Posted by: bellissimanh | February 3, 2009

Dreams – Mine, and His

This wonderful post from Lisa at My Passionate Pursuit about planning sent me down memory lane. 🙂

When my sister and I were young (I’m thinking 8-10 years old), we spent much time dreaming about our future. We spent hours poring over the Sears Catalog and clipping out “photos” to put in a scrapbook.

The scrapbook included pictures of our future husbands (the most handsome ones we could find, of course), our children (no spaghetti faces in THIS album, let me tell you – each was sparkling clean and the most adorable imaginable!), even our home furnishings – carpets, curtains, furniture. We each had it all neatly packaged in our scrapbooks – the perfect life.

Life rarely turns out like we planned. Lisa made very good note of this verse from Proverbs:

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless, the Lord’s counsel — that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

I remember watching a Chonda Pierce video one time and listening as she told very personal details of her life story. She described having watched a presentation by David Wilkerson of “The Cross and the Switchblade” fame, and thinking, “Man… he’s got a testimony. I wanna get me one of those!” I could so identify with her as she explained through her tears, “I wanted a testimony. And I got one. Only it wasn’t the one I wanted.”

The road of my past is littered with frost heaves and potholes — mistakes and failures that I’d often like to forget. My life certainly doesn’t resemble (nor has it EVER) the clippings tucked away in that scrapbook of dreams.

But I wouldn’t change a thing. Honestly. I am where I am today because of the path the Lord has allowed me to walk. I know things about His character that I might never have grasped had I not experienced some of the pain and heartache that has pebbled the path. There are certain joys and triumphs that never would have been realized had it not been for disappointments and defeats that had to come before. I have the family that I have now as a result of the steps the Lord ordained for me to walk in. I have the ministry that I have now because of the things He has allowed to enter my life. I have the relationship with HIM that I have now because He has proven Himself to be faithful through each step of the way.

And He has used all of it as a Refiner’s fire — so that I can become the woman He designed for me to be. His dream for my life is so much bigger than my own… so much more significant than anything I could ever come up with myself. He’s the Master Planner.

“A man’s heart plans His way, but the Lord directs His steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done — saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure…” (Isaiah 46:10)

“A man’s steps are of the LORD; how then can a man understand His own way?” (Proverbs 20:24)

My prayer…

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

And my comfort…

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24)

Oh holy Father, I am so thankful to be on this journey with You. Thank You for being sovereign over my life. Thank You for the good times as well as the difficult and painful times. Your mercy toward me is overwhelming. I am in awe of You. You have fit the pieces of my life together so beautifully. It’s a design I never could have pictured myself, and yet it’s perfect. Living this life with You, day by day, is BETTER than my own dreams for my life. I want to walk in the steps that You have ordained for me… help me to see Your guiding touch as You lead me on, upholding me with Your right hand. You are beyond my comprehension, Lord. You have given me a testimony. It may not be the one I would have chosen for myself, but it is indeed the one that I needed… and one that glorifies You. Thank You for being faithful through it all. Thank You for teaching me to trust that You know best, and how to rest in that. I love You, Lord.

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Responses

  1. We talked about this very topic yesterday in my small group ladies Bible study. I, too, have a past that I am less than proud of, but out of it God has crafted the woman that I am today. To the praise of His glorious grace, He is the master Crafter–taking worthless shards and turning them into something that He can use for His kingdom!!!

    Great post!

    Leah

  2. I’m humbled to be mentioned in your blog and thank you for always being an encouragement to me. The words of your prayer (word for word)express my heart cry! I look forward to seeing where our journeys with the Lord will take us next. One thing is for sure, they will be a testimony of God’s faithfulness to his beloved.
    Blessings – Lisa!

  3. How true this is. I can relate to the section that talked about wanting a testimony. I remember thinking mine was so boring and wishing I could say I was saved from “something”! Later I realized I was saved from ever starting all those things.

  4. Thank you Heather… I know these things, but it’s about time I’m reminded – I am today who I am – and all that has happened has been a process of bringing me closer to God and to knowing who He is. In my weaknesses he is made strong – and that is another aspect of seeing Him – and can see it in the lives of my kids…

  5. I often think that I wish I had done things differently or had walked a different path.. I have sooooooo many regrets.. BUT.. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had taken one step differently.. I did what I did and I am who I am.. I am just thankful that God in His infinite grace and mercy has bestowed some of it upon me..

  6. Heather, I can’t even begin to tell you how your life reads like mine, in this writing. Though I’m sure our paths are entirely different, I know that I am who I am because of my past and where I found God, reaching for my hand along the way.

    He is my Rock, my Redeemer.

    Love to you,
    Yolanda

    ps: I so enjoyed this, thank you!

  7. It’s no surprise that when I read this post, I immediately thought of God’s sovereignty! Praise God that He knows the plan, even when I don’t!

    Xandra


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