Monday, February 4, 2008

The Long Road to Here

Monday Morning in a Bedroom Community

We did not go to church yesterday because my little one was sick. Coughing, runny nose, ill-tempered. My son spent the weekend at our best friends' home, which was nice. Having one child is so easy when you are used to 2~! So we just had a lazy, uneventful weekend.

I did want to hear the intended message this week......We have been attending a church since we moved here that is a change in denomination for us. I am enjoying the relaxed worship and the uplifting music, my kids love the kids stuff and my husband loves the coffee! The messages have been about the bedroom community that we live in- the family of today, specifically in this town.
The just of the series: Why are you here at this point in your life??? Here in Helena ???
I know everyone has a story. Some more intriguing than others. But I, now more than ever, believe that I was directed here, to this place, for many reasons that are beginning to unfold.

I have heard my brother and many other Christians tell stories of things that happened in life that gave me chills- things that I knew were extraordinary and not of man. But as I reflect on the last 3 years of my life...probably longer if I over-analyze- (which I am very good at, BTW)--I can see a path that is beginning to emerge that had to be planned, unbeknownst to me, well in advance.
I could be lots of places at this point in my life. But I am here.
I am faced with choices about where my life will venture next.
I am still trying to sort out all the how's and why's of the past events, despite my best efforts to forget about it and move to the future.
I know that God has a hand in everything. If I told you the long story of the events that got me here, and the small, unbelievable puzzle pieces that at first had to be glued miraculously fit perfectly--you would see that all the things, both good and bad, that have happened in my family- all lead me to HERE and NOW ...... and could have only lead HERE and NOW.
So my prayer is that I will reflect on what has happened, thank God for the bright sunshine and major storms, and figure out what I was to learn from them......
it all ?????
........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...
We all like that part of the verse. But --in context, look what it says. It is not a happy New Testament verse, but a verse smack dab in the midst of despair.
Jer 29:10-14 (NIV)
But LOOK at the big picture, in context.
This is what the Lord says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
Plans to prosper us are not immediate or without a period of exile. We are good at picking the happy snippets of the Bible and putting them on our mirror, but looking at the big picture is not always that easy. I guess being in exile in no fun, but never coming out of it is even worse. We will only emerge from the land of exile when we seek God's plan for us with all our heart. Not an easy task! Almost as hard as the exile part!

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