Tag Archives: plans

What steps?

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What steps?

I love time spent with my closest of friends. Whether we shop, have dinner, drink coffee, or talk on the phone together, I am blessed to have a very small gathering of close, godly, prayerful friends in my life. I am confident that I could call on any of these select few and they will be available to help. What a privilege to have a friend! The Lord is so good to place those in our lives to help encourage and pray for each other. He certainly knew what He was doing when He created us for fellowship.

While having dinner together, one of my “besties” and I were sharing our hearts and prayer requests with each other, as we typically do whenever we meet. We both were feeling a little fearful of the future and where it might take us. My friend reminded me of a scripture. It’s a fairly common scripture and one I’ve read dozens of times throughout my life but the Lord must have known it was then that I needed to be reminded of it. It brought me so much comfort and encouraged my soul at a time when I desperately needed this truth planted in my heart.

We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.              (Proverbs 16:9, CEV)

This scripture reminded me of the truth of God’s Word, which I was desperate to hear. You see, my emotions were starting to take over, threatening to drag a dark cloud over me. Overwhelm was trying to sneak into my mind, causing my already anxious heart to fear the unknown. Once again, the enemy was on the ready to deceive me, cause me to doubt, and throw the spear of fear my way. Reminded of His Word, I was quickly jostled back into God’s economy, where peace overcame me once again.

I needed to be reminded that sure, I can and should ponder, pray, prepare, and make some plans based on how the Lord is leading me. Having a constant awareness of His presence helps me to see His perspective, rather than my distorted, short-sighted one. I need to know that it is He who directs me and orders my steps. Also insightful are the additional references that Matthew Henry’s Commentary provides on this particular scripture:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15, NIV)

Now may our God and Father Himself, and Jesus our Lord guide our steps to you [by removing the obstacles that stand in our way]. (1 Thessalonians 3:11, AMP)

So, as you forge ahead in the new year, remember to ask Him to yield your will to His, and to open and close doors of opportunity according to His perfect plans for your life. His way may look completely different from the plans you’ve desired for yourself; in fact, they may initially look absurd. Rest assured, He knows best, so we can release our desire to control into His very capable hands. As I continue in my daily reading of His Word, I feel more confident of the unknowns in my life for it is He who goes before me.

 

 

“Happy Mother’s Day!”

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These words used to bring tears to my eyes. Tears for a couple of reasons, actually. I had a wonderful, loving, godly, fun, best-friend kind of Mom for 23 years of my life. She was the nurturing type, full of mercy, peace, and grace. She poured into me, sacrificed in huge ways, and most importantly led me to Christ. God called her home at 47 years of age. For many years, I was conflicted with ‘why God did you take her from me when I loved her and needed her so much?’ and thoughts of being at peace knowing she was safely in the arms of her loving Jesus, free from pain. Sprinkle in the tormenting thoughts of ‘why does Jesus heal some, and yet others have to suffer, gaining their ultimate healing?‘ If I’m being honest, I still struggle with some of these emotions, and probably will until Jesus takes me home.

As time passed, after *marriage, I never thought I’d hear the words “Happy Mother’s Day!” I watched and celebrated my friends who were celebrating their pregnancies and subsequent births of their bundles of joy. While I was truly happy for them, I found it increasingly more difficult to hide my own feelings of desperately wanting to be a Mom and have a child of my own. Eventually, we found ourselves on the path to fertility treatment. It was a lonely, depressing world of disappointment upon disappointment; not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on a hope unrealized.

God had other plans for my husband and me. Unaware at the time, we faithfully prayed and trusted Him for direction and wisdom. The Lord kept opening our eyes to adoption. While it took me awhile to warm up to the idea, God slowly prepared me for a new journey. I have to admit, this path is not for the faint of heart. We went to training in and out-of-state, completed physical exams, psychiatric exams, interviews, background checks, counseling, mounds of paperwork, home visits, and created a book of pictures introducing our family to birth mothers who would then choose a prospective adoptive couple. As my husband jokingly says, “we did everything short of having a body cavity search”.

Nearly two years into our process of becoming a “waiting family” or “paper pregnant” as they call it, we found ourselves fighting disappointment when we still hadn’t been contacted by our agency that a birth mother had looked at our profile, wanting to meet us. It was then that God showed up in a big way! The Lord led us to our precious birth mother through some friends. Ironically we met with her for the first time near Mother’s Day. It was this initial meeting which led to accompanying her to doctor’s appointments, long chats over lunch, meeting her family and at long last, joining her in the delivery room as our baby boy was born! Truly, what at first appeared to us as our “Plan B” quickly turned into God’s “Plan A” for our family. We could not have asked for a more beautiful story had we written it ourselves. God was in every single detail.

I struggled trusting God that He would answer our prayers for a child of our own. The enemy hurled doubt left and right. The Lord, however, held our hands and affirmed us throughout our journey to our son even when our fears threatened to take over. The Lord continued to speak to us not only through our own prayers, but through others as well. We felt encouraged and edified, almost as if God was carrying us through til the very end. He was faithful and would not let go.

As my husband and I often tell our son, “God made us a family”. And, He did. Undeniably one of the most difficult holidays of the year for me, Mother’s Day, has now become one of the most joyous days of my life. God heard our cries for a child and He answered our prayers. God’s ways are often not our ways; His plans are not always our plans, and His timing is often not our timing. Know that He can be trusted with the longings of our heart. He is a good, good Father.

*marriage-another God story of how God brought my husband to me in His timing, not my own.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. (Psalm 145:17, NIV)

So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. (James 1:17, MSG)

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (Psalm 57:10, NIV)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7, NIV)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,… (Ephesians 3:20)

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. (Psalm 34:18, MSG)

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.          (1 Samuel 1:27, NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)