As I was a part of the moving sea of women bundled up with coats, gloves, scarfs, toboggans through the Marta station I thought how God must've felt about that. How delighted He must have felt watching us as we intentionally made our way to the venue, knowing we all, in our individual-ness, needed something from this conference. I smile thinking how He already knew which speaker would have words like salve to each woman attending. How He knew which song would strike a chord in someone. How He knew that healing and hope would be found among some of those women. He must've chuckled seeing the weather not stop us, nor dampen our spirits. It's no small feat for moms, wives, to leave behind children and the responsibilities, so a victory was claimed once we all arrived safely.
I'm thankful for having the opportunity to praise my God with old friends, new friends, my blood sister and so many other sisters in Christ. Looking around and seeing so many women desperately seeking their God does something to ones heart. Putting away the everydayness to just be in the moment, to absorb a word is priceless. I'm thankful that I endured, overcame and went.
This conference also made me realize how thankful I am in the here and now of life. After hearing a few of the speakers speak Friday night, after an eventful Marta ride back we made it to our hotel. As tired as we may have been I'm sure a few had the feeling like one of the speakers or songs was meant just for them. My 3 roommates and I rehashed a bit and one spoke up and said, "wow! Each of those women has a story to tell, I just don't have a story like that." I immediately said, "Careful what you say." I remember a few years ago thinking how mundane my spiritual story was. How, if I'd been asked to give my testimony how uninteresting and boring it would be. I remember thinking what would my story be at the end of my life.
Ahem----fast forward a few years and boy do I have a story. Not only do I have a story but I have "changed my life story." I've regretted saying, "watch what you say" since last Friday night. I should have kept my mouth closed because those words make me sound like I don't like my story. I've said before that I would have chosen a different way for a "changed my life" experience, a different way to get to experience my God. However, as time moves on and I'm able to see Gods plans in action, I'm realizing and coming to terms that my story is just that...my story. My story is Gods plan for me. He planned all that I've lived through to be 'my story.' He chose me for this path. He chose me to mother 3 fatherless children, He chose me to have to change and be the strong one. He chose me to be the main character for this unfinished story.
As the pages continue to turn I'm coming to terms in accepting and being thankful for my story. I've often said that I know people will grow tired of me telling my story, the cancer, death of a husband story, I also remember my sister TD telling me He wasn't finished with my story. So 6 years ago maybe just part of it. Big part? Yes! Only part? No! Time has a way of revealing new chapters, and I've become happy about turning the pages. The anticipation of what the next chapters hold make me smile, make me anxious, makes
me know trusting God is all I can do. He holds the pen/keyboard and even though I may not always like or understand His story for me I'm learning to trust. I told a special someone in a conversation that we've got to learn to be thankful and live in the here and now. To appreciate living in the moment. Hard words to live by. So hard not to worry about next month, next year, next 10 years. Why is it so hard to trust God when we know He planned the here and now. What about the future? Why is it so hard to turn the pages when we know He is the most perfect Author. Why do we question Him when we can flip the pages backwards and read the words of our past and we can see that His story has been perfect for us? Even when the words from past chapters bring us back to hurt, suffering, and questions-- we can see what He was doing, that His plan has always been perfect...bringing us to the here and now.
~"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."~Isaiah 43:19
Dear God, thank you for my story. Thank you for knowing what I need, when I need it. Thank you for your perfect timing. Thank you for holding the pen that writes out my story...past, present and future. Thank you for the characters in my story that you use to fill my life. Thank you for the suffering, the joyful times. Thank you for helping me understand that You know. You know what I need when I need it. You know what characters in my story exit and enter my life. Thank you for helping me be eager to turn the pages for the future. Thank you for the pages to flip back to as to remind me how perfect your plan really is. Help me to be thankful for my here and now. In Jesus' sweet name. Amen.
This ones dedicated to you J! Thank you for my here and now.