share with me how their lives have changed over the past five years. What seems to be a constant theme are the stories of loss and new life. Of movement and growth. Of love and happiness. Health scares and healing. Of resilience. I’m sharing their stories in the hope that you’ll be as touched as I was by their honesty, and impressed with their resilient attitude.

Kelle: I was very pregnant with my first child, and had just started a new job. I never knew how much I could love a tiny human being unconditionally or how I would come to love my husband even more than I did then. I didn’t know that I would never get a good night’s sleep again- not because of restless babies (though there is plenty of that)- but because I will never not worry about things totally out of my control. Children bring a certain vulnerability that you can’t explain or describe.

Allison: I had just sent my first born off to college 5 years ago. Now, 5 years later, I’ve just sent my baby off to college and I’m an empty nester with 3 kids in college! WOW…a lot can happen in 5 years!

Lou: In the last 5 years….I got a grand daughter, then a son in law, then a grand son. I lost my precious Momma to cancer and 4 months later my friend Mary. Then 2 months later my  precious step dad….he grieved himself to death missing Momma. I’ve done some serious spiritual growing up. I’ve done some serious aging! I have learned that to forgive is the greatest gift to oneself. People laugh at me but I continue to plant trees whose shade I may never enjoy. I have learned to cherish my Lord and redeemer …..I am grateful for my many undeserved blessings.

Joyce: 5 years ago My baby girl welcomed her first born and my first grandchild, into the world!  His birth made me a Cookie and the happiest Cookie there ever was.  With the birth of his sister it has just gotten sweeter.

Patricia Five years ago, the twins decided to make an early arrival.(4 weeks). We were all anxiously awaiting their debut. We were hoping and praying they would be healthy, as well as not too small. Thanking God that they were perfectly healthy! I also retired early, due to health complications, from teaching five years ago this month. Now we know He was taking care of all of the details that we had no clue were in our future.

Fran: I was living in Virginia planning for life after my husband’s retirement from the Marine Corps.  We were searching for the answers to “what does life look like after retirement? Where will we live? Will he get a civilian job? Will we move again?”

Connie: Gary and I had just put an offer on the home we live in now. We had no idea how much life would change with 3 cancer diagnosis in 1 1/2 years. God has been so faithful to heal me and my faith has grown immensely. The people God has put into our lives through this season will forever be important to us.

Dena: Five years ago I was was caring for my sister who was in the final stages of melanoma. I would stay 4 days in Little Rock with her and 3 days at home. I remember thinking one day, wow, I retired, moved back to the farm, yet see my husband less now than when I worked. Little did I know that within the next 9 months I would not only lose her to cancer, but him as well. We had such big plans, even a trip already booked, God had other plans for us. I have grieved and grown in these 5 years. I have found love and happiness again. One thing is for sure, we are not in control of what life sends our way, we can only control how we react to it. A  grandson arrived 6 months ago. I’m very blessed.

Sarah: Wow. I can’t believe how much has changed for us in 5 years! 5 years ago we were a little over a year into this marriage thing. Just moved into our little house on Main Street. Had the Duke, our Boxer, who went to work with me every morning, and Greg had just started his third and final year of teaching theater. We were happy but complacent. Since then, we have moved to Los Angeles, started a new life/adventure miles and miles away from all of our family and friends. Went from a studio to a 1 bedroom in a not so great area to now a spacious apartment in a great area that we love! (With a parking spot ) we have had multiple jobs, moved up in those jobs, and have chased our individual dreams as well as our goals/dreams as a married unit. We have been challenged above and beyond what we thought we could handle, persevered, hustled, failed, succeeded, learned, and grown within ourselves and our marriage. Every year we seem to reach new heights and new goals. We have had so many wonderful adventures here and the fun isn’t stopping. Now we will be going on our biggest adventure yet….becoming new parents! We are so blessed, and I can’t wait to see where the next 5 years takes us!!

Me? Five years ago, we were preparing to move away from our home of 17 years, where I had lovingly planted deep roots and raised my family, to a place I swore I would never live. I had to leave my job that I loved, and my friends who were like family to me. I thought it was the end of the world, and clung to my faith as I tried to get assimilated in a new town. Since that time, I’ve made new friends, found work, and received a promotion into a new position that I absolutely love.  My husband is in a new career and is thriving. I spent two years battling my parents health concerns, but lost both of them. We’ve been blessed with two grandchildren, and are about to be blessed with a third. All in five years. 

Loss, Movement. Growth. Change. Resilience. Life. They say life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. I think we’re living proof. And if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s never say never! Life’s a journey, you have to enjoy the ride!

The Mafia, 2012
My family, 2012, five years ago. So much has changed since then…

What about you? How has your life changed in the past five years? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment, and let me know. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I truly appreciate it!




9 thoughts on “Life Happens When You’re Busy Making Other Plans…And What Can Happen in Just Five Years

  1. A lot really can happen in 5 years! I left a 25 year banking career, got my college degree (after a 30 year break) and am a few months away from my master’s. I have a new career in social work that I love (except when I don’t)! My husband officially retired in January and my first grandson graduates from high school in May. Whew! I also started running and have completed 3 half marathons and many 5k races. Life is quite an adventure, even in the “Golden Years.”

    Loving your blog, Andy!

  2. Five years ago, my son was two and I had just had my second baby. We were living comfortably in Korea. My husband was spending long hours at work and then long hours on the weekend finishing his doctoral degree. Things were changing very quickly for us and there were so many unknowns. Three years later I would quit my job and we would move to China for my husband’s new job. The transition would be a whirlwind, but one of the best blessings I would experience.

    This is such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing. It’s good to spend time reflecting every so often on losses and the blessings that come from them. I think back to what my twenty-year-old self would have said my “dream life” would be, it looks nothing like what it really IS like now as woman near forty. . . it looks better. I guess that happens sometimes. We have to let go of some dreams to give the better possibilities room to grow.

  3. All of my kids are big now and scattered all over the country making their lives. Its rough but its good too. I work hard at staying present so as not to miss what this season has in store for me and my husband.

  4. This is such a great reminder of how things do not always go as planned! Just in the past 2 years, we have moved into a different house and I no longer have my job of 11 years. If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said no way.

  5. What a great reminder. In the last 5 years, I’ve had two children, deepened the connection in my marriage. Left my career to become a stay at home mom. Renovated our home. Started a blog. Became a homeschool mom.

  6. It was so interesting to read through what’s happened to everyone in the last five years. In the last five years I got a dog (a dream come true!), left my job to try something new, traveled to a new continent, gained a new nephew, watched my mom battle some health concerns (she got through them), traveled to the Amazon, left my job to find a career I’m passionate about, started freelancing… i’m sure the list could go on.

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