For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11
It is a time of preparation. My heart feels full and expectant. I sit at my desk as I write this and, outside my window, the buds of poplar trees have finally leafed out enough to dance in the soft breeze. Sturdier oaks are only just beginning their process of unfurling. And yet…amidst all this northern spring, something in my soul feels dusty and deeply pregnant. I let myself settle into this sense that God has been creating a special life for me all along. I feel that He has already placed a part of me into tomorrow and yet, somehow, every moment of the present is equally important, preparing me for what is ahead.
God is being good to me. He allows me this time in the pasture with my horses and dogs. I sit in the dirt and experience long moments of complete peace. I brush burrs from the horses manes and tails for the millionth time. I go to the studio; I meet with friends; I read (a lot). For once in my life, God has given me the grace of patience. This patience does not come from a desire to wait or from a lack of curiosity, but is instead from a knowing that He is doing the deep work inside of me that needs doing so that I might survive the rest of my days with my health and well-being in tact. That dusty, deeply pregnant self within my spirit knows something that my mind cannot yet comprehend. I am grateful for the way I’m being led forward.
In the meantime, I do my best to show up for the work at hand. It is sometimes difficult. My prayers, at times, still feel like desperate pleas for help. There are moments when it feels nearly impossible to tend to today when I so very much want the fullness of tomorrow. But I’m being taught how to strip things down to their simplest forms. When I want to crawl out of my skin with boredom or anxiety or just general resistance, each time, I am gently reeled back in and reminded to use this time to learn and to bolster my soul with His words and presence. Over and over again I am reminded: I am being prepared. I relax back into the flow that has been waiting for me all along. I find easiness there. Or, at least…easier. I quit fighting with myself and relax back into the gifts of now. Grace takes the form of surrender.
to surrender to God is grace…
I’m a slow learner, but I like what is being taught.
In the past couple weeks I have had more good days than bad. This is nothing short of miraculous. Up until now, I was lucky if I had one good day. But recently I experienced 2 and then 3, 4 and then 5 good days in a row. Then a couple not-so-good days followed by more good days. Sitting in the dirt has been good for me.
God is letting me get to know Him and this causes me to feel hope. I’m given glimpses into what’s to come and it is making all the difference in this tendency towards more goodness. I don’t pretend to know anything other than my own willingness. This necklace? It is a reminder. In this one little sentence, I trust, completely.
I’ve saturated myself so thoroughly in God. As I write, I wonder if I might lose a lot of my friends along the way. And yet…I cannot help it: There is no turning back. I wouldn’t want to. Something tells me that this path is leading me somewhere extraordinary…yes, even in this life.
I lost everything the day that Carl died. I gave myself to God. I vowed that it would not be for nothing.
And I do believe
God will make it so.
Dear Abba, I love you. Thank you for plucking me from my old life. Thank you for breaking me, however painful it has been. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you, through Carl, for showing me what love really is. I am beginning to realize that it was only the beginning…
Only the beginning of
so. much. Love.
5 thoughts on “plans to give you hope and a future”
You are showing me through what you are learning in the midst of your loss of all that was most important to you how God wants to draw us ever closer…closer…and closer still.
“Grace takes the form of surrender.” This is such a very beautiful and precious insight.
God has given me such an inexplicable and unexpected Christ-centered affection and love for you even from miles away and in the process has shown me so much more of Himself. I hope that you don’t mind me saying that. It’s such a big deal and the impact of your loss and the lessons you are learning are flowing out to me and I know many others as well.
You held up in prayer daily, you are thought of with kindness, you are a shining light even in the midst of your sorrow.
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Jennifer, your comments have moved me deeply. So deeply, in fact, that I have not even been able to respond to them in the way I’ve wanted to. I don’t even know you and yet I feel that Christ-centered connection between us, too. God is good. Soooo surprisingly good in a million ways. ❤
Again your words reach into my heart and soul and take root. Not just your words, all of you. I pray that God’s plan for you continues to unfurl as you remain patient and hopeful. I’m blessed to be sharing in your journey.
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So grateful to have you along with me on this path, dear Jean.
Thank-you for your willingness to share, Jessie. Your thoughts and words are truly inspirational and encouraging.
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