Does it seem as though when you are considering a life decision such as a major purchase or a change in your situation, there are constant reminders and reinforcements? I have often heard people say, “I’m planning on purchasing a new car and now I see those cars everywhere.” I’m confident there are no more of those cars currently than several months ago. However, awareness of them is now more evident.
Over these past eight years as I’ve had to accept a “new normal” for my life, God has placed many people on my journey as prompts or an awareness that I’m not alone. Most have been butterflies; merely flitting by for a few days or weeks, but then flew off to pursue their life. As my daughter reminded me years ago, God brings us the people or things we need “for that season.”
One of those persons that very briefly crossed my path gave me a gift; a book by Jeff Manion on “finding God in difficult transitions”. I’ve read numerous books during these past eight years which were referred to me or given as gifts, during my own “difficult transition.” Do you ever read or hear something that makes you feel as though someone was present in your life? The words they speak are what you have been living. As I read a passage from Jeff’s book, I realize there are common threads for all going through evolutions.
As Jeff shared of a friend going through a divorce and the frustration over the division of the property, Jeff cited years from now, none of that would matter. However, it was as though he had known my heart and mind when he stated, “but the decisions of the heart made in this troubled space could affect Tony’s life fifteen years later…he would need to walk through the stages of grief, as he worked to process the betrayal, heartache and loss…Tony was in the process of deciding who he was becoming…it is critical to recognize that not simply the hardship, but also the reaction to the hardship is forming us.”
Leslie Koh reminds us that even when Paul was doing the work, he believed God asked him to do, Jesus stopped him. Paul’s work was needed more elsewhere. Leslie notes, “It’s sensible to make plans. A well-known adage goes, “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.” But God may disrupt our plans with His own. Our challenge is to listen and obey…As we continue to make plans, we can add a new twist: Plan to listen. Listen to God’s plan.”
I’ve offered many thanks during these past eight years; thanks for allowing me to see and understand situations I might not, if my life had been as I planned. I’m grateful for the reminder there is still time for God to use me; to form me for what He desires of me.
Proverbs 19:21 NIV, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”