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Rainbow in a field

Hope Amid Disaster

I woke this past Saturday at 5:30 am, and my blood turned to ice despite being under layers of covers. My husband and I got up early to hit the gym before my son’s wrestling match and turned on the news. The Governor of Kentucky stood in front of a podium, and the electronic banner beneath him read, Massive tornado hits Kentucky. The screen changed to a map of a red line that ran straight up the state’s western side—right to where my parents lived.

I grabbed my phone and texted them: Are you all right?

I waited for their response, all the while sending up S.O.S. prayers for their protection and remaining glued to the T.V. screen.

Minutes ticked by. No response.

I felt helpless being so far away. It was 5:30, and my parents could have still been sleeping. Or, they could have been buried under rubble. I must have checked my phone twenty times as I tried to go about my day as usual, but I couldn’t shake the niggling fear of what if…

At 7:30, my mom texted me back, stating they were fine, and I breathed a deep sigh of relief.
Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same.

It breaks my heart to see the devastation that was wrought in Western Kentucky. Tears fill my eyes thinking of the presents that had been under Christmas trees, children who had been asleep in their beds, moms and dads who were resting up for the weekend holiday plans, and then it was all gone.
I wish I could say this was a singular occurrence, that things would get better, but the truth is our world is fallen. The Bible says the earth will groan as we draw closer to the end of the age, and things will get worse until God establishes a new heaven on earth.

Thanks for the uplifting message, Lorri. I can imagine the sarcasm, but this is the reason Christmas exists.

Jesus came to bring light into the darkness and hope to a fallen world. It is in these dark times that God’s love shines brightest. We may have to live in a world with tragedy and natural disasters, but we don’t have to live in despair. God works everything for his good, and He raises beauty out of ashes.

candle

Because of Christmas and the birth of Christ, we can hold onto hope. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”

Christianity thrives in the worst of times. Look at how the Christian church grew under the diabolic reign of Roman Empire Nero; look how it’s expanded in China and now is spreading in the Middle East and Northern Africa. God’s light shines brightest in the darkness.

Hope came into this desperate and lost world in the form of a baby in a manager. Jesus lived and died so that we might cling to hope, knowing death has been defeated. He also commissioned us to spread His light to others until He returns once more.

The world may seem dark, but soon there won’t be a need for the sun because God’s radiance will shine in its place.

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icicles

Ice Doesn’t Melt at 31 Degrees

We had our first snow up in New England the day after Thanksgiving. There’s nothing like frosty weather to set us in the mood for Christmas. For some of us (usually those who still have shopping to do), the big day comes much too fast. For others, especially over-excited children, Christmas day can’t arrive fast enough. When my boys were younger, we always had to do a Christmas chain or advent calendar so they could see the days getting closer. Otherwise, I’d be plagued with, “How many more days?”

Waiting can be excruciating.

When I train any new greeters to the first impressions team at my church, I have them envision the father of the prodigal son watching the horizon, day in and day out, hoping to spy the silhouette of his son in the distance. Or I have them picture a mother who gets on her knees every morning and in earnest prays for her son or daughter to come back to the Lord. Every day they prayed, and each day they battled discouragement when nothing changed. However, this could be the day. The prodigal son could wake up and realize he doesn’t need to starve to death and can return home to his father’s house. This could be the day that a daughter, who had nowhere else to turn, remembers her friend who invited her to church. Today could be the day, and if you were the mother whose knees were worn from praying or the father whose eyes were strained from staring at the horizon, how would you want your son or daughter to be welcomed?

Waiting can be frustrating

dog waiting

Nothing happens to water until it reaches 32 degrees. Until that marker, ice won’t melt and water won’t freeze, but once the temperature hits that degree, things start to happen. Life can be a lot like water. We wait and we wait, and nothing seems to happen. I remember growing so frustrated in hoping for a book contract, questioning whether the desire I felt to write was actually God’s plan for my life. Discouraged was an understatement, but I kept putting my fingers to the keyboard. I’d written five and a half books (some of which will never leave my computer) before a publishing house reached out to me and then a second shortly after—all those years of hoping and waiting, and then wham, three books released in six months.

