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Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

When life doesn’t turn out the way you planned

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Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.


I lie in bed at night, listening to the nocturnal sounds of my house, like the refrigerator humming, my husband’s bipap machine blowing air, and frequent thumps on the deck outside, that I know to be the arrival of our local raccoon family. The peacefulness that comes just prior to midnight is sometimes the only quiet time of my day. It’s a good time to talk to the Lord. It’s a good time to reflect upon the day’s activities, and to wonder what comes next. When I’m really exhausted, it’s good to soak up the peace. If I’m not careful though, it becomes a time to feed doubts and fears about what’s next.


Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way we planned it. I planned to continue in the career I loved, pastoral counseling, until I was too old or the Lord told me to quit. I had envisioned my husband and I travelling, serving in some community projects together, writing, and spending our retirement doing ministry and things we hadn’t had time for while working. Then cancer arrived at our door.


This isn’t about the cancer. It’s not about my disappointments.  It’s a reminder to you that you might have all kinds of wonderful plans for your future --- and they just might get toppled into the waste basket in a day. How do we get past what ‘ought to be’ and really live in ‘what is’? I want you to consider this question, just in case you may need to know.


We can spend all our lives attending church, quoting scripture and being the nice Christian. The real test is when life turns upside down and nothing makes any sense. Nothing is as you had envisioned. Where do you go from there? It’s so easy to fling out scriptures to others who are facing tough challenges, but what happens when you are the one standing in those shoes?


The reality is that for those who don’t have a firm foundation in Christ, all those memorized verses will just fly right out the window. Despair hangs heavy overhead. You hit the bottom line really hard: you either trust God or you don’t. He understands our disappointments and all the emotions that accompany shattered dreams. He’ll comfort us and redirect our thoughts and plans, if we let Him. But to live in His perfect peace, you will not get there without knowing Him personally, believing His Word and testing Him out in it.


I am still a work in progress. I don’t pretend to have it all together--sometimes I cry and shout at God and say it’s not fair. But...when I’m lying there in the dark, soaking in the quiet of the night, I know that I know that I know, that He still has a purpose for my life. It’s not what I planned at all. It’s not fun, or pleasant, or enjoyable. I’m just being honest. But I understand how He molds us and refines us and then uses us, because, after all, it’s not about me. It’s about Him: Jehovah, Emmanuel, Yahweh, Yeshua, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Whatever He chooses to do with my life, it’s His to do. It’s mine to surrender to that and find peace and joy, knowing I’m bound for the Promised Land.  This world is not my home. What I do and who I am while I’m here is only fruitful, is only valuable at any level, if I am rooted and grounded in Him. He is my salvation. Be sure you know that more than you know anything else. Know who you Christ. Rock solid. Work on it now. You’ll never regret it.


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"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" "Masked in Deceit,"  and Faith's Illusions are all available now.  Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit and Faith's Illusions, Christian novels, are available from Amazon. All books are offered in ebook versions as well.  I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites.  Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.



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Have a blessed day!
 - Nancy

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