Here’s the thing. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this blog. Similar to Brenda, I had a picture in mind of how I thought things would unfold. But as usual, God has His own ideas and plans.
I have discovered I am going on an unexpected journey. God seems to be using this blog and my experiences around it, to to help shape me and push me out of my comfort zone
It all started with the various blog posts. Each one of them initiated a series of replies and exchanges both on the blog site and as I met with women in the community. The blogs were like prompts, drawing women into honest exchanges, pushing self-awareness and a sharing of hearts. I have been blessed to be part of these discussions.
Providentially, even as Brenda was writing the last blog post it prompted a series of thoughtful exchanges between us. We had open and honest dialogue about how we thought it best to write the article. We discovered that by working alongside one another, we could encourage and challenge each other in grace and truth. Through our discussions we learned about each other and ourselves, and these insights prompted growth. Consequently, our trust in each other has grown and our friendship has deepened.
In a recent email, thanking me for these conversations, Brenda made some humorous, but insightful comments worth sharing. She wrote, “Please note that it will take some time for me to complete the course of BLOG 101….it appears that the Blog course I find myself on is making me take HEART 101 as well…. Apparently they are intertwined… And God continues to smile at me.”
Her comments made me think of a portable billboard sign I saw once as we were driving down the road where we lived in the Okanagan. It said, “If you want to make God smile, make plans.”
Isn’t that just how life is? How often do we make plans thinking we are heading one direction or that we are going to learn one thing, but God has other, divine intentions for us? In this case, Brenda and I have been thinking that we were going to learn how to create a blog or write a blog post. In the meanwhile, God is planning and paving a different path for us.
Yes, we are learning the basics of “BLOG 101”, but in reality He wants to enroll in another course as well. He has asked us to enroll in “HEART 101”, a course that is strengthening and stretching our hearts.
I do think God smiles at us when we embark on some new path, setting out, confident with our own narrow, human expectations and vision. Totally unaware of the yet unknown, yet unseen things God has in store for us. And God just smiles and shakes His head, knowing that He has far grander, nobler plans designed for us. He is so patient with us as we stumble our way into the courses He has marked and prepared for us.
As we commit to God’s plans, to courses that are far beyond, far more demanding and challenging then we ever imagined, we need grace for others and ourselves. We too need to smile for even imagining He would allow us to settle for anything else.