My stack of dusty journals in the basement tell a story of growing, learning, and struggling through life’s battles. Scribbled prayers and Bible study notes show the burdens I carried and God’s response at any given point in time. Paging through those journals reminds me I’ve never walked alone. God has been speaking and helping every day. A little stash of past blog posts does the same–they’re a snapshot of a step on the journey.
Four summers ago, I wrote about how God’s faithful, intentional love finds me in the middle of my mess. I felt a little lost and a lot overwhelmed. Maybe you, too, feel confused about where you’re headed. You’re running as hard as you can but you always feel behind. You second-guess your decisions, feeling the pain of regret for yesterday’s choices. Let this Throwback Thursday message encourage you today. God loves you wherever you find yourself. He always does the best thing at the best time.
In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.
July 14, 2014 by Joanna Teigen
Two, Three, One, Go!
Doing things in a logical order isn’t always my strength. Poor planning shows up in the little things–forgetting to lay out my towel before my shower, so I have to drip all over the bathroom before drying off. Adopting a puppy two weeks after we put in the new carpet. Cutting my hair off two days before the wedding, so no gorgeous up-do for me. Starting a can’t-put-it-down novel early in the day, blowing any chance of a productive morning. Filling the gas tank at the end of my list of errands, so I travel from store to store on fumes. Checking the pantry for sugar after the cookie recipe is half-mixed in the bowl.
This pattern has shown up in some more impactful ways. Like, getting married before we graduated from college (i.e. choosing to live on mac and cheese in a cheap, rat-infested apartment for months. You really can live on love!). Signing up my daughter for summer camp before I was sure she was emotionally prepared to go. Pitching a fit at my husband before giving him the chance to explain his side of the story. Taking on a second foster baby before my volunteering and book deadlines were complete. (Who needs sleep, right?)
Sometimes that’s okay. It’s great to be optimistic and open to new experiences. To be able to flex and change outside the limits of a rigid routine. To have a willing heart to drop everything and help when there’s a need. To be a “yes” person in a negative world. But clearly, I need wisdom and balance before I jump into new situations without thinking. Especially when my choices might take my family for a ride they didn’t ask to get on.
It occurred to me that God doesn’t always seem logical either. I’ll never understand how “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Shouldn’t he have waited for me to beg for salvation before he made the way? Didn’t he want to see some good effort on my own to get my act together, before he invited me into his family? Shouldn’t I have been looking for him before he came looking for me?
No, he knew my name and had plans for me before he even made this world. He knew I would be weak and blind and lost. He proved his love by giving me Jesus before I even knew I needed him.
I’m sure I’ll keep on doing things upside-down and backwards. Sometimes because I’m following my heart and sometimes because I’m just not thinking. But I trust in a God who works in my life in the perfect way at the perfect time. In his love he’ll find me, keep me close, and be sure to get me where I need to go.