Waiting doesn’t mean forgotten

Joseph waited in a jail cell for a crime he didn’t commit, and after interpreting the baker and cupbearer’s dreams, he asked them to remember him so he could be freed. What happened after the baker and cupbearer were released from jail? Well, the baker was beheaded, but the cupbearer promptly forgot the man who’d helped him, so Joseph continued to wait in prison. It wasn’t until Pharaoh needed a dream interpreted that the cupbearer remembered Joseph and Joseph was brought before the king. In all that waiting, God never forgot about Joseph.

Waiting is a development period

Waiting can be a time for learning, developing, and understanding ourselves better. With me, I learned a lot about writing (what to do and what not to do) through those first books and by reading everything about the craft I could find. While waiting in the jail, Joseph was put in charge of managing the prisoners, which developed skills to help him later manage all of Egypt. He also grew in humility and wisdom. As a boy, Joseph hadn’t used discretion when telling his brothers about his dreams that they would someday bow down to him. Having three boys myself, I understand how such comments from a younger brother wouldn’t be well-received. God used this waiting period to teach Joseph and change his heart toward his brothers.

If you’re in a waiting period, God hasn’t forgotten about you or your prayers. Use the time to understand what God is trying to teach you, and don’t give up hope. Ice won’t melt at 31 degrees, but a lot can change with one degree.

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Uncle Same

For You

Uncle Sam

I’m writing this before the final day of the election. I don’t know if the next president will be determined by the time this blog is posted or if the new president will be announced by the end of the week, the next month, or next year. What I do know is that “He [God] controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars (Daniel 2:21 NLT).”

While so much energy, emotion, and hope has been put into the election, My husband brought up a good point. Whoever is elected president probably won’t ever know my name or yours, but God has our names carved in the palms of his hands. The president probably won’t know what we look like, but God numbered the hairs on our heads. Our president, even though he may try, won’t know our specific hopes, dreams, and fears, but God knows the desires of our hearts. He came so that we may have life and have it to the full.

Why do we put our hope in a president, when we can trust in the Almighty?

We don’t need to fear either election outcome because God is in control, and He cares deeply for His children. He left the majesty of His throne and entered the world to save His children (both red and blue-leaning). While campaigns promise us one thing or another, God came to bind up the brokenhearted, set free the captives, comfort those who morn, and create beauty out of ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3).

There is no person, platform, or position He can’t utilize to spread His love to those who need Him. What the world uses to divide us, God sets to unite us. God is that good. He is that powerful, and that awesome.

God’s not for merely Trump or Biden, God is for us, but more specifically…

He is for you.

This touched me.
You may have heard the song “The Blessing” but look at the effect it’s had worldwide. To me, this is an amazing example of how God can turn all things around for His good. While it was playing, I looked at my Youtube sidebar and there are renditions sung in multiple countries and languages. Here are just a few of them:
United Kingdom
Australia
Sweden
Ireland
Japan
In Hebrew
Canada
India
In Reggie
In Celtic
Zimbabwe
Chana
South Africa
New Zealand
Nigeria
Singapore
In Tamil
Kenya
Malaysia
South Korea
Germany
France
Nepal
In Spanish
India

God is good.

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Silhouette of man and woman

Would You Want to Be a Character in a Romance Novel?

Silhouette of man and woman

We might relish the thrill of the hero and heroine’s gazes holding a tad longer than appropriate, the quickening of pulse as their fingers brush, or the intimacy of their mingling breath as a loose strand of hair is tucked behind an ear. We might sigh with longing at those romantic moments, but my answer is a firm, no, thank you. Granted, I may have a different perspective as a writer. I spend hours creating emotionally traumatic circumstances to force my heroine and hero to endure. When they think it can’t get worse, another peril presents itself.

In The Sugar Baron’s Ring which released this week, the hero, Bradlee, must return to England with his research in time to face the dons and pass his final exams, because his father is under the presumption Bradlee has already graduated. However, a drunken captain runs the passenger ship aground on a reef. When Bradlee stops to help a man, he loses his spot in the lifeboat. The vessel, then, breaks apart, and before he plummets into the dark, swirling water, a man yells, “Shark!” And that’s just the first chapter.

