Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Out of the ashes.

The past few weeks have brought unbelievable changes to our home and lives. Amazing opportunities. New arrivals. Relationships struggling and broken. Crisis. Adventure. Joy. Heartache. All in a swirling tornado plowing through our life. We've been steady and surefooted through most of this... but I woke up this morning and realized that my carefully laid-out plans for this year have gone up in flames.

At this point, you might feel like posting an image of a kitten clinging to a tree branch emblazoned with the words "If your plans don't work out... it's because God has something better for you!" on my Facebook page. Let me save you the trouble. First, I strongly disagree with that saying. Second (oddly enough), I'm okay with all this. Although we've suffered some disappointments... as the dust settles, I feel good... even joyful, about the changes that have come.

But I'm grieving, a little bit. I need some time to let go of "what might have been".

I walked confidently into the year 2012 knowing what to expect... because we'd made plans. Me, Bruce and God. And they were GOOD plans. I don't feel like I've participated in some God-hosted-swap-meet where I meekly turn in my lame "worldly" plans for his awesome, undeniable, outrageous, blessing-filled replacement plans. I feel like my flight has been diverted mid-flight and I’m headed somewhere new. Not somewhere better or worse, just different.

For the moment, I’m happily distracted with the excitement and newness of entering uncharted waters. But a small part of me is still in mourning. Looking back over my shoulder, watching those dreams fade in the distance. They were good plans, but it’s time to let go. Not for the promise of something bigger or better, but simply because God asked. Sometimes we foolishly boil God’s purpose in our lives into a series of upgrades. I hear faithful, Christian couples say things like this all the time: “God transferred us away from our home and family, halfway across the world... but LOOK at this backyard! Half an acre! What a blessing!” It’s great to be a “glass half full” person, or to look for the silver lining on a cloud... but it’s also okay to be real. To struggle. To admit that God is calling us to something that is hard. Or painful. Or overwhelming. But also, beautiful. To trust that God can grow something beautiful in the ashes of our sacrifice.

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.” Psalm 37:23-26

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