Tuesday, September 23, 2014

detours

*This is a post that I wrote a few months ago but am just now publishing.*

I don't know why it surprises me every time I experience the Lord speaking very specifically to me about my particular circumstances at a given time. I don't always feel that heart-piercing conviction when the words of the Bible, a worship song, or a friend seem to leap off the page/screen/tongue and straight to my heart, or the quiet certainty that I was placed in the way of a word or idea just at the right time. I don't even experience it frequently, but I have experienced it often enough that I don't know why it continues to surprise and amaze me every single time. I suppose it is good, though, to have moments when the whirlwind of every day life slows enough to make me stop and stand in awe of our God.

Thus far, 2014 has been a very difficult year for our family for various reasons. Watching my loved ones in pain and then being out of commission myself for health reasons (I'm ok and on the mend!) has been hard but has also made me appreciate the normal routine I so hoped to get back to when I was unwell. Part of what has been so hard in the past few months is letting go of my plans and expectations as we have dealt with unforeseen difficulties. Intellectually, I know that God is in control and will steer us where He wants us to go, but emotionally, I am still grieving the loss of what I thought would be and is not.

Aside from other difficulties my family has undergone recently, I have recently gone through a long, drawn-out ordeal involving a miscarriage, trips to the ER, surgery and 4 nights in the hospital, and some other unanswered questions and complications that almost sent me to an oncologist. I am so thankful to be on the mend and feeling almost back to normal but am surprised to find pockets of emotional pain that seem to pop up now and then. These things are difficult for me to share, but I think that for my own healing and perhaps for the encouragement of someone else going through a tough situation, it is good for me to share and reflect.

Through the roller coaster of emotions and the strange twists and turns of events over the past few months, I am amazed at how the Lord has taken care of me. I am learning more about being aware of and in tune with His presence (still have a long way to go!) and have seen how He blesses us through the love and service of others. Now that we are coming out of crisis mode and have more time to breathe and reflect, I still struggle with the loss and with the uncertainty of what will be next. As my husband and I pray and talk and think and plan and try to fumble our way through choosing the right path at the crossroads, I am so thankful for the encouragement shared in my homework today in Beth Moore's "Children of the Day" Bible study. She talked about how she used to see her destiny as something fragile and was anxious about making the right decisions about what to do at different points in her life, but that now she believes that whether we make decisions with certainty and strong conviction or with unsettling uncertainty, "God is at the helm" and uses even the detours to get us where He wants us to be. This sounds pretty trite but is such a good reminder when I find myself feeling anxious about what decisions will be best for our family. She pointed out that the letter of 1 Thessalonians was written as a substitute for Paul's presence with the Thessalonians, which at the time must have seemed like a detour but ended up being part of God's perfect plan for His word to be preserved in the Bible. May He use all my detours, including the ones I caused or chose as well as the ones caused by circumstances outside of my control, to bring glory to Himself and to make Himself known.

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