I wasn't prepared, but God was preparing me. These verses have been a comfort to me this week....
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." -Proverbs 16:9
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." -Proverbs 19:21
Despite the unexpected pain (and opportunities for growth) I am experiencing, God was not surprised. Not only was he not surprised, He was preparing me (without me even knowing it) for the struggles ahead. He taught me to be intentional in areas I hadn't expected. God's purposes always prevail and His plans are good and perfect. Jeremiah 29:11 describes His plans as ones that will "prosper you and not harm you.....give you hope and a future." I've struggled with that a good deal this year...how can His plan be prosperous, perfect, and full of hope when so much hurt and pain are involved? In those moments, I have leaned into the truths from the Bible presented in One Thousand Gifts, and I have continued to count my gifts,
even especially amidst the confusion and pain. The hard eucharisteo. And I remember that God sees the big picture. I only see a few small pieces of the puzzle. But now I'm seeing how a few of those pieces fit together snuggly, securely, and perfectly.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ...You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown..." -Isaiah 55:8-9, 12-13