Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day Twenty Four: Not what we expected

Sometimes things don't go quite the way we plan--have you noticed?

My brother takes this idea so seriously that he and my sister-in-law have made a special effort to teach their kids to roll with change. After all, life goes a lot more smoothly when you're not stopped in your tracks every time you don't get the job, the girl, etc. Wise parents, huh?

Not much of anything in my life has gone the way I thought it would. For a long time I was the poster child for that song, "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again..." After a few wipe-outs, you either get really scared of what's gonna happen next, or you develop some skills in assessing new circumstances and moving forward with what you've got. I've done this both with God's help and without, and I highly recommend the former. It wasn't until I took a few minutes, down there in my pile of dust, to ask Jesus his thoughts on my circumstances--what to take forward, what to leave behind--that I gained any sort of momentum toward where I wanted to be in life. And a LOT of what he suggested surprised me. It's as if I thought my problem was apples, and he said, "No, your apples are fine...but your oranges, on the other hand..."

In Acts 10, pretty much everybody's expectations get blown out of the water. Cornelius is visited by an angel, Peter is told by God to eat food formerly forbidden to Jews, the Holy Spirit falls on Gentiles for the first time and it's clear God intends the good news of Jesus for everybody. This is, I think, a great representation of what life with God looks like: it's usually not at all what we expect or plan. It's BETTER somehow, when we look back on what has happened. We can't always see it when we're in it, but hindsight reveals a track record of God bringing things together for our good that's second-to-none. In the meantime, though, we just have to trust his promises and follow his lead. And if he says our oranges could uses some attention, it's probably worthwhile to listen, and do as he suggests.

Today's song: Change by Tracy Chapman. Her lyrics made my eyes go wide when I first heard them, they're so direct and to the point:

How bad, how good does it need to get?
How many losses, how much regret?
What chain reaction will cause an effect?
Makes you turn around, makes you try to explain,
Makes you forgive and forget,
Makes you change...makes you change?

I think they opened my heart a bit, too.


Natasha said...

Wow this is so timely! I am having a horrid day and I really did not feel like doing much, I just wanted to sleep till tomorrow(yeah its that bad). But you are so right, just because life throws you a fastball doesnt mean I cant get up right? Thanks again!

Liza said...

Thanks for the reminder that even if life isn't moving how I want it, doesn't mean that God doesn't have a much better plan in the mix.

Kim said...

I am humbled, grateful to the bone, and ecstatic. My prayer coming into this 40 days was that I could be published after probably 10 years of trying.

This morning I received word that one of my stories is going to be published by Samhain. I thought I'd dance and scream. I didn't. I hit my knees, said "thank you," over and over again and balled like a baby. God did this for me. I am so happy that I can praise Him right here and now. The novella is about redemption and love everlasting. And God plays a big part in it.

Hang in there guys. Keep the faith.

Sarakastic said...

Super congrats Kim! Change is one of my favorite songs. I need to remember that just because my prayers weren't answered in exactly the way that I wanted them doesn't mean that they weren't answered.

the teacher said...

this is what i needed to hear. while i feel like i am moving forward, i am being challenged to the max (i feel). i can get a little impatient and bitter about my prayers not being answered. i question what i am doing wrong. ...then i read your entry, Kim. i smiled so big! it is proof, that God is helping us. i want the better plan, i want what God has for me. i will wait. :)

Kim said...

Thank you, guys.

My prayer is that you will see yours answered as well.

God is great!

Liza said...

Congrats Kim! You'll have to let everyone know when you have a release date.

Larramie said...

How wonderful, Kim, and this is just the beginning! After all change is going to come, we just need to believe it's for the best.

Suzanne said...

Congrats Kim!

This journey is really teaching me to ask God for directions...and to wait and hope that this time He really will direct my steps. I feel more confident as the days go by.

Stephanie said...

I don't know if my job interview went as great as I had hoped. But either way it ends up going, I am trying to look on the brightside. I will just pick myself up and start all over again. :)

heiress said...

Kim, congratulations, God is so good. Reading about your prayer being answered really uplifted my spirits, I know God is with us.

ForstRose said...

I've found at least for me even when things don't turn out how I wanted, His plan is millions of times better in the end although it often takes me alot of fighting before I realize and "get it". I know this and yet I still fight when it isn't my way. I have found in looking back though that usually God is either freeing me from something I am "settling" for because it's there or He is protecting me from an experience that He doesn't want for me even if His way of getting me out before things go off the deep end with me in the midst of it all seems likes the most horrible thing that could happen at the time. And amazingly whatever He is shielding me from (even if I never know what that was) is bound to be tons worse than the experiences I rant about that kept me out of that pit.


Gretchen said...

This post is a day late(r)...but has had me thinking. It reminds me of the movie "Signs" where Mel's character doesn't believe in God anymore due to some of the tragedies that happened to his family. Then his faith gets renewed through very unusual circumstances...I've been reading other faith-related blogs that have me thinking and praying again through a very painful and difficult time in my and my family's life, and I'm starting to anticipate how God will "turn things around" or deepen my appreciation of His hand in my life. I'm really sure that none of what happened will go to waste, even the pain and the grief.


Kwana said...

Kim, I'm too thrilled for words for you. major congrats. God is so awesome!

Anonymous said...

wish i had been home to read this this morning. i need to get on my knees and ask God what i need to take forward and what i need to leave behind. i am scared to ask bc i do not think i will like the answer. i do have to close my eyes and trust bc He graciously has better planned for me than i could ever dream. i absolutely do not deserve it for as paul said i am the sinner of sinners. thanks be to God for His amazing grace!