who are called according to his purpose." That is a tall order to believe when things are not going our way – in times of struggle, tragedy, and pain. Yet often in the in-between times, when we look back over our lives, we can recognize God’s hand in doing just that. I had occasion to do a little life review as I approached both the 20th Anniversary of my Prayer in Motion ministry, as well as a recent birthday.
It occurred to me that God has indeed been working all the less than perfect circumstances in my life into something so good. God used my loving mother, and my less than idyllic childhood, to let me know at an early age that God was indeed real and that I need only come to Him when I was afraid, sad, or worried and He would take care of me. While I did not have words for it then, I remember sweet times as a 5-year-old resting in God’s arms while I slept and finding the next day brighter.
My what I thought was a failed choice of careers as an elementary teacher, which I discovered was not at all what I was called to do while student teaching just before graduation, God used to give me the skills to teach people of all ages in my current ministry. As I rebounded from my very short “teaching career, “ wandering into interim employment at a copy center in downtown Ann Arbor, just looking for a way to pay the bills, led me to my husband, Don, whose amazing love healed so many of the wounds of my past.
My journey from that short-term employment led me somewhat randomly into the business world. My 25 years there taught me much of what I needed to run my own business, which I swore at that time I would never do. But here I am, an entrepreneur for 20 years now.
By far the hardest thing I have had to grapple with to find God’s working good through it, is the premature death of my husband at the age of 45. Certainly, I saw God at work in the many people who cared for him and poured out their love and support to both of us during the time of his illness, and then to me following his death. But to find good in his death --- No way!
And yet … Here I am 24 years later, closer to God than I have ever been, involved in a ministry that I get to partner with God in, helping to bring healing and hope to so many. That is indeed working all things to good for God’s purpose. Certainly not the way I would have planned any of it, yet most definitely leading me to become the person I am and to have this wonderful life I am privileged to live.
What stories do you have to share about how God worked the challenging or seemingly unplanned times of your life for much better than you ever could have imagined? Reflecting on these can remind us that God is at work for our good, even when we don't immediately see it.