Growing up I liked to imagine what my future would be like. I imagined living in the small, California town that I grew up in. I pictured getting married, having a few children, and teaching elementary school. None of that came true. Not even close. Instead, I became a teen mom, having my son at age seventeen. Becoming a mom at a young age was hard, but it also drew me to God. When I was six months pregnant I turned my life over to Him, and I started praying for my future husband. God answered that prayer quickly. John was my pastor's son, and he came to visit me after Cory's birth. I knew a good thing when I saw it, and I didn't let John get away. We married when Cory was nine months old (in 1990), and we soon had two more children. We got involved in church, and I started pursuing writing, focusing on Christian books and magazine articles, but my efforts didn't get me far. And it wasn't for lack of effort. I worked and worked, and even though I got lots of articles published, book contracts were nonexistent.
I was frustrated because I was trying to move forward with my life. I wanted to prove I hadn't messed up my life by becoming a teen mom. What I realize now is that God was asking me to look back for a reason. First, He wanted to bring me healing after an abortion than I had at age fifteen (something I regret but found healing for).
Then, I felt God's urging to help young women who were facing teen pregnancy. I put my writing to the side to help start a crisis pregnancy center and start a teen mom support group. Lives were changed, and God was using my mess to share a message. It wasn't what I planned, but God brought in people to join the cause.
When sharing “who” I am—like in this post—I always have to share the challenging parts of my story first, mostly because who I am is ONLY because of who God is. When I took control of my life, I made a complete mess of it. God just didn't patch things up so my dreams could come true. Instead, God had bigger and grander plans. He is the creator of everything, including great dreams for His children.
Today, all my publication dreams have come true. I've had more than 500 articles published in magazines and more than 40 books with publishers like Random House, Harper Collins, Focus on the Family, and Tyndale. I've won awards and made the best-sellers list. I love writing, but that's only a small part of who I am.
You see, I did not travel on this writing journey alone. When God put writing on my heart, I was a mom of three young kids. I wrote before they woke up, during nap times and quiet times, and after they went to bed.
As a homeschooling mom, my kids were part of all of it. They've been on research trips with me, and they've met amazing people. They volunteered at the pregnancy center, and sat across the table with World War II veterans, listening to their stories. And their dad has always been there too, helping me balance everything and cheering me on.
I'm a full-time wife and full-time, homeschooling mom of six children, ranging in ages 25–3. I'm also a full-time writer. And I mentor teen moms on the side.
Three of our children were adopted, and I'm greatly enjoying having little ones in the house again after raising the three older kids. You know I love the mothering part of my life if I wanted to do it again!
People ask me how I do it all, and I tell them I can't do any of it without God. But there's also more to it than that. I've seen what God has done with my life, and I'm greatly enjoying this ride. My husband and I have always said we don't want to miss out on one thing that God has for us.
I'd rather go to bed weary every night, seeing how God has used me in numerous ways, than trying to build a comfortable life.
My work isn't easy—not being a wife, a mother, a writer or a mentor—but in all the places I'm weak gives God room to shine.
Nothing about my life is expected, and isn't that amazing?! God has given me an unexpected life, filled with unexpected blessings.
It's not a perfect life. It's not an easy life. Not even close. But my prayer is that I'll continue to be able to share how God turned my mess into my message, to anyone willing to listen. After all, He gets all the glory from that!
Tricia Goyer, TriciaGoyer.com
This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,
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