Friday, January 16, 2009

My Plans vs. His Purpose....

*Today I would like to share with you a small portion of the teaching lecture I delivered to my CBS class this week....
The bible, unlike any other book, is not just a story -It is God’s story.

It isn’t just non-fiction - It is truth in it’s purest form.

It is not just inspirational - it is where our joy is found.

It is not a self-help manual but a promise for restoration.

It covers many different time periods, locations and people. And just as God has given us the written record of these people of the past His story continues today as He is writing each one of us into that story even now.

As Thanksgiving ended and the Christmas season began I had a lot of plans for how I would spend my holiday.....

--I knew my husband and I were going on a cruise that he had won at work.

---Christmas was coming so I knew I had shopping, wrapping and cooking to do.

---I was expecting to spend a lot of time working ahead in my bible study.

---I had boxes of Christmas decorations I intended to unpack.

---And I had anticipated spending some quality time with my kids.

But as life would have it things didn’t turn out quite like I had planned. Proverbs says- “Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails and I can honestly say that has been my experience over the last few weeks.

As for the cruise, I got seasick...

And everything else I had planned was interrupted by a 3 am. phone call the week before Christmas.

--My Dad, who was living in Maine, had been injured in an accident and would I give the hospital permission for treatment?

--Another phone call that there was nothing they could do and did I want them to remove the tube that was helping him breathe?

--A final phone call that he was gone and since he had made no final arrangements that was now up to me and my sister.

Sometimes the pages of our life story are tragic and painful. This wouldn’t have been the story I would have written for myself or my Dad but I am not the author of my own story, God is and He has promised that through my experiences and through my pain His purpose will prevail.

The question is “do I trust Him as the author of my life?" Will I relinquish my attempts to “rewrite” what God wants to speak to me and through me. Hagar and Ishmael are an example of what happens when we try to Co-author with God or write the story the way we think it should be.

It is easy to worship and praise God when our lives are going smoothly and we are successful but what about when life takes a sudden or unexpected turn? When there is an illness or job loss?
When the economy is failing or when things become difficult and are not going the way you want them to will you trust Him with the story?

When I first got the call from the hospital I remember thinking “I can’t do this” but then immediately my mind was flooded with the thought: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Since then I have found myself doing things I never would have imagined I could do. Things like donating tissue, arranging cremation, writing an obituary, planning a memorial service and delivering a eulogy. And in all of this I can honestly say that "His abundant grace was more than enough!"
The story God is telling is one that has included all kinds of time periods, settings, characters, drama, action & sub - plots. Each and every one of us is a part of that story but in the big picture there was one beginning and there will be one ending.

"In the beginning God created the heaven’s and the earth” Genesis 1:1
and someday
“the heaven’s will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

One day God will write the final chapter of our life stories. So let me ask you…..

--What are the things you will be leaving behind and who will you leave them to?
--How will you be remembered?
--Will your legacy be one of sadness and regret or will it be one of faith & hope?

These decisions are not ours to make after we die but instead they depend on how we live our lives now. God never promised it would be easy, in fact Jesus himself said “in this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” And what exactly does that mean? It means that through Jesus God has already written the end to our story and we can trust Him with all of the details in between.


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

OH, Kelley, this is good, so good, and you touched on some things that ironically, I've been thinking about in the last few days, such as Ishmael and leaving a legacy. Thank you for sharing from the vulnerable moments of your life in order to reach us where we live, too.

Pamela (His maidservant) said...

Oh my sweet friend, I can not imagine making all those decisions over the phone verses at the bedside. How very difficult and how very brave of you. That had to be harder than being there. Rest in God, as you are, and continue to reflect on your message here. This is very powerful and something we all need to stop and think about. For only He knows our time and what then do we leave behind?

In His Graces~Pamela

Amy said...

Kelley, all I can say is, "Thank you!" I needed to hear these words this morning.

I am so sorry for the difficulties and unimaginable sadness that you had to face this holiday season, but I love how God was in the midst of all of it with you.

