Last week I shared with you about one of my loveliest blessings. Then, I asked you some questions. I asked you to identify your “lovely.” I asked you to think about how you respond when your “lovely” shifts from what you expect to something different.
This week let’s chat about how we respond when “the different happens,” when your lovely goes in a different direction than what you once dreamed.
I’ll be really honest and tell you that when my lovely changed, I sank into the deep seas of loss, anger, and hopelessness. Crushed by the waves of discouragement, disappointment, doubt, and fear, I had never really found myself in this type of rough water.
My daughter, Leanna, is my loveliest of lovelies. I described her entrance into the world in last week’s post, as the end of January marked her eleventh year of life. I also spoke of my plans, hopes, and dreams for her. You know, those things that many mommas want for their baby girls – ballet lessons, prom, college, and eventually marriage and babies.
When Leanna turned four, however, we began to suspect she had a cognitive disability that would hinder her further development. After much testing these suspicions were confirmed and the different happened. That which never entered my mind, became our reality. Gone were the plans, the hopes and dreams or at least so I assumed. I was left with nothing but questions, fear, doubt and disappointment.
What would her life be like? Would she ever take ballet, go to prom, or get married? What was her life (and mine) going to look like?
I’d like to tell you that I have all the answers to those questions, but the truth – I don’t. What I will tell you is that just because the different happens, doesn’t mean hope ends. In fact, it is when the lovely shifts that we find that different makes room for overflowing hope, grace upon grace, and a new opportunity to build your faith and trust in your Creator.
No, different isn’t “bad.” Different is just different. The lovely may shift, but it becomes even more precious to you.
I have learned more about God in the last seven years of my life, than I had in the thirty-something prior. God has allowed me to see His grace at work in her life and mine. He has shown me that hope isn’t a thing, nor is hope a last resort when all else fails. Hope is a person and that person is Jesus Christ.
When Jesus slept in the boat with His disciples, and the storm began to rage around them, do you remember what He said?
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” – Matthew 8:23-27
Jesus reminded His disciples that fear wasn’t necessary, but faith was essential.
Friends, if the winds and waves obey the King of kings and Lord of lords, who are we to doubt His sovereign authority over our lives? Jesus can do anything! And that which He doesn’t choose to “fix,” He will pour His grace upon.
So think about this question again:
- When your lovely shifts, does everything change to loss or does the lovely become even more precious, refining you and your most treasured possession into something even more magnificent?
I’m not saying that my lovely is easy, but what I am saying is that my lovely is part of God’s plan and will bring Him much glory. My lovely is even more delightful to me now than when she graced me with her presence that wintery January afternoon, and I know she is even more precious to the One who created her.
Okay, so what I had thought was going to be sunshine and daffodils turned into a messy little mud puddle, but have you ever just tossed your umbrella to the side and decided to dance in the rain, play in the puddles, and get soaking wet?
My life may be a perfect mess sometimes, but at least I get the thrill of living it to the full.
She has taught me more, challenged me more, and caused me to turn to Jesus more than anyone in my lifetime! She is my ray of sunshine, hope, and joy! She has made my life more fulfilling and built in me more depth of character than I could have managed in the perfect world I had created. She is altogether lovely, and I thank God for choosing to give me the privilege of being her momma.
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8
- What storm are you facing today?
- Will you ask Jesus to calm the winds and waves in your situation?
- Will you ask Him to create something lovely out of your “messy little mud puddle” today?