Tag Archive | God’s plans

Prevailing Through God’s Plans

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~ Proverbs 19:21

My Plans

Oh I had all sorts of grand plans for when I grew up. I was going to marry prince charming, have four adorable and well-behaved children, own my own dream home with a white picket fence and a wrap around porch where I would sit in the afternoon admiring my children at play. Inside my home would always look like Martha Steward herself lived there. I would be a picture perfect mom and wife. Our home would be filled with the laughter and love of family and friends.

My Reality

I became a mom for the first time at 17. I married at 19 and had our second (and last) child at 20. Nowhere in my plans did I dream:

  • Raising a son with autism and cystic fibrosis
  • My daughter struggling to learn to read due to severe dyslexia
  • My husband and I working so very hard at our marriage
  • Our home being empty of family and friends, because we were just trying to survive the day
  • Only sleeping 2-3 hours each night for 22 years
  • Being very lonely, stressed and at times miserable
  • Fighting a public school system for my son’s right to be educated as he needed
  • Fighting with a different school that my daughter was in fact dyslexic
  • Having a daughter who would rather play basketball and baseball with her cousins instead of having pretty dresses and tea parties
  • Being broken, lost and isolated
  • Being a hands-on parent 24/7 for 23 years
  • Spending a life time in hospitals (both medical and psychological), thousands of doctor’s office and many ambulance rides

Fast Forward 23 Years

I could never have dreamed of the blessings that came with God’s plans for my family. Yes, I called all of that a blessing. Why?

  • Most marriages don’t make it through the kind of stuff we went through: married early, two small children, Marine Corps, special needs children, and life-threatening illnesses. But God knew exactly who would stick by my side through all of it, even if we didn’t like each other very much on some days. We will celebrate 22 years of marriage this year.
  • I questioned, ranted and raved asking God “why? why me?” Then one day I realized God was teaching me about unconditional love, patience and the bigger picture.
  • Because we didn’t have close friends we depended on each other very much and our dependence on God increased.
  • Because I didn’t have a girly girl my daughter opened up the world of sports to me. I look forward to going to basketball or baseball games.
  • I never thought our son would be able to move out. God knew though. Our son is flourishing in a new home learning daily life skills with the hope of one day moving into his own apartment.

When our son moved out in April 2011 and our daughter was in her own apartment at college I thought “finally smooth sailing – it’s been a very long 22 years!” I thought surely we have faced and conquered enough obstacles to last three lifetimes…….

God Had Other Plans

Six weeks ago our 20-year-old daughter was diagnosed with seizures. As we look back over the years we realize now that what we thought were migraines were seizures. This is a pivotal time in her college education – Spring semester of her junior year. Her life has changed. She needs other people to drive her. She has to ask for help and that bothers her greatly. I have to once again rely completely on God.

Do I still say all of this is a blessing? Yes – a thousand times over yes!!! The one central unchanged theme in my life has been I have needed God at all times, in all circumstances! Each time I thought “whew, that’s behind us, it should be easy peasy from here.” I would find myself on my knees asking God to see us through.

If I would have had my dreams come true, I wouldn’t have needed God for anything. His plans require that I need Him minute by minute. I have lived through hell, been broken and had my dreams crushed but through it all God has been and will continue to be my Refuge, my Rock and my Shield. Yes, His plans are always better than my dreams.

By the way – I absolutely married my prince charming.

 

In Memory ~ Rich Hollinger

What a difference a week makes LORD!  What a difference 24 hours make!  A reminder that our time here is very short and precious.

I want to yell, scream and stomp my feet.  Why?  Why Rich?  Why now?  He was so full of life.  He made the world a better place just by living each day with so much joy.  He went out of his way to help people:  family, friend, coworker, neighbor or stranger it made no difference. He lived a life of service.  He cherished Amie and his daughters.  They were his life and his world.  I can still see the way his eyes lit up any time he talked about them.

