Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What More Could a Girl Ask For?

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men Gang aft a-gley” ~ Robert Burns

Translation:  The best laid schemes of Mice and Men often go awry.

I recently discovered those “awry” plans not only happen to “mice and men”, but this can also happen to lovely ladies such as ourselves.  If you think you’re shocked, imagine how I felt.  🙂  I mean, we’re fabulous, right?!  Sadly, fabulousNESS can and DOES occasionally go awry.

I greeted the sunrise, two Saturdays ago, with well thought out plans for a jam packed day that I had been looking forward to all week long.  My to-do list was to begin with brownie baking in the morning and end with good food, good friends, and the melodies of smooth jazz serenading me under a beautiful sunset in the evening.  Sprinkled in between were a few errands and some scheduled downtime.  It was definitely going to be a lovely day.  What more could a girl ask for?

Well, it’s a pity I didn’t think to ask for my day to go AS PLANNED.  LOL….  Beginning sometime around 7:30am my plans sprouted wings like eagles and soared, never to be seen again.

I made one teeny tiny mistake that sent my day into a mighty tailspin.  What was the mistake?  Are you ready for this?  I locked my keys in the car.  Oh, it gets better.  The car was running.  Oh yes.  Hey!  If you’re going to go, go all out; that’s what I say!!!  LOL…

My day was derailed by waiting 3 hours for a locksmith, a detour to an auto service center to figure out WHY the car just STOPPED running while it was sitting (yes, I had plenty of gas in it), blah, blah, blah….  So, nix the smell of brownies baking; squelch the sounds of smooth jazz wafting through the air.  Instead, insert a frozen dinner and an early ending to an unexpectedly exhausting day filled with detours and foiled plans.  Say it with me now, “Awwwwww!”  🙁

I’ll be honest.  I did question why the Lord didn’t allow my Saturday to go as planned.  I’m not sure I ever got an official answer, but here are a few things I found in the detour:

  • I was reminded to count it all joy when I experience various trials (James 1:2).  For once, instead of unraveling along with my plans, through God’s wisdom (because Monica just is NOT that together on her own), I was able to consider the many things I have to be thankful for and commenced to thanking God for them while waiting for the Locksmith to arrive (did I mention it took him THREE HOURS? LOL).
  • I was reminded that sometimes the detours of our days, of our lives, are God’s maintenance plan.  They are a part of His perfect plan of protection for us.  Although we may not understand, we should receive them as such, trusting that He always knows best.
  • Finally, I was reminded that life happens.  Yet God, my Father, is never removed from the happenings of my life.  So, when (notice I did not use the word “if”) my best laid plans begin to scatter like marbles fallen from a paper bag onto a concrete, I can always find peace in the Order that is His presence right in the thick of it all.

Now…..what more could a girl ask for?!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Ties That Bind

I changed my cell phone number a couple of weeks ago.  I know.  Not the most exciting intro, huh?  Well stick with me; it gets at least a smidge deeper.  I awakened one Thursday morning and busied myself with my morning routine.  Out of blue I heard, “change your phone number.”  I immediately knew it was God, because it definitely wasn’t me.

For those of you who know me, you know I had somewhat of a secret love affair with my phone number.  LOL!  I’m laughing, but it’s SO true.  I’d had the number for 14 years.  That’s a huge amount of time in mobile phone years, especially since the mobile phone itself really isn’t very old. It was probably the longest, ongoing relationship I had (outside of my family).  I had come to be, in some ways, identified by it.  I know this all sounds really weird, but these are all things I really learned in hindsight.

The number represented the city I loved and “grew up” in.  I never thought I’d leave Atlanta.  Although I’ve left a total of 3 times since moving there originally in December 1995, I never let go of that phone number.  It’s been from North Carolina to Tennessee and all stops back in the ATL in between.  It truly had become a part of my identity.  However, what I failed to realize all these years, was what part of my life the number truly represented.

On the day I changed my number, the Lord was gracious enough to explain to me why He commanded me to do so.  You see, my identity during the bulk of the  years I had that number was entangled in someone else, someone who didn’t know who he was at the time either.  The number was symbolic of that past, a former me, a mere shell of who I truly was and who God had created me to be.  I was so incomplete back then, didn’t even know I needed to be set free.

Freedom has finally come.  PRAISE GOD!!!!!! The Lord confirmed for me that my time in Atlanta is finally over (at least for this season).  Will I ever go back?  Who knows?  I go where He sends me, but for now, I’m residing in my land of promise and my life is finally tasting like the milk and honey that flows here for me.  SWEET!!! So, I needed to let go of anything tying me to my past, and that phone number was the last little string that I had given not a second thought.