So much time is spent fighting His purpose, because I "preferred" my idea and plans....But it's so silly, because His way will happen regardless of my attempts to change it. Many times I have felt like a two year old throwing a tantrum.....I fuss, fret, complain, cry, etc......but when I am done with all of that....God's Will is still what does and should happen...not my plans.

He is SO good, and He is SO patient with all of us.

Thank you for sharing this today. My heart really needed the encouragement.

In Christ,

luvmy4sons said...

Such a wonderfully touching story. I am so sorry for your pain and be able to see God in our suffering is a true act of faith. When we share in His sufferings we will also share in His glory.

Joyful said...

The Lord certainly gave you His strength as He guided you each step of the way. Praying that your testimony here will encourage others who are struggling with trusting in the Lord when their plans and His purposes collide.

Continuing in prayer for you and sending love & hugs,

Runner Mom said...

Oh, Kelley, I need my kleenex. Bless your heart. I am so sorry for all that you went through, but am so glad that you were able to rely on God's strength and grace during this time. He knows your every need. I'm sending big hugs your way.

Love ya girl!

This post is awesome.

Lelia Chealey said...

Kelley...loved this. You need to put the link so they can actually hear it and also hear Jake sing. :)
GREAT talking to you for an hour this morning on my walk...hope you didn't "ignore" any calls. You don't want to miss out on any exciting news. LOL...

Alyssa just saw the pic of Amiyah's feet and loved it too!!

Alright, got to get to back to work. Reality.


Love you much,

Deanna said...

I am so very sorry about your dad. We lost my mother-in-law in November. She had been sick for a long time, and we were able to be with her. Still it's just very difficult. I'll be praying for your comfort and peace.

That said, I did spend some time thinking about taking better care of myself for my children, but.... What you've posted today is thought provoking and profound. Thank you for sharing.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

What a beautiful testimony to God's grace and mercy Kelley.
I know you honored your Dad and your Father "well."
My heart goes out to you... you know it does.*
I'll be keeping you in my prayers.
You CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you.
Love Lea

Chatty Kelly said...

Kelley - I'm sorry for your loss.

You words are inspirational and show true faith. Thank you for sharing.

Laurie Ann said...

Kelley, I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad.

Very powerful post. You've given me lots of food for thought for the weekend.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I love all three verses you mentioned. I believe many are the proverbs 16:9. I had that etched into my heart some time ago. In this world we will have trouble...amen to that.

Kelley, from the deepest of my heart, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Not only the suddenly of his death but also that you entailed through planning it. I can't imagine giving the eulogy at the service of a family member.

No wonder you've been absent from blogworld.

It seems lame now to say how cool that you won a cruise. Since 1) you got sick and 2) you lost your papa.
I had to come here via your profile (my bloglist is down) and I noticed the test you are doing for Lelia...beautiful. How much do you charge for such blog makeover?

Ginger said...


I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this powerful tesitmony.

Susan said...

Hi Kelly,

It was so good to hear from you. I had been praying.

I'm so glad God's amazing Grace was there for you during your difficult times.

Isn't it amazing how much we CAN do with Jesus by our side?

His grace is truly enough.

Praying 2009 will bring many wonderful unexpected surprises for you and your family.


Dena said...

Thank you for sharing this painful part of your life. It has helped to bring for a much needed lesson.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Your journey of trust and faith over the past weeks are a witness to the power and truth of a sustaining God in our feeble flesh. I'm so glad for your relationship with our Father who has carried you and then some during a very difficult season. May he continue to seed your heart and mind with the truth that you can, in fact, do all things through him who strengthens you.

Be blessed this week, friend.


Kathy S. said...

Kelley, praise God he holds us by our right hand. This is an example of His sufficient grace. That power we have when we have no power.

You are shining here! Your blog looks beautiful too!

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. Thanks for sharing with really touched me. I'm working on trusting God as He writes my story.

Excellent post!

Blessings to you,

cautious1 said...

Thank you for this thought provoking, insightful post. I truly enjoyed reading this and it definitely leaves me thinking about how I am living my life vs. how God wants me to live. A great reminder that we are not in control, He is!