Perfect, even when it didn’t feel perfect

How a move to an unwanted destination came with new possibilities

Photo Courtesy of Erin Kelley

2 min read
Erin Kelley

A couple of Mondays ago, I went for a walk and realized it was my Mom’s birthday. I also realized in the hustle and bustle of the move to DC, I forgot to send her a card or flowers (which are her favorite).

I phoned her on my walk, and we chatted for a while. I apologized for being a horrible daughter and for forgetting to send her at least something for her big day, to which she responded with grace. She always responds with grace when it comes to forgetting things that involve her.

After we hung up, I thought: “Wait a minute, I only live a little under four hours away from her! I can drive to her and bring her gifts instead!”

So I finished my walk, chatted with my hubby about my surprise (he basically shoved me out the door), and I drove the four hours to Virginia and surprised my momma by showing up on her doorstep with those flowers and that card in hand.

One thing this military life does is remind me that distance is a matter of perspective. Four hours, to someone whose family is 15 minutes down the road, may seem like too far of a drive, but for a girl who just spent the last three years 22 hours away by car from her mother, 4 hours might as well have been 4 minutes.

My mom is that tough independent type and doesn’t normally like surprises but this was one of those surprises that she finally didn’t mind and it moved her in ways even I wasn’t expecting. We didn’t do anything special. Just a dinner out, shopping, catching up and looking at old photographs, but at a certain point as we were hanging out during that short 24-hour visit, she began to cry. We both did, and I was so very grateful for the blessing of going to Virginia.

When my hubby first told me we’d be going back to Washington, I was slightly unimpressed. You see, I didn’t want to move back to Virginia.

Driving around the capital is not my favorite. It’s chaotic, the humidity is beastly, and we have lived here before. So I had the mindset of  “been there, done that, and don’t wanna do that again.”

But God is good, and I always need


The older I get, the deeper I have come to understand, and more completely, just how precious time really is when it comes to being with the ones we love and call family.

I haven’t spent a birthday with my mother, physically, for at least 20 years. I think being able to be with my mother on the day of her birth blessed me more than it blessed her.

God’s plans are perfect even when they don’t feel perfect, and even when we can’t seem to make sense of the senseless initially. He always has a plan to prosper us.

I didn’t want to move back to Virginia. However, I am grateful today for duty assignments that were never part of my plan, but were always part of God’s bigger and better plan.

Whatever it is within your plan that went sideways or was not what you were hoping for or expecting, know and trust that God always has a plan even more spectacular in store for you.

God loves you immensely.

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