Unexpected Blessings

“Things don’t always end up the way you picture them, but sometimes…

They can end up even better, if you give them a chance.” (Martha Kent)

I find it easy to get my heart set on things sometimes. How many times have I thought that I knew exactly what would be the very best thing for my life, only to find out that God had something very different in mind? To list all of my unexpected blessings would take a long, long time, but here are a few of my favorites…

There were certain girls that I wanted to be friends with who didn’t want to be friends with me. I wasn’t cool enough, and so I tried to hide my true self, tried to become the person I thought I needed to be in order to fit in. But on one day of my lonely life, when I climbed onto the school bus, the only open seat was next to a girl that I’d never really talked with before. In that one short bus ride to school, the warmth of her love began to shine in my life, and has been shining on me ever since.

There was a certain girl that I was too snobby to be friends with, and yet she waited. From Kindergarten to Grade 12, she waited, and when we finally ended up at camp together as counselors for the summer, my eyes were finally opened to the gift of friendship that she had always been offering to me. She told me she had prayed that someday we’d be friends. And now instead of thinking about the fact that I wasted those 13 years of life when she could have been my friend, I am forever thankful that we’ll be friends for the rest of our lives.

There was a certain boy that I was quite convinced I needed to marry. But while I was waiting for him to figure out if he felt the same way or not, God brought someone completely different into my life. And without me even realizing what was happening, a connection started to grow, and grow, until one day I finally woke up to the fact that I’d been blind to what was there right in front of me. And now he is always there, continually amazing me with his love and patience and goodness. Always gentle, always kind, and I am so glad that God knew what I needed better than I did.

Praise God for the unexpected things in my life – they are the best part!

Chucking the Five-Year Plan: Part Two

I was determined not to like Ben long before I ever met him.

I had someone very different picked out for my future. But when I mentioned to one of my best friends that a “Ben Dueck” was coming to work at Red Rock Bible Camp for the summer, and asked if she thought it was the same Ben Dueck that she had gone to Steinbach Bible College with, she burst out with, “Kendra, you’re totally going to date him!”

Not at all what I wanted to hear. I didn’t need any new potential-boyfriend material, because I already knew what I wanted.  And I would prove to her that I would not date Ben Dueck. Especially since his last name was “Dueck.” My last name was Dueck. That would just be weird.

When he arrived at camp a few weeks later, I did my very best to avoid him.

But people kept introducing him to me. I’d try to sneak past the crowd of people with Ben Dueck in the middle of it, but someone would call out, “Hey, Kendra, have you met Ben yet?” I would mutter something polite and hurry away. And then 10 minutes later, I’d get called over by somebody else saying, “Kendra, I don’t think you’ve met Ben yet!” And I would say, “Yes, actually I have.” And then I’d leave again.

Later that day, all of the staff had to go up to the chapel to find out what skills (camp activities) we’d be teaching for the summer. I was pretty sure that I would be teaching canoeing, because I had taught it the whole summer before. What I did not expect, though, was that I’d be leading canoeing together with… Ben Dueck.

And when the director introduced the Head Skill Instructors as “Ben and Kendra Dueck”, I was extremely unimpressed.

The boy that I actually wanted to date was right there. And I was not going to date Ben Dueck. So there was no need to make it sound like we were married.

But… the problem was that the more time we spent together, the more I found out how much we just…clicked. I laughed at his jokes, and he laughed at mine. We talked about anything and everything, and I couldn’t help becoming friends with him.

Every year, Red Rock Bible Camp has an Open House. Anyone can come and try out all of the different camp activities, and see what the camp is like. My parents came to visit me that day, and since Ben and I had to be in charge of helping people get set up for canoeing, my parents spent the day with us down by the lake.

And it was so much fun, so natural. But it was the wrong guy! If I was going to spend the day with a boy and my parents, I would not have picked Ben Dueck!

But when my parents left that day, my dad said, “He’s the one that Kendra is going to marry.

It took awhile for Ben and me to get it figured out, but I’m so glad we did! I’m so glad that God knew even better than I did what was best for me.