I was hit by a closed door this past week. It surprised me, it was unexpected, I was left shocked and confused. Perhaps I didn’t even realize the expectations and emphasis I had placed on this plan in my life until suddenly it was apparent that this path I had envisioned was not going to be a reality in my life. I tried to take the news like a “wo-man” – be appropriate to the messenger, show gratitude for time in explaining the situation, respect the decision she was explaining – and the Lord answered my prayer… until I returned to my car, then the tears flowed. My emotions surprised me. It felt as though my dreams of entering the education world again had been shattered. Had I been holding onto something more tightly than I thought? Perhaps it wasn’t even mine to hold onto?
In the moments after given the news that Hilliard did not have an opening for me to substitute teach, I found myself left with a few choices. Confused as to how my seemingly-perfect plan was slipping into oblivion, I viewed my options. I could attempt to hold onto and re-live my original plan – perhaps I could speak with my principal? I could broaden my scope, perhaps shifting my options to apply to different school districts? I could simply take a look at my dilemma – a crisis of where my worth lies (ouch). In my desire to help contribute to the family financially, I wasn’t seeing where to go from here…
In all my “openness” with the Lord, I sensed a silence. It was in this silence that I faced the reality of my so-called beliefs. If I proclaim my Lord to be all-knowing (sovereign), if I proclaim to trust in His plan for my life, if I proclaim to know that He is my provider, then I must choose to trust His promises, not my fleeting momentary feelings (and my desire to throw a fit and get my way!) It’s in those feelings that I can approach my Jesus and talk through everything with Him. What a precious time to know He accepts me in it all. In the end, I must choose, His plan or mine. Where does my faith lie?
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
As the day progressed, I returned a phone call to a friend who shared a story with me (provision #1), my best friend and husband listened and affirmed me above and beyond (provision #2), my heart was filled with peace, not answers, but peace (provision #3). As I sit here one week later, I am nothing but humbled. Through nothing but a simple act of obedience three weeks ago, he has not only provided a financial opportunity, but he has provided 3, yes 3! Not only does this opportunity fit my desire to place my family needs first, not only do I have an opportunity to build relationships in the process, but also these opportunities provide more income per hour than I would have earned in “my plan”! I’m not joking. AND, He too chose to bless me even with an opportunity to walk alongside a beautiful lady doing ministry that involves both speaking and running, what??
That’s my God!
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
And you know what else… dreams still shatter. My dear friend Amanda, the one I posted about just 3 days ago, experienced this just yesterday. While riding her bike, she was hit by a car. She is facing surgery, and the death of her dream to run the race on Sunday. A first look, one might indeed say it was a shattered dream. Or perhaps, just perhaps, her sovereign Lord has a different plan, a better plan. Maybe one that has provided her protection from something else yet to come, a plan that will shape her character into one that’s more and more like her Christ, or perhaps, as with me, it’s not a death of a dream, but a death to “self” – an opportunity to place our trust in Him.
Will you choose to hold onto this truth today, written in Jeremiah 29?
11 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. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.