I know what you’re thinking.  “But it was JUST a number.”  Let me help you out with that.  Several years ago, when I lived in Tennessee previously, I received a phone call.  One evening, out of the blue, my phone rings.  Who’s on the other line?  You guessed it.  That blast from my past.  How could he reach me?  Because the number was the same as it was so many years ago when we were in a relationship.  That number was the tie that binds.

My life is SO beginning to gel right now, and I don’t want anything to hold me back, tying me to my past.  If you’re tied to something you either can’t move at all or you move very slowly.  I’ve been tied to this number, a symbol of my past, for a good 10 or 11 years BEYOND the testimony(meaning beyond the end of the relationship that was not of God).  WOW!

It’s funny how something that simple could be so powerful and how changing it could be so scary.  Yep!  I was nervous, folks!!  Looking back, I’m so glad I was instantly obedient to the voice of the Lord.  I knew it was time.  Hasta la vista BABY!!! I don’t know, but I think I just may have opened a GRAND door to my future by closing that tiny little crack to my past.  I’ll keep you posted. 😉  In the meantime, what’s tying you down.  Doesn’t hurt to check for strings every now and then….you know….just in case. 🙂

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wisdom speaks: Thy will be done

Last night, a young man died. I know you’re probably thinking, “a young man dies EVERY night.” Tis true, but this time I knew about it. I didn’t know the young man, nor do I know his family. I was brought into this story by a simple request for prayer from someone who does have a personal relationship with this family.

He was just a teen, a Pastor’s son, fatally injured in an automobile crash. I was just one of many who were asked to pray and stand in faith for a miraculous recovery and continuance of this young man’s life. I did just that. I remember cautiously navigating the hills and curves of a signature Tennessee road and asking the Lord, if it be His will, to spare this young man’s life and make him a living testimony. This morning I found that the Lord had other plans and exercised His sovereignty in a way that, I can only imagine, this family was simply not ready for.

I was told that a large number of family, friends, and church members gathered and travailed in prayer over this young man at the hospital. Because of the presence of this group (really it was the presence of the Lord) other patients on the hall began requesting prayer on their own behalves. Can you imagine the scene? These people are gathered with the common goal, to stand fast in pray and faith for the manifested, miraculous, glorious healing of this one young man. They were gathered to seek the Lord for His supernatural intervention, because they know He is capable. They didn’t come to pray over other patients. But I’m sure they did.

In the meantime, the Father had already decided He would take this young man home. So what if that’s what it was all for? A tragic accident, a teen on full life support, a hospital prayer vigil…. What if the Lord allowed this dreadful occurrence that would leave this family grieving the sudden loss of their loved one, just so some family, somewhere down the hall could rejoice over the healing of their loved one? Would God do that?

Today, my sister and I chatted a bit about this. Later on, completely unaware that the death of a stranger would touch me this way, I began to ask myself, “What if God took this young man’s life so that someone else’s life might be saved?” What if He takes my life or your life so that someone else may come to know Him or receive healing on earth?  Do we understand that our lives are not our own?  Do we fully understand that God is sovereign? Do we understand what that means? Often, we’re not very happy with the sovereign side of God unless, of course, His sovereignty equals some blessing for us.

I found out that this young man was an organ donor. WOW! What if God took him so that someone could receive that heart, kidney, or liver transplant they’ve been waiting for and praying for? Would God do that? Sure He would. If it will cause someone to know Him or magnify and glorify His name, sure He would! Think about it….He already did. God traded the life of His only son for your life and for my life. He sent Him to die so that we could live. He did it way back then, and He will do it again.

So what does this have to do with wisdom, virtue, or rubies? Well, isn’t there some wisdom to be found in a story like this? To know wisdom is to know God. To know God is to first understand that He is sovereign. Even Jesus, when He was in the garden preparing to face the cross, would have been pretty geeked if the Father had offered another way to write this redemption story. Jesus even asked for another way. Check it out in the 26th chapter of the book of Matthew. Yet at the end of his petition for a “cross alternative”, Jesus ended his prayer with the words, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39 KJV Wisdom accepts that God is sovereign. One may not always understand this concept; Lord knows, I don’t always understand it. But I try to accept it. I try to remember that my life is not my own, and at the end of every prayer I try to remember to pray as Jesus prayed, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” The Lord reminded me that I spoke a variation of those same words at the end of my prayer for this young man. With that revelation I simply whispered, “Wow Lord. I sure did.”