If writers aren’t spiteful, ruthless people, why do we need to torture our heroes and heroines? Holding a reader’s interest isn’t the only reason. We torment our main characters because, through their struggles, readers fall in love with the redemptive story. When the black moment hits and all is lost, readers experience how hope prevails.

We see similar suffering-to-redemption examples from the Bible. Naomi, in the book of Ruth, relocates to a foreign land due to a famine, her sons marry outside of their religion, and then Naomi’s husband dies. When it seems it can’t get worse, Naomi’s sons die. Let’s look at Joseph. His jealous brothers throw him into a pit and then sell him as a slave to passing traders. Joseph works hard and tries to make the best of a bad situation, but then he’s accused of a crime he didn’t commit, thrown into jail, and forgotten. And then, there was the Apostle Paul, he was arrested for being a Christ-follower, but during his transportation to Rome to stand trial, a storm sinks the ship. He helps the crew and captives swim to the island of Malta and build a fire, wherein another almost comical stroke of bad luck, a snake bites Paul’s hand as he’s warming them.

snake with mouth open

If we didn’t know the ending, we’d think God had it out for Naomi, Joseph, and Paul. In our own lives, when things take a turn for the worst, we may wonder if God is punishing us. However, we must remember the full story. Because of those trials, Naomi’s joy was redeemed through her daughter-in-law, Ruth, and she became a grandmother in the lineage of Jesus. Joseph became Pharaoh’s righthand man and saved his family from starving to death. Paul had an opportunity to heal and witness to many of the Malta islanders.

In our black moments, we may cry out to God and feel like it falls on deaf ears, but don’t give up hope, because hope hasn’t given up on you. In those bleak times, we must remember the redemption story, not the ones from fiction novels, but from history, where Jesus faced his darkest moment on the cross and took our sins upon him so that we may have life and live it to the full.

Or as I call it, happily-ever-after.

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Architect, designer, and builder meeting over blueprints

The Rebuild Starts Today

Architect, designer, and builder meeting over blueprints

“The rebuild starts today” is the attitude my husband has taken for his businesses. It may be a bit early, but it changes the mindset to start planning for how we’re going to come out of this pandemic. For two weeks, it feels like we’ve been ostriches sticking our heads in the sand. Perhaps it’s time to raise our heads. It’s never too early to strategize about available options and develop a foundation to rebuild, maybe with a new perspective.

Ostrich

How often before March 15th, when asked, “How are you?” did we respond, “busy”?  The world was running, running, running, and then abruptly stopped. In An Echo in the Darkness part of the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers (one of my favorite series), the mother of the hero has a stroke and can no longer talk. Her life changes overnight. No longer a prominent matriarch of Roman society, God reaches her through this suffering and uses it as an opportunity to redirect her focus to pray for the spiritual salvation of her misguided daughter.

It’s time for us to raise our heads and see the opportunities God is creating for us. Maybe we should acknowledge the new shift in priorities. How are we using the extra family time we didn’t have before the pandemic? Or if living alone and can’t see friends, maybe God is giving us a chance to pray more or read our Bible.

Many of us have been glued to the news channels, following what’s going to happen next, which only tends to be bad news, followed by more bad news. In Philippians 4:8, the Bible tells us to dwell on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Easter changes the direction of focus from death to new life. The stone was rolled away. The tomb lay empty. Jesus rose from the dead. This is our opportunity to also rise from the monotony of our deadened mindsets. We hold a chance to be renewed with life.

three crosses at sunset

Let me back up a bit to Philippians 4:1. Paul reminds us to stand firm in the Lord. Not relax, sit, or lie, but to stand firm. In Philippians 4:2, he begs for unity—to be of the same mind in the Lord—not turning on each other, bickering, or nitpicking, but let your gentleness be evident to all (Philippians 4:5).

In 4:4, Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” But then he makes it a point to repeat himself to drive it home, “I will say it again, rejoice.” At Easter, we have so much for which to be joyful. The world may shake with fright, but we know Jesus has risen from the dead, and the grave no longer has a hold over us.