And then there was his work!  Or as I like to think of them……the 3 Musketeers.  Nick, Larry and Rich.  all three very passionate about the work they do.  All three giving the best of themselves to build a company that is known for integrity, honesty, doing what’s right and where the customer is the priority.  That says so much about the character of each one.  They not only lived it, they held each other accountable to continue living with those values.  They respected each other but above all they considered each other family.  It doesn’t always take blood to be brothers.

So I have to ask why LORD?  Why Rich?  Why now?  He was too young, he had so much more life to live, he had more years of being Amie’s husband, more years of being Lexie and Anna’s dad, and there can’t be a 3 Musketeers with only 2!!!

It makes no sense LORD!  Yet, I can imagine how big Rich’s smile was when he heard those most glorious words we all long to hear:

“Well done good and faithful servant, well done!”

His smile lit up any room here on earth, I can imagine when he received his eternal reward, for his servant’s life, it was bigger and brighter than the sun.  And knowing Rich I can believe he probably yelled out “HAIL YEAH!”

His work here was obviously done but how do those left behind more forward, how do we go on without him here?  How does Amie, Lexie, and Anna begin to put back the pieces of their without their husband and father?

I know Your Word says: Your ways are not our ways; Your timing is perfect; Your plans are to prosper us not to harm.  I know Your Word always bears fruit and will be there for them but LORD honestly right now I don’t want to give them a Bible verse.  Show me a way I can be of help to them, to be the hands and feet of You.  To live out Your Word instead of repeating Scripture in their time of need.

I ask for Your mercy LORD.  Wrap Your arms around Amie, Lexie and Anna; every member of Rich’s extended family and his Manor Roofing family let each one feel Your presence in a deep comforting real way.  Let peace come into their souls, hearts, minds and bodies.  Remove all worries from them LORD and replace it with You.  Place on their hearts and minds good memories of Rich so that instead of crying through the pain they can laugh through the tears.  Help them to celebrate the man You created in Your image.

In the days, weeks and months ahead I ask for Your servants to be there in the time of need for Amie, Lexie and Anna – just to be there for them in the way they need.  May the three cling together in their grief and not allow this to divide them.  Help them to be patient, understanding, kind and forgiving not only to one another but to themselves as well.  LORD, my heart breaks for them.  I just ask You to hide them in the shelter of Your protective wings and let no more harm come to them, only Your rich blessings.  Remind them that they are strong through You.  In Jesus’ Name I Pray ~ Amen.

“Strong Enough”
by Matthew West

You must
You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

Well, maybe
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Oh, yeah

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough

My Thoughts or His Thoughts

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.  ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

Ever thought you knew more than God?  Thought you were smarter than Him?  If you are like me you probably are thinking “Yeah, been there, did that, have the t-shirt.”

Whenever I look back at the confusing moments in my life it’s easy to see He was there all along.  That His plan was so much better than anything I could have dreamed.  Yet each new “moment” causes me to fall back to thinking I know best, saying “Let me show You LORD how to fix it.”  I know how that line of thinking ends.  I get knocked down flat, finally uttering “Ok LORD You are in charge.”

I have entered a season of confusion. I want to fulfill a dream that I have had since I was a little girl.  Only in the last two years have I admitted I had a dream.  One that I believe was placed on my heart from God.  Yet I allow my thoughts of inadequacy, fear and rejection to stop me.  When things don’t go according to my plans, feeling like a failure, I want to give up.

“…and My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”

How foolish we are to try to make His plans and purpose for us fit into our ideal box.  How much better would it be to openly embrace His ways, believing He has far better in mind than we could ever imagine.

I want to encourage you today to stand on His word.  When your “moments” take a left turn when you wanted to go right, trust His ways.  Sit back, enjoy the view knowing He will take you further than you ever dreamed.

Dearest LORD I want to boldly proclaim Your word into my life.  Give me wisdom to offer up to You not only my thoughts by my dreams and my future.  When I want to give up remind me of all the marvelous ways You have already spoke into my past and present.  Give me a spirit of joy and peace.  In Jesus’ Name .  Amen!