A Surprising Life

I am thankful that I serve and follow a God who is never surprised.  When something comes and turns my world upside down, I am glad to know that God isn’t shocked by that. 
My world was turned upside down this past week by an email telling me that in three days I would be done working as a nanny.  It was an ugly situation and honestly I’m tired of rehashing the details.  I could complain and badmouth all day long, but there is nothing rewarding or helpful in that.

In any situation we find ourselves in, we can choose to look at it from one of two perspectives.  One, we can look from the human eye.  We can say, “Wow, this stinks.  How can someone treat me this way? What did I do to deserve this?  Why is life unfair?” Or, we can look through God’s eye.  We can see that nothing is unplanned with Him.  Everything has a reason and a purpose, whether we can see it now or not.  We can see that even in a shocking situation, He has been preparing us all along.
Remember all those thoughts and words about trust? I have been thinking and writing about that idea a whole lot.  I was asked by many people last semester, “Do you trust God?” 

God surprises us often but He is never surprised.  He knew I would wake up Sunday morning to a shocking email.  He knew I would call my Mom crying and she would offer words of wisdom.  He knew I would listen to words of a song that would remind me, “You never fail, and You won’t start now.” 
I’m in the midst of the mystery and I know that soon I will see His plan unfolding and understand the reasons why.  I will understand why He let my job be taken from me so unexpectedly. 
I have no choice but to trust Him.  That is always true, but I am just now learning it.  When life is comfortable and our needs are met, we can trick ourselves into thinking that either we are trusting Him when really we are trusting ourselves, or, that we do not really needto trust Him.  When comfort is removed – when the rug is pulled out from underneath – there is only one choice. 
And what is found there?  Freedom!  Suddenly my life is out of my hands.  I have no control over my destiny.  I have no idea what is coming next.  And that is okay.  Because I am choosing to trust that God is not surprised.  That He is always planning ahead.  That this is a divine disruption in my life that is going to lead to bigger and better things.

This truth was spoken to me this week: “God often takes away before He gives.”  God often demands us to give everything away before He provides.  If He had provided my next job before taking away this one, I would not have been forced to trust Him.  I would not be learning the lessons I am learning now.
In Joshua 3:8, God tells the priests of the Israelites to go stand in the Jordan River.  In verse 13, God tells them that as soon as they stand in the river He will part it for them.
Mark Batterson talks about the importance of this in his book, “Wild Goose Chase”.  He says, “I think this was a spiritual test.  I think God wanted to see if the priests had enough faith to get their feet wet. And if they were willing to take that first step of faith, then He would miraculously part the Jordan River” (pg. 31). 
I’m not claiming that I am an example of taking a step of faith.  In fact, if it were written like my story it would have to say something like, “And the priests refused to step into the river, so God forcibly pushed them in till they were soaked.” 

The lesson is that in our loss God shows up.  We can trust that He is not surprised by what surprises us.  My Dad so wisely reminded me that every detail of our lives is filtered through the hands of God.  Nothing that happens to us is out of His control.  There is a strange comfort in that.
I am not writing this with my next job lined up.  I haven’t experienced the fulfillment of the plan or the miracle.  I am in the middle of loss and pain, and just want to share the lessons being learned.  Life doesn’t happen the way we expect it to, and that is for our best. 
In the tough and ugly times of life, we learn to trust God. 
When the car battery is dead, we can trust God. 
When we find out we will have find a new home soon, we can trust God. 
When someone close to us dies, we can trust God.
When a job is lost unexpectedly, we can trust God.
There is already a long list of things going wrong in 2014 for people I know.  But we are all choosing to trust that God works all things together for good. 
My favorite verse says:

“Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

I am realizing that choosing to follow and trust God means becoming okay with a life that will surprise me.  We have to “plan to be surprised” daily by God, because His surprises are so much better than our plans. 
Like this much better…

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I write to process, and sometimes send those thoughts out into the void. Passionate about Jesus and people and bringing those two together. Living in and loving Denver. Working with college students, who are the coolest. Seeking Jesus and JOY in everything.

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