I honestly don’t know why I’m shocked, and yet I am. Time and time again, God amazes me. You would think that after years of watching it happen, I wouldn’t be so shocked anymore. You would think I would almost start to expect it, but sure enough every time, God works things out the way they are supposed to be, I am still standing with my mouth gaping open, eyes wide with shock. Many times over my life, God has saved me from disastrous decisions. Decisions that would have most definitely taken me down a treacherous, destructive path, but God stepped in just at the precise moment of no-turning-back. There have been other times when I have just been waiting and waiting and waiting for something to come through, and nothing happens until the LAST minute. Talk about extreme patience and trust building. Lately, God has been revealing to me the importance of different seasons in life. He sends us through different storms, different mountains, different valleys, all to equip us and prepare us for what He has planned for us. It’s amazing to me how many times this keeps coming to my attention at church, through friends (like Gloria who actually just wrote something similar this week), through His word. Time and time again, the Lord shows me that He uses seasons, time, and different places to equip us and prepare us for what’s ahead. More than anything, He has shown me how important it is to delight myself in Him.
Over the last year in my life, God has changed my direction countless times. One minute I was heading towards something, and then the next moment, I just wasn’t with no explanation other than God. This has applied to every area of my life: health, relationships, work, living arrangements, volunteer work, writing career – you name it, and it’s probably happened. I was diagnosed with a crazy hormone deficiency on top of a severe immune deficiency last fall, which completely changed my routine. Suddenly in my early 20’s, I had to go get IV’s in my arm two to three times a week for four months. I was sitting there with people in their 60’s and 70’s getting cancer treatments who kept constantly (and very sweetly I might add) asking why I was back there with them. “Who knows,” I said. It was news to me that a hormone imbalance could send your body into such a downward health spin.
For a solid year I was moving to Nashville, TN, and then within one weekend, I wasn’t. I was packed and ready to move. I had going-away presents packed into boxes along with my clothes and my cooking utensils. I had my newly covered couch, side chairs, side tables, vases, and bed all ready to go. My move had been held off because of a flood, yes, a flood, and delayed renovations due to stubborn insurance adjusters. Finally, when the weekend came when I could move, I had dinner plans that completely changed my path. One minute, I was applying for a job, and praying desperately for it, then I got the email for the meeting where I was told that I got it, and then because of a miraculous movement of God, I had to turn it down. Another job practically dropped into my inbox right around the same time. One I didn’t even look for. God was looking for me. And then to top it all off, the biggest surprise yet was ignited because of a picture of myself and my best friend. Samuel, a man whom I had never met, but knew only by name through Gloria, saw my picture on her facebook page and thought he should tell her that her friend had interesting facial expressions and eyes. Gloria jokingly told him that he should just tell me himself.
So he did.
And now we are getting married.
Yes, I’m serious.
I’m telling you: this year has taken the cake on the things God will do to completely shock me.
So I’m learning. I’m learning to embrace each season. I’m learning to take my hands completely off circumstances. I’m learning that the best way to plan is through prayer. I’m learning that I can make plans, but God makes bigger plans. I’m learning to just relax when God does change my plans. A year ago, I would have had a panic attack if you told me that I wouldn’t be moving to music city, I wouldn’t be taking the job that I really wanted, and I wouldn’t be single. What…what…and what. None of the above sounded good to me a year ago. But God was preparing my heart and working through me, showing me, changing me, teaching me.
Sometimes we have the tendency to whine and complain when we don’t get what we’ve been praying for. Perhaps we feel like God isn’t listening, or we feel like He is taking His time. It’s human nature. However, God always knows better. God’s overall plan IS always better. Trust me.
The last year has completely proved that to me. Here is the biggest example. I was in the midst of planning and packing for Nashville, TN when someone asked me about my plans. I made a very truthful passing comment. I said something along the lines that I was moving to Nashville, but if I could move anywhere, I would be moving to Seattle, Washington. In my heart I had been wanting to move to Seattle for two years, but I knew there was no way. I had just quietly said to God that I would love if I could move there one day, but I hadn’t given it much thought. I had set my eyes on Nashville, and I was content and excited about that.
Where do you think Samuel was living and working when we started dating?
I know. He’s from North Carolina only 35 minutes from where I live. But he, like me, wanted to be in Seattle. He only came back to be near me. After he proposed, the first coherent thing he said to me was that we were moving to Seattle after the wedding.
Talk about an unexpected blessing.
God knew what I wanted. He knew the deepest desire of my heart. I had no intentions of trying to move to Seattle, but instead God prepared a Godly man who had the same desires who could move us to Seattle. Talk about a blessing. God blessed me with the man that I had been praying for for years. Everyone who knows us, knows it’s God’s doing. Samuel and I fit each other better than I could ever even dream someone fitting me. We are male and female versions of one another. We have similar temperaments, identical personalities, complementary interests, and deep-rooted Christian values. I could never imagine being with someone else.
The times when God surprises us are the best in the world. God knows what’s best for His children. We have a very limited view of our circumstances, but God can see the overall picture. He knows what’s going to happen a month from now, a year from now. It is up to us to trust Him when things come our way.
Truly begin to delight yourself in Him. Put your trust in the Lord. Seek His will for your life. Be patience. And don’t be shocked when He shows up and surprises you with things you haven’t even dreamed of.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4