We have hope because we have a good God. We don’t need to fear because we have a great God.

In Philippians 4:6, it says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We don’t need to worry. Because God commands it, we can toss anxiety away like that moldy leftover smelling up the fridge. Instead, through prayer and praise, we can tell God what has been on our minds, and in Philippians 4:7 God promises that His peace, “which transcends all understanding,” will guard our hearts and minds.

So, rise and rejoice, Easter is here!

Happy Easter and flowers

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child's surprised face

God Never Gasps

Surprised face

While we panic and run out to stock up on toilet paper because we didn’t see this pandemic coming, we can be reassured God did. God is all-knowing. There are no surprises for Him.

 In October of 2001, I remember sitting at my desk and the phones not ringing for months. The world was still in shock after the 9-11 terrorist attack, and commerce had shut down. My husband and I had just purchased our first home, and his business was still in the toddler stages. No phone calls meant no customers, which meant no income to pay the new mortgage or other incoming bills.

To quote Dickenson, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I say this because it was the 9-11 realization that evil existed in the world and it was trying to kill us that drove my husband and myself to find God. We warily stepped into church seeking answers, hope, and connection, and God met us at the door like an old friend with open arms.

God didn’t create the terrorist attack, nor did he create the coronavirus, but He will use it for His good. As I look back, I can see how his hand has been preparing things within my sphere of influence behind the scenes.

  • Within the last year, my church felt compelled to launch an online campus. With Massachusetts not allowing gatherings over 25 people, we were able to hold church at home.
  • A year ago, I started writing The Merchant’s Yield, which has a main character who struggles to release the fear of sickness and death to God after moving to an island where disease is prevalent. Little did I know how relevant it would be today, and I’m praying it will get into the hands of people who need encouragement and the message that we can’t live in fear.
  • In the past six months, my husband took on the financial costs of hiring a Chaplin service for our employees who needed prayer, and it has been utilized significantly, especially recently.  

Could these be coincidences? Perhaps. But, then I remember how Jesus stood whipped and beaten to the point of death. He’d been nailed to a cross, experiencing a pain I can’t even imagine, but He called out to the disciple John, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27). While His lifeblood was being poured out for us, He was arranging for the care of his mother, Mary.

God is working. He knows every detail, every need. He doesn’t drop the ball. Evil may work to create chaos, but God turns all things around for His good (Romans 8:28).

We need to seize the opportunity. Now is the time to text, call, or use social media to reach out to those who are scared. We have a chance to be the hands and feet of Christ. God has prepared us for this moment. Fear may rule them, but we know God is in control. The world craves the peace we have, and God has given us an opening to talk freely about our eternal perspective. Now’s our chance to checkmate evil.

“For we are to God, the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:15

Hands holding earth

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There’s More to Life Than This.

After the age of twenty-one, our bodies begin to die.

I first heard this morbid declaration from one of my college professors. I remember it clearly because I had just turned twenty-one. My friend, who was nineteen leaned in and said, “Stinks to be you.”

Elderly Man who looks strangly similar to my college professor

My professor wasn’t crazy. Research shows starting at around age twenty our cells don’t sequence the way they used to in the past (How we age, The Scientist, March 2015). Think of our cell reproduction in terms of a photocopy. If you keep photocopying the original, you end up with decent copies, but if you photocopy a photocopy and then photocopy that photocopy, the quality goes down significantly. The nice term for this process is called aging.

So, what do we do when most of us still have another three-quarter of our lives to go? Do we fall into a funk? Do we long for the good old days back when our skin was still tone, and our bodies didn’t ache? Do we invest oodles of money in products and programs promising to reverse the aging process?

Can’t we get more out of life?

Absolutely! In Philippians 3: 20-21 (AMP) Paul says, “But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, will [not only] transform [but completely refashion] our earthly bodies so that they will be like His glorious resurrected body.”

