"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, July 22, 2010

When God interrupts your plans

I just read this story in a book and it pretty much blew my mind. I figured I'd share. And also, read Max Lucado's Facing Your Giants. It's awesome. Just saying. (And I fully give him credit for what I'm about to say and quote).

Lucado writes about how we make certain plans in life, but God seems to have plans of His own sometimes. 3 examples were given:

1. A man didn't find a wife until his mid-30s. They moved away and started a life with each other. 3 years later, the wife was killed.
2. A married couple conceived and turned one of their rooms into a nursery. The woman miscarried. (This one hits home, obviously, but the 3rd example is actually my favorite.)
3. Willem knew at 25 years old that he wanted to preach and spend his life in ministry. He began ministering to villagers in Belgium, and after helping the town through a mining disaster, Willem realized he "was doing what he'd always dreamed of doing." Then his superior visited. Since Willem gave his money to his village people (I forgot to mention this was in the 1800s), he lived in a hut and wore old clothing - to the disapproval of his superior. The church leader dismissed Willem from the ministry.

The author then talked about how we may respond to the moments in life when God interrupts our plans. Some reactions are good...some not so good. The man who lost his wife is angry and bitter. The couple who miscarried is praying about conceving again. Willem, the former preacher, was obviously devastated. Who wouldn't be? Why wouldn't God want him to work in ministry? Here's the rest of the story (Lucado says it so much better than I ever could):

Initially, he was hurt and angry. He lingered in the small village, not knowing where to turn. But one afternoon he noticed an old miner bending beneath an enormous weight of coal. Caught by the poignancy of the moment, Willem began to sketch the weary figure. His first attempt was crude, but then he tried again. He didn't know it, but at that very moment, Willem discovered his true calling.
Not the robe of clergy, but the frock of an artist.
Not the pulpit of a pastor, but the palette of a painter.
Not the ministry of words, but of images. The young man the leader would not accept became an artist the world could not resist: Vincent Willem van Gogh.

If that's not encouraging, I don't know what is. It may take us awhile to learn why certain things have to happen, but God interrupts your plans for a reason. His plans are better.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Contentment

This is one of those things that I really don't want to write about, but I feel like I'll go crazy if I keep avoiding it. Plus, a dear friend of mine encouraged me to keep writing, and I've done a terrible job of that this summer. So here ya go.

I hate to admit it, but lately (as in the past few months), I've had a really hard time with finding contentment in my current situation. It's bad, I know, because I have the best husband and some really good friends and an awesome family and a place to live and a job I like (with the summer off!) and the people I love are healthy and...well, you get the point. But then I think about how much I really want children and how it's hard to see everyone else pregnant and having healthy babies when that's obviously not in the near future for me. After being a child of God and Logan's wife, the thing I desire more than anything is to be a mother. And to be denied that for the time being sucks - for lack of a better word. I've recently, though, had like a million epiphanies. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it's like God is making things really clear for me. It actually makes me feel selfish and guilty and everything for taking over 6 months to realize some things. And whenever I do get pregnant again, if it happens, I don't want to feel guilty and think I don't deserve it for being so discontent with not being pregnant. That make sense? I hope so.

So, what have I realized? That losing Levi was not about just losing my son. It's about God wanting me to become holier and wanting me to be prepared for whatever else He has planned for me. Fact is, you can't become a better person without suffering first. It sucks, but it's true. And instead of wasting any more time on whining and complaining about not having what I think I need (i.e. baby), I need to focus on what God wants me to get out of this situation. I've always known that there's a reason for suffering, and that God won't give us more than we can handle, but it's difficult to think all of that when you've lost something so dear to you. I'm sure pretty much anyone can relate, in one way or another...which is the main reason I'm even writing this. God doesn't want us to suffer. But sometimes we need to experience some hard things in order to be prepared for something else that is to come. I may not ever know concrete reasons for why I had to go through what I went through, but I want to at least be able to say in a few years that I made the best of it - because honestly, I couldn't say that now. But I'm working on it.

We tend to look at the circumstances of life in terms of what they may do to our cherished hopes and convenience, and we shape our decisions and reactions accordingly. When a problem threatens, we rush to God, not to seek his perspective, but to ask him to deflect the trouble. Our self-concern takes priority over whatever it is that God might be trying to do through the trouble. - Arthur Matthews

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My new favorite picture

Logan and our 2-year old nephew, Max

I love them.

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