Monday, July 25, 2016
Sometimes our best laid plans aren't, well, the best. Even the purest of intentions and the execution method of said plans can quickly go off the rails. Novels, TV shows, and movies utilize what's known as a 'plot twist' to bring about a dramatic and unexpected turn in events or circumstances that can change the entire outcome of a story, for the good or bad. I experienced a 'plot twist' of my own last week.
A couple weeks ago I was asked to be the speaker at Covenant Bay Bible Camp for their junior high camp the week of July 17 - 22. I was humbled by the request and accepted enthusiastically! I was given the camp theme and the daily topics that I was to speak on. I was excited and began reading and note taking and was ready to go for my first speaking time Sunday night (17th). Despite being a little nervous, I felt as though my first message was clear and a flag post for the week.
As a Christian, I spend time in a relationship with God and part of that relationship means depending on God to help me in every situation of my life. I knew that I was supposed to speak at the camp and felt confident of my written plan. However, while I wrote my notes and made my plans, I never really asked God what He thought. I was thinking my plan was the best.
Monday morning came and I could sense God was telling me that my plan wasn't His plan. Uh oh. Here is where the plot twist comes in! As I spent more time thinking about things, I felt my own plans giving way. All of my time and effort and writing notes were being erased and I found myself starting from scratch. However, I knew I wasn't going things alone and my panic, nervousness and utter dismay soon faded to find my heart and mind being filled with new thoughts and ideas for the day. Thoughts and ideas that far outweighed the ones I had written in my notebook the previous week.
Monday morning's speaking turned into Monday evening's speaking and I was no longer following my own notes. This plot twist was bigger than I could ever anticipate but I knew, full well, that it was going to bring about a greater outcome. One that I didn't plan and that I was MORE than okay with! The twists and turns along the week kept growing into greater things and discussions at the camp were evidence of this. Kids who had never gone to church or held a Bible were asking questions about God and a couple kids requested a Bible. One boy re-committed his life to following Jesus. I got to pray for that boy.
By the end of the week I was exhausted and humbled by what I had been a part of. Knowing that my plans were switched out for a far greater outcome to the 'story' made me feel amazing! The plot twist made me realize and appreciate that despite my best intentions and efforts, that I should always be open to a change in the story.
What is your plot twist? What plans have you made that ended up changing and bringing about a better outcome? I want to hear from you! Let's talk!
Monday, July 11, 2016
For me, Selah has become a meaningful practice in my life as I've applied the meaning of to stop, pause, and reflect much more than the other meanings given by Wikipedia. Often I will find a quiet place to reflect deeply about things and events in my life that have had an impact on who I am as a person and a woman. Some of the things I stop to think about and reflect on have been both positive and negative in nature. The negative reflective points have been a source of lessons learned along with wisdom in how to better navigate my way through negative or difficult times that I know will come.
Some of the things I've reflected on have been: my role as a sister, mother, and daughter; my conduct and character as a Christian; difficult times I've been through and challenges I've had to overcome (ie. the loss of my grandfather, the lack of a relationship with my son, opposition to my faith, a longing to know my purpose, and many more).
It's at times of reflection that I have gleaned insight, refreshment and peace. I know that even though I am a Christian and have chosen to follow Jesus, I am not perfect and need a lot of guidance and grace. I make mistakes all the time and that's why I need help. For me, my personal relationship with Jesus has been my greatest source of help. If it wasn't for finding Jesus, I know I wouldn't be here.
At the end of the day, I know it's by reflecting that I can come into an appreciation of where I've been and where I am going. That the mistakes I made in the past have no hold on me now and do not determine or define my future. I'm definitely not the same person today as I was years ago and that is a good thing. I don't believe we're meant to be complacent in thought or action but to go through the tough stuff, brush ourselves off and keep moving forward.
What do you reflect on? What do you discover about yourself in times of reflection? I'd really like to hear from you and have a conversation about this topic! I also welcome constructive feedback about my blog and ways I can improve it.