Don’t focus on the shell. Instead, nourish the seed. 

growing plant held in hand

In Genesis, Adam and Eve were formed in God’s perfect image, but then the fall of man happened (when Adam and Eve ate the apple), compound that with time, and you now have bodies that are corrupted, sinful, and weakened. Our bodies all have an expiration date. However, like the seed from a tree, new life lies within the old shell. Thanks to Jesus, we can believe that someday we will shed this dying shell and be clothed in a new glorious body.

Less of me and more of Jesus

While the world (especially commercials) concentrates on the exterior, God is growing and developing us spiritually. He is making us into His likeness. Romans 12:2 states, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Since the day my professor made that statement, another 20 years have passed. I now have a few smile lines and some gray hairs poking through, but I wouldn’t change my appearance if it meant losing the work God has done in my heart during that time. I’m still a work in progress, but God is making me into a new person, one with more grace, patience, and love than the old me.

Maybelline can’t do miracles, but God can. 

Be excited for our future, because we will be made new. When the day comes, and these earthly bodies have hit their expiration, we’ll slip out of these old rags and get down in our new garbs.

“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a]including the new bodies he has promised us.” –  Romans 8:23 (NLT)

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Water drops splashing

Clean Behind Your Ears

“Did you wash behind your ears and neck?” my grandmother always Earasked before she squeezed me and kissed me there. I’d have a moment of panic knowing I’d probably forgotten. Sometimes, it was because I was in a hurry or too tired or lazy. On occasion, it was a willful act of defiance because I didn’t want to come in from playing when all my friends were still outside enjoying themselves.

It never seemed like a big deal until we’d visit my grandmother. I knew she was going to brush back my hair and perhaps find dirt. If she did, she never mentioned it. She kissed every square inch until I was squirming from the ticklish sensation.

Her kisses filled me with the hope that there is a love greater than my hidden dirt.

God’s love is like that. He sees our rebelliousness, our hidden sins. Yet, He loves us anyway. Enough to leave heaven and become human so that we might understand the extent of His love.

Back around the time of Jesus’s birth, the Israelites were waiting and praying for someone to save them from the tyrannical Roman rulers. God offered something even better—hope. It came in the unexpected form of a baby with a supernatural love to save us from our sins.

Hope is knowing that this isn’t all there is.

There is more to life than this moment.

Hope is a savior born who didn’t just come to save the day but to save us for all time.

water splashingHe washes us clean even the hidden dirt behind our ears and on the backs of our necks. He sets our eyes not on this world but on the one that is to come — one where we will have new bodies free of pain, where there are no tears, and where death has been vanquished.

That is our hope, born on Christmas day – not save from temporary troubles but to save us from our sins for all time and to give us eternity with Him. Hope is in the one who was, and is, and is to come because God is love (1 John 4:8).

“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12

 

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Woman indoor rock climbing

How Are You Anchored?

I was suspended in air. Literally not figuratively. My feet floated about a foot above the ground. I clutched the rope in a death grip as I dangled, knowing if I let go my husband would plummet to the ground.

When we first got married, I wanted to take ballroom dancing lessons. My husbandWoman indoor rock climbing is a good negotiator, so he agreed but on the condition that I’d take indoor rock climbing classes. It was a fair deal, and even though rock climbing was intimidating, I found it to be a lot like the game Twister but hanging off the side of a wall. We had a couple of lessons, and everything was going great. The instructor even decided it was time we climbed on our own.

By the time I noticed my mistake, it’s was too late.

My husband reached the top of the thirty-foot wall and signaled he was ready to repel down. I tightened my grip on the ropes and yelled back to go ahead. He released his hold and leaned back in a trust fall.

I jerked into the air like a rag doll only to come to a jarring stop as the anchor caught. My feet pedaled air, and I quickly realized what I’d done wrong. There are three slots one can hook into on the anchor rope. This important rope secures you to the ground so that when a smaller person, like myself, partners up with a big  6’3” male, we don’t go flying to the ceiling while our partner crashes to the ground. The three slots are for basically, tall, medium, and small. I should have hooked into the small, but unknowingly, I inserted my carabiner into the tall loop.

My husband instantly knew something was wrong, probably because he expected a nice easy descent but instead he dropped two feet before slamming to a halt. “Everything okay, babes?” he asked.

