While the New Year is waiting to be discovered in a few days, my mind is being drawn to the unfolding of this past year and all the years preceding it.
How many times do we ask ourselves where God is in our lives, and what difference can we possibly make in the lives of those around us or in the world?
Looking at things day to day, it is difficult to see where Divine Intervention may be at work…much as it is difficult to see the subtle physical changes in the ones we see every day. From one day to the next, we do not really see faces and bodies change. It is in the looking back that we can see the change from one year to the next.
Sometimes, it is only in the looking back that opens our eyes to where the Lord has worked in our lives. In ways that seemed to be insignificant at the time…the Lord worked through our faith steps and our choices, to create something of great value and beauty. A beauty that He already knew was there…and was weaving a masterpiece, behind the scenes, to reveal that loveliness to us.
We live our lives day to day, making the small and huge decisions that are set in front of us. Those choices create realities in our lives…positive and negative.
However, even the decisions we’ve made that weren’t the best, could be used by God for good. For He is always seeking ways to draw us to Himself. Our sins and bad choices, could be a vessel of good, when we repent and ask the Lord to work through us to touch others in His Love.
I have been thinking a lot about some decisions that I have made throughout the years…and how God worked His love and mercy through them. Sometimes, in ways that I could never even fathom.
How could I have known:
That my mother’s decision to make a call to an old friend regarding a job for my seventeen year old self, and my decision to apply for that position, would lead me to meeting my future husband, and two of my best friends. Being that the job was in a restaurant, and I was a waitress, there were many things I learned…such as responsibility, humility, and the faint beginnings of “people skills.”
That my decision to date a boy, (my future husband,) versus a boyfriend that I had held onto in my heart for a few years, would lead me to an amazingly wonderful man, and to the loving marriage that we are now blessed with. That one decision, led to our two sons, their wives, and now…grandchildren. There were twists and turns, however, God was always there, working our daily choices into something beautiful.
That the decision to attend a “Christ Renews His Parish” renewal weekend at our Church, would open my heart to the Love of Jesus, and place me on the path to a real relationship with Him. The Lord used my tiny step in faith on that weekend, to change me from believing there is a God (in my head) to knowing there is a God. (in my heart) A HUGE difference in my life. An even bigger difference once Joe (my husband) made his own decision to attend the men’s weekend!
That the decision to join a Multi Level Marketing Company, would open me up to great personal growth. Slowly, but surely, I learned to truly listen to the needs of those around me, and learned that integrity and authenticity were crucial in Christian life. I also was guided into public speaking…one of my hugest fears. There were times where I spoke to an audience of over a thousand people. And I enjoyed it, because I was sharing about something I believed in, and sharing my heart. Looking back now, I see how the Lord used that business to teach me the foundation of getting to know my true self.
That the decision to bring my mother to live with us after my dad passed away, would lead me to knowing love in a way I never could have planned on my own. That the daily ups and downs, and also the little tidbits that I would learn about my mother, would lead me to know her in a way that I never did while growing up. And then to be the one that God chose to care for her during her end of life. The perfect love that permeated the room around my mom during her last days with us on this earth, has never left me. It was tangible…I could literally feel the presence of The Holy Spirit, and also knew that she was experiencing heaven before she passed away.
That the decision to considerably downsize our belongings, and move across the country to CA near our son and daughter in law, would lead us to the incredible experience and privilege of being a part of their lives…a part of our grandson’s life. And now, our younger son and his wife are expecting our first granddaughter, and we are much closer than we were to their home in Denver, where hopefully we will be a part of her life as well. That move also brought us to new friends, and new ways to serve God by being His vessel.
None of these decisions and their consequences along the way were easy, and the changes orchestrated by God sometimes took longer than I would have planned for myself. However, the Lord is weaving a masterpiece that includes much more than me. We are all connected, as the Body of Christ, and there are consequences to our actions that affect others, in a direction that we are unable to see.
I have learned to trust in the Lord with all of my heart, instead of just focusing on myself. Because…And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
All things work together, for those that love Him…even when we sin and our choices are not the best. That is when He is working the closest in our lives.
May the Lord open your eyes to the ways he has worked in your life through the choices you have made, and may He carry you in His love, wisdom, peace and mercy throughout the New Year!