Over dinner last week, three friends and I discussed old-fashioned, paper planners, which we still use. I actually started a new one this month. There’s something fresh about clean pages to begin the next 18 months.
Thing is, my life usually doesn’t look like my calendar. Sometimes the best laid plans aren’t the best. A week ago, my calendar reminded me God’s got the details figured out.
While walking into the hospital for my daughter’s ENT-related appointment, we ran into an attorney friend who offered unsolicited but valuable advice.
Then my kids were invited to a friend’s house about an hour after I realized I need childcare to me available for a dear friend walking through a hard season.
The encounter and text invitation were divinely timed. They impacted Tuesday and the days to come. And, you know, I originally thought the kids and I would be spending last Tuesday at a nearby water park.
Of course, I didn’t realize it would be 75 degrees in mid-July. The Maker of it all – our calendar, our relationships, the weather and the universe – still manages to surprise us in such delightful ways.
While God’s been orchestrating details, I’ve been learning about an even deeper level of community. Darkness does that sometimes. Light can be easier to find when people come together and trust each other with their stories.
My heart has been heavy for some people who have been walking through darkness. A friend’s marriage is crumbling. A woman I’ve gotten to know recently is starting over as the program that was helping her abandoned its mission, but, thankfully, she’s still committed to healing. A college friend shared with me a mental health past I didn’t realize he had that is still affecting his life today. Another college friend struggled with infertility and is now hoping all goes well with the babies – yes, plural – growing inside her after a successful IVF procedure.
These people aren’t satisfied to stay in the darkness. They’re taking steps toward healing and protecting and surviving. But like a Casting Crowns song says, life isn’t about surviving but rather thriving.
God’s light seeps through this temporary darkness and changes us. My new friend who is starting over stood up yesterday in church and praised God despite her hard week. And she put the purpose of life into words: God turned her mess into a message.
Life is messy sometimes. But we don’t have to settle for making it through. God wants to author messages out of our messes. These messages speak of God’s faithfulness and love, so let’s not be afraid to share them.
I’m joining my friend Jen Ferguson for the weekly Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Gathering, where people share the messages that have come from their messes. Then on Wednesday I linked with Beth Stiff for Three Word Wednesday, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, and Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory.
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