“Everything’s fine,” I said in a tight voice and smiled, hoping he wouldn’t notice I was suspended in air.

I eased the rope between my gloved fingers. Once his feet touched the ground, mine did also.

We laugh about it now, or at least I do. He may still my shake his head at me. But it goes to show how important it is to have a proper anchor.

Anchor“This hope [Jesus] is a safe anchor for our souls. It will never move.” – Hebrews 6:19 (NLV)

Without a proper anchor we all are like rag dolls being jerked around by our emotions, trends, and what the world tells us will make us happy. When we anchor into the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, life is no longer happening to us. It’s happening for us. We gain peace, clarity, and purpose.

When we aren’t anchored to a firm foundation, it’s easy to drift and be tossed about. When my boys leave for school, I often say, “Remember whose child you are.” If they don’t know to whom they belong or what they stand for and against, then they can be easily persuaded by whims, their friends, and charismatic adults. I want them grounded in the Rock of Ages, not grasping for earthly things that moths and rust can destroy (Matthew 6:19-20).

If you are going through motions, feeling lost, or floundering adrift, seek Jesus. But, don’t just haphazardly clip into Him like I hooked my carabiner into that anchor. Seek Him with a ready and open heart. In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Stop wandering aimlessly through life. God has a purpose and a plan for your life. His foundation is secure, and He’s waiting for your knock upon His door.

Let Him be your anchor.

Meme with anchor. 2nd verse of "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less."

Woman's praying hands

The Perfect Way of Unanswered Prayers

“Did you ever wish you had a girl?”Woman's praying hands

I froze, ornament in hand suspended midway to the tree. My middle son peered at me, his eyes seeking an answer. His question drew the attention of my youngest, and they both stared at me with unblinking eyes.

Was this one of those questions that could impact them for the rest of their lives? I could picture them lying on a couch addressing a future psychologist, “The reason I can’t hold a job or have a family is that my mother really wanted a girl.”

I am a girl, and it’s natural to want what’s familiar to you, but thankfully, we don’t always get what we want.

I hung the ornament on a limb and turned to face them with an honest answer. “At one point, yes. I thought having a girl like myself might be fun, but God had a better plan. God knew what I wanted before I realized it myself. He knew that as soon as I met you, you would be the ones I wanted, and so I’m very thankful that God went with His plan and not mine.”

Later that same night, as we were setting the table, my youngest poured the milk and asked me, “Did you have a boyfriend before Dad?”

I set a plate down and wondered what was it about today that had them asking all these questions. “Yes, I dated some boys in school.”

His eyes grew big and solemn. “Did dad know?” He whispered the words as if I’d been cheating.

Holy moly, I needed to be very clear. “No, no, no. I hadn’t met your dad yet.”

“Did you break up with them?” he asked.

“Well, some I did, but some broke up with me.”

“If you didn’t want to break up, did you want to marry them?”

Dinner could have been burning on the stove, but I wouldn’t have cared. It was one of those rare, amazing moments when you hold your child’s complete attention. I inhaled a deep breath. “At the time, I had wanted things to work out, but I’m very, very, grateful that God didn’t answer those prayers. He knew there was a better man for me—your dad.” I smiled. “God’s ways are higher than our ways. If I had married one of those men, then I wouldn’t have had you.”

I searched my son’s eyes for an indication that my elderly wisdom might have registered.

“How did the other boyfriends break up with you?” He smiled a mischevious grin. ​

Maybe it would sink in later.

All those questions reminded me to be grateful that God hadn’t answered my prayers. Back then, I had wondered where God was, why he hadn’t responded. I My boys sitting togethermourned the loss of what my mind had conceived, but God was patient with me and forgiving. All the while he was maneuvering the pieces of his puzzle into place to form a bigger picture. Looking back, I see his fingerprints everywhere. And, if I had one prayer now, it would be that my own children wouldn’t try to force the pieces of the puzzle together. That they would trust in God’s plan and relinquish their own. Psalm 18:30 says it best, “As for God, His way is perfect.”

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

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