Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When Our Intentions Don't Match up with our Reality. (Part 1)

Sometimes, our plans don't work out as we intended. 

Like today, I'm sitting here icing my ankle instead playing tennis. We DID play, but then my ankle rolled and down I went. 
(And um, no, I'm not Serena Williams, but this offered up a great image for when life doesn't go according to OUR intentions!)

What do we do when faced with a situation when what happens doesn't line up with our intentions???

We have a choice.

We could complain. We could whine. We could think of how much better it would have been.

But that doesn't change the current reality. And, it only makes our hearts more downtrodden.

OR, we could choose to praise Him…for the fact that we DID get a good 20 minutes of playing time before I fell. 

That I got the grocery run in before we played. (It'd be much harder to do that limping around the store!)

That I can now sit and finally blog…

So a change in plans, can be a GOOD thing, if we open our minds to accept it.

And that's a little bit like what I've been wanting to blog about.

Back when I was 15 years old, I was an emotional puddle at the foot of the cross. I realized for the first time what it meant that "Jesus died on the cross for MY sins," and I was aching to respond.

But I had a choice.

Why didn't I go running into the arms of Jesus as I longed to?


What was I afraid of?

Are you ready?

Being BORED.

I knew a bunch of church-going kind of people that lived boring, flat lives. I saw them my whole life. And I didn't want to join them!

I knew the word COMPLACENT well. And I finally stepped forward in faith with the prayer that I never ever become complacent in my faith. Ever.

I think God must have thought, "Oh silly girl, I will not allow you to slow down long enough to grow complacent. Come on this journey with me!"

Thankfully, and only by His Spirit, did I say yes to Jesus and began my walk of faith.

That's been a LOT of years ago now.

And He has been faithful. I have not grown complacent. I am too busy walking with Him in these amazing adventures to be complacent.

In my husband's terminology, we gave God a blank check for our lives. We have offered ourselves up to Him time and time again. Always wanting to say YES to Jesus when He asks something of us.

And that's scary. Why? Because often Jesus asks us to do things that are waaaay out beyond ourselves. And then, He allows things that we thought we had all sewn up nice and tidy to fall apart.

I think the "WHY??" here (in case you are asking) is so that we will depend on HIM and not on ourselves.)

There are many things God has chosen to do in our lives were NOT our intentions…at least not many of them! 

We did NOT intend to lose babies to miscarriage.

We certainly did NOT intend to have Oskar die at 39 weeks…so close to birth. Ugh. This still sends me reeling.

We did not choose our current location, nor did we even choose to adopt a large portion of our family. 

God did these things. Or depending on how we look at evil in the world, God ALLOWED these things to happen.

But our attitude in response to them makes all the difference. After our first child died, at 5 months gestation, I spoke on the phone with a fellow mom of twins who had the same exact situation. 

She was the MOST bitter person I'd ever encountered.

And she scared me silly. 

As angry as I was that I lost one of my twin babies, a dream I'd had for my whole life, I did not want to become bitter like her.

And so, my response to this "change of plans" was to allow Him to grow me.

It was ugly. It was hard work. And it didn't come to full completion until I lost another baby. 

(really? yes. gah!)

Sometimes, the ways of God look so messed up to us! But He has a gentle, loving plan and if we allow Him, He works it out in our hearts beautifully.

I never foresaw becoming a mother to many nations. I never foresaw living in a small American town. I never foresaw having special needs children. 

But now, I cannot imagine who I would be if these things were not true of me.

Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end if leads to death."

I am so glad that God gets to decide what happens in my life, and not me. (She says with a throbbing ankle and drippy, melting ice soaking her sock.)

It comes down to a choice of acting in faith. 

Will I look at this from MY HUMAN perspective or will I permit myself the joy to allow God's HOLY perspective to win?

If I choose my perspective I will:
*shrink back in fear
*grumble and complain
*give excuses
*live a sad version of my life

If I choose God's perspective I will:
*KNOW that He has a plan that it incomprehensible to my limited mind
*TRUST that He is good, in spite of what circumstances might "prove"
*ACT based on His promises
       ~that He is GOOD
       ~that He is LOVING
       ~that He is with me
       ~that He has gone before me and is already working
*live a life fully dependent upon God's strength, because there's no other way to survive once we obey the radical things He calls us to do (THIS IS THE OPPOSITE OF LIVING A COMPLACENT LIFE!!)

This is a "Part 1" blog post. There is something NEW on the horizon for me, for us, and God has blown us away with it all. 

It was not our intention. 

It was not our design.

But it IS His, and soon, I'll tell you!

Stay tuned!

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1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree, Amy! Wow - God's work and His plans blow me away all the time. I am so thankful that He continues to pursue me even when I don't respond the way I should. I love watching Him work in your life and in your family. I love you, sweet friend! HUGS


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