My dad was a child of the Great Depression and was in WWII. He knew hard times. As God began to guide Dad into his lifelong career of teaching, he had to earn his credentials. As was always the case for Dad, God cleared the way. He worked the night shift as an electrician at Allis-Chalmers while working on his Bachelor’s degree. The company decided to invest in Dad and agreed to pay his full salary while he finished. Then, the head office closed the plant, but Dad still got paid.
Dad started on his Masters and fed the family on the meager wages of a Graduate Assistant. With Mom and Dad, both being graduates of the Depression, we made it through. With his Master of Science degree in hand, Dad was hired as an assistant professor at Bradley University and quickly promoted to associate professor while working on his Doctorate in Higher Education. (He got it.)
Dad felt bad about not spending much time with me so when he went to the university each Saturday he brought me and turned me loose in the electricity and electronics labs. Most of the stuff was WWII surplus, but I had a ball. I was ten years old and wiring up 3 phase, 240 VAC motors, building tube amplifiers and learning the difference between the smell of a burnt resistor and the smell of a burnt transformer.
When Dad talked his doctoral committee into letting him learn the Fortran programming language instead of French, Dad decided to teach me Fortran since the best way to learn something is to teach it. By the end of being eleven, I was sitting in the university’s computer room writing programs.
For the next fifty years, I designed electronic products and wrote programs. Well, that was after my stupid years when I was going to be a musician. (I did grow up in the 60s.) But even during those years I was taking college electronics classes in high school and working the university’s TV production department. God was guiding, but not forcing.
My point is this: Way back during WWII, when Dad was transferred from the Manhatten Project to teach the new Teletype technology, God was continuing Dad on his path as a teacher, while also introducing him to Mom, his future bride, and crafting a fantastic life for Dad’s future daughter and laying the plans for Dad’s son to make his living building stuff. And, God has done the same kinds of things, and more, for you.
It doesn’t matter, at all, what your childhood was like. That can’t be changed. The trials and disappointments in your life hurt and took their toll. Nevertheless, you are here, now, and God knew you would be here, now, and He planned for that. Oh, you could have done other stuff. I could have gone to Califonia to be a musician, but God was gracious to the world and saved it from that. We are all free to chose our path, but our path is not a surprise to God. He loves you more than you can even comprehend.
So, take heart, look what your God said: However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV
Photo: By waelder - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1962578
Comment: I wrote many Fortran programs using this exact model of punch card. It took 24 hours to get the results back so even the smallest syntax error would add a day to the completion time. Now we want web pages to load in less than 2 seconds. My how the world has changed!