Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Slow down child, I have something better for you ahead....
One of my January goals was to read and write more. My writing is not the most fluid or articulate, but there is something about my fingers methodically tapping this keyboard that brings comfort. Whether on a computer screen or a piece of paper, taking the thoughts from my head and making them both tactile and visual, has always been somewhat therapeutic for me.
As for my reading, I’m finishing up book number three, and have three more books on my “to-read soon list”. This past week’s book was one of those “good for my soul” books. The kind of book that I picked up, because I knew it would be beneficial to me in my current state of life. Entitled Wait and See, it is part a memoir about the author’s own season of waiting in her life, and part a study on the life of David and his season of waiting, the years he was fleeing from Saul before becoming king.
As I had anticipated, this book has at times made me cringe. Not because it was poorly written. I cringe because there are things written on those pages, that at times are piercing and feel as if the words were meant for my eyes to read, to remind me of where I have been and all that God has done for me.
Not tool long ago, I was sitting around a table with a group of peers and was sharing with them that if I could sum up my adult life in one phrase, it would be God whispering in my ear “Just wait child, I have something better for you ahead.” At the time of that conversation, my life was looking very much how I thought it would look in my mid twenties, only as I was sharing this story, I was in my early thirties.
Here I am nearly a year later, yet again in a place where the next big thing I had planned for my life is not going the way I thought it would go. My plan, this plan that is a good plan – even a God-honoring plan, is in the process of being delayed, being redirected, or being completely derailed.
Over the past few months, as I have had to watch my plans unravel, I have once again found myself in a place where I realize I have to let go of all control. This is sadly a reoccurring theme in my life, and for this girl who likes all things orderly, letting go of the control will probably always be a life-lesson I will need to learn over and over again.
I confess that it has been harder to trust the truths that I know to be true this time around, as this change of plans was not a clear closed door and came about due to circumstances that brought wounds to my soul. Things that once seemed safe and secure, instantly felt shaky and unstable. What I thought I knew, in an instant became an unknown. But these things I do know.
I know my God is good. He is good all the time, regardless of my circumstances.
I know my God loves me. He loves me, even if I don’t feel loved in life’s moments.
I know my God allows the hard things, not to hurt me, but to help heal me. When I fall, He wants to pick me up. When I feel lost, He wants me to look at Him for direction, to be my compass when the winds of life blow and I don’t know where to turn next.
I know He wants to fight my battles for me. And when I am wounded and feel I can’t go any farther, he wants to carry me to a place where I can be healed.
I know that I have walked through seasons of waiting in my past. In hindsight they are sweet seasons. Seasons where I grew. Seasons where I was made better. Seasons where when I look back, I can see God had bigger and better things for me ahead. Everything from my husband, to our vocations, to our home, to our children – they all came to me later than what I had planned. Over and over again, I can see that in waiting on God to bring into fruition the right time and circumstances for me to move forward, my waiting has been a sweet time that He has always used to bring me closer to Him.
The ring on my finger at age 20 wasn’t the right ring, because it wasn’t from the right man. A good man, but not the man for me. The right ring from the right man would come along five years later at age 25. In that five year wait, I gained an independent lifestyle, but at the same time learned to depend on God for my every need. I had to come to a place where I was content to never marry, before God brought the right man along in the right time, in the most unexpected ways. A man that was more than I ever expected. God’s plans were better than my plans.
The house in the subdivision down the street is a nice and lovely house. It’s a house we almost bought. But things fell through in a painful way with that house, and for a full year we had to wait, watching so many houses sell at all-time lows in a buyers market, before our house would finally sell. When I finally accepted that we didn’t have to move, that our small house was just fine….well, that’s when our house finally sold. When I walked into our current home for the first time, I knew it wasn’t just a house, but a house I wanted to make our home and raise our family. It was a bigger and better home than the house in the subdivision down the street. It was more than I was expecting. God’s plans were better than my plans.
When my husband lost his job, and I could not understand why, there was a time of waiting for him to find a new job. When he accepted a job that I did not want him to take, I could not see at the time that with that decision, the time would come for me to want to stay home with our children, and that job would be the job that would give him opportunity after opportunity to finically provide for our family in bigger ways than I could have ever expected. God’s plans were better than my plans.
When we struggled to conceive children, I had to come to a place of accepting the fact that even if I never conceived a baby, God was still good. When I finally got to that place of acceptance, God went over and beyond my expectations. He gave me two babies, when I only asked for one. And just because sometimes He wants to show me how good He really is, He naturally opened my womb again and gave me a baby girl. More than I ever expected! God’s plans were better than my plans.
And so now here I am again, accepting that even though my plans are good and noble plans - plans that I will not give a name or description to in this specific post – it’s either not the right timing for my plan, or it’s not the right plan.
So for now, I wait, and I thank Him for what He has given me, for it is much more than I deserve or ever thought I would have. And I learn from the lessons that need to be learned during this wait, and I grow in ways I need to grow. And I focus on the important things in life that mean more to me than my plans - like being the best wife and mom I know how to be. And I watch God do work in the circumstance around me, and in doing so, I witness His grace in my life, and know that He is good even in the hurt.
And I trust. I trust His ways are better than my ways. That God has a better plan. A plan that might not look anything like what I thought it would look like, or perhaps like in times past, a plan that in time may be even better than what I originally desired. I trust that in a couple of years, when I look back at where I am now, I will still be able to say that even in this moment I sensed God whispering in my ear, “Slow down child, I have something better for you ahead.”