Finding God’s Will can often seem like staring at two jigsaw puzzles with the pieces all mixed together. Which piece goes to which puzzle? And what image are we piecing together?
I’m not a famous artist but I remember how my mom ( who is a famous artist ) taught me how to draw a tree. It’s a series of Y’s. I drew this in my journal one day as I thought about the different choices I’ve made all trying to be in God’s Will.
Life sends me to a Y in the path, so I take a left. A few feet later, I meet another Y, choose a road only to find two more afterwards. After a while those two decisions grow and grow until the choices on one side of the tree intersect with the other side. All that to say, turns out, it’s all God’s tree!
Sometimes I stress over if I’m supposed to do this or that – have a conversation today, go to Brookshires or Walmart, move, stay, homeschool, the possibility list is endless.
At the end of the road, it’s God who directs our paths, even though we carefully planned the course. Maybe it wasn’t the perfect time for that conversation, or wasn’t the perfect job change, time to have kids – but because God is Sovereign and His ways unfathomable, He takes my mess ups and wrong turns and leads me back to Him.
Now that we are all confused, I have a story.
I told you last week our family is going to Kenya! We can’t believe it. My husband and I just returned from there in November of 2014. Our kids insisted it was time for them to go. We also support a Compassion Child not far from the ministry we partner with. How amazing would it be, we thought, to be able to visit him too?!
So we prayed about it. Now, as a fellow blogger puts it, prayer is not an ointment, or a perfume to put on that makes this Christian life smell better. It’s our life-line.
Our family would gather in the living room nightly, and pray that God would provide a way for the 5 of us to travel to Kenya and see Lighthouse for Christ together and visit our Compassion Child.
Days turned to weeks and we got to the point we needed an answer. My mind wouldn’t stop thinking about the trip. But we didn’t have the thousands of dollars needed for the plane ticket.
We knew God would get us there if it was His will. The week we decided was the deadline for the decision, my husband got a text from a friend whom he’d partnered in business with. They had sold the business and a check was on the way, she just needed to know what our address was.
We couldn’t believe it. God had heard and answered our prayers. Two weeks later the amount we needed to purchase 5 tickets to Kenya lay in our hand. We booked our flight and fastened our mental seat-belt for what God had in store.
So after passports came immunizations for the kids. Not every place does children’s travel vaccines, so I checked the CDC website for a list of locations. I chose the first clinic on the list and dialed the number. It was a Thursday and all I got was a voicemail instructing me to leave my travel info and they would get back with me after they researched our options. They said they return all calls by Friday. “Great,” I thought, “that’s tomorrow.”
Friday came and went with no call from the clinic. When Tuesday rolled around, I called again. Same thing.
“Leave a message and we’ll get back to you by Friday.”
I didn’t leave a message – already did! I noticed they had an on-line form I could submit electronically. So I went there, filled out the form, clicked the submit button and a message popped up saying that was an invalid function! What!? Tried it several more times to no avail.
Pulled the CDC website up again for travel vaccines in my area and called the next in line. Out of service. The place I went to two years ago had shut down. Tried one more place…voice mail telling me to leave a message. By this point I am mad. And frustrated.
Hang with me…
I bow my head and pray, “Lord, you have provided the ticket money. We are going. Please show me where you would have me get the kids immunized.”
I call the next and final clinic in our area, which happens to be under the same mother company as the kid’s pediatrician (which we haven’t seen in 4 years so probably aren’t still patients!). Someone actually picks up the phone! I tell them I have 3 children that I need to vaccinate for a trip to Kenya.
There’s a long pause on the other end for a minute while the lady processed what I said, then she said, “OK, yes we do travel vaccinations, hold on a minute.”
So I hold, wondering what’s next. She comes back on the line and said they’ll need their shot record. This is what I dreaded…I don’t have a clue where their shot record is, and who knows if our pediatrician has a copy, for we’ve moved doctors several times.
I was just about the share this with her when she interrupted my thoughts with, “Oh, I see they have been here before. Let me see if I can pull up their records.”
My heart is pounding at this point. She was able to pull up the shot records and we were able to get an appointment. When I hung up the phone, my hands were shaking. I heard a voice whisper in my head, “I knew my plans for you when you scheduled your first doctor appointment for Caleb (1st child) when he was born.”
He knew. I’ve come to so many Ys in my path and made so many decisions – some foolish, some wise – since then and yet, at this tree branch intersection God brought a seemingly insignificant decision full circle and used it to show me He is Big.
My kids are immunized, the tickets are purchased and I am in Awe at my God!