I was up to my ears in grace today, left shaking my head in wonder, and grabbing another tissue to dot at the corner of my eyes. Why am I always so surprised by our God, is it possible that I still do not understand the way He loves me, my children, you, us? Will I ever learn to expect the way He moves?
Last night my plans for Jack's upcoming surgery got flipped upside down and I was left feeling stunned and scared and hurt and confused. But eventually I felt his peace seeping into my heart, I could hear his word spoken, great are the plans I have you, plans to give you a hope and a future, plans for your good and not for harm.
I should have seen it coming, just the day before I had started to fret about the surgery and so I began to take control: to plan and make lists and assure myself that as long as I was in control everything was going to be okay. As I lay in bed unable to sleep that night, my brain buzzing with all it's plans, he reminded me, I am in control, not you, and you can trust me, I love my son, Jack, more than you could ever hope or imagine. How easily I forget these children are not mine, how easily I trick myself into thinking that my plans are best, my love is greatest.
I have been praying for some time now for God to bless us with deep abiding friendships here in this town, and until today, I had yet to take the time to stop and see just how faithful He had been in answering that pray. Due to our change of plans, I had to send an email out to several friends asking something that felt like too much to ask. When did my pride become so large that I decided that I could do life alone, when did I forget that He has asked us to live as community, as people who lay down their lives for each other, and we don't always get to be the ones laying something down.
Almost immediately I began to get enthusiastic yeses, as if they understood my reluctance and wanted to convince me that indeed they wanted to help. By the time I checked back this evening almost everyone had emailed back to tell me they'd happily do it. And he nudged my heart again, look and see, I have never asked you to do it on your own, I go before you, I prepare the way, my plan for you is always full of goodness, always beauty from ashes, always best.
As I began to throw some random food together and call it dinner one of my best friends stopped by just to drop off a present for Jack and just to see me. She caught me up on the latest in her life, made me laugh, and hugged me twice. Of all the days, she knew to come by tonight to remind me that she is here, that there is nothing I have to do alone.
Just when I thought that I had experienced all the love God had to give, hah! I received a note from a friend who had no idea what had been going on in my life, no idea what her note would mean to me. She told me how, in the middle of the night before my plans were tossed aside, God had pressed down on her to pray for us, for Jack and his surgery, for me, for peace and wisdom. I was so moved to have a friend who prays for me in the middle of the night, and even more so to be reminded that we are always on our Father's heart. That he is talking about me to her so that she could pray for me, so that He can move in my life. He knew what the upcoming day held for me and He was actively going about preparing my heart.
Today was quite a day, looking back on it it feels a little bit unreal. And I almost missed all of it, there was a moment right before I sent out the email that I thought I was making a mistake in asking for help, that instead I should try and find a babysitter, but I recognized the lie and pressed on. I almost settled for trusting in my plan, in my ability to control things, and missed out on Him, and the joy of living within the family of God.
I am a slow learner, so I come and I write, even though I'm a bit shaky at it. I write to remind myself as I have so many times before, this is what God did today.
And we remember that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purposes.