The One You’d Rather Not

I’m 57 years young. And I remember that.

While pictures flashed on the screen, you sat quietly in the last row. You unnerved me with your presence – being alone in the theatre. But the story caught me off guard – and didn’t even want to be there. Growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, you remembered the turmoil of that time; you were inspired by a story.

You said you weren’t supposed to be there. “My wife knows this is movie day – I was gonna see The Peanuts, and maybe two more if I could fit them in.”

And that’s usually how it works: God shows up as a teacher in the situation you weren’t expecting to be in, and most likely in the one you’d rather not be in. He’s writing a story.

It isn’t the story that gives you life: it’s what the story has done to shape your character and bring about new passions.

Last year, this time. My heart was roaming and reeling. We were in a new sanctuary to celebrate Christmas Eve. No one in my family wanted to be there, but I don’t think we really expressed that, either. We were hopeful. Hope is the only thing you can hold onto when what matters most is deleted from life. But we went. Our hearts & minds were back with the place & people that we loved.

One year later, and we’re all back. And we’re all different. And we’re all growing. And finding that we have to cling to God’s word unless we drown in our own voices.

Most of all, we’re okay. I didn’t think I’d be okay. One thing after another sent me spiraling into darkness. 2015 was  h  a  r  d.

For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in dark places like those who have long been dead. {Psalm 143:3}

The One You'd Rather Not // God is going to show up in 2016.

Christmas Eve taught me that joy was not something I could muster with my own best intentions. It could not come from being in a particular building or with particular people. Joy came from recognizing God has pulled me from the path I wanted to walk and moved me to a different path. And you know what? I have learned to want this new path, too.

God is going to show up in 2016, just like he did in the last year in the places you’d rather not be in. Yet you will tell of His faithfulness despite the changes that are most certainly coming. He is doing something great. He is going to use you in a miraculous way, and He already is. 

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