New Seasons of Life Aren’t Always Familiar Paths

ornament indicating a new season of life
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

Wandering through the store I stopped at a wobbly jewelry carousel. The crowded store buzzed with shoppers. With a heavy heart, I was looking for gifts to send home to my children and grandchildren.

It was the first Christmas that I wouldn’t see them. I was living 2,000 miles away from them to complete Bible school which wasn’t my original plan.

My younger-11 yr old self-planned and decided what my life would look like before Jesus. My entire life planned out by 11.

Relief washed over me then as I decided to live my dream of doing hair and opening my own salon. Never considering Jesus or a calling would be in my future.

It took me two years to get to the place of  full surrender. Being ready to give him a full yes. We can be saying yes to God on the outside but subconsciously protesting on the inside. 

This is where all the strong willed girls groan. I get you. You Are my people. You are not rebellious but you’re strong and might even be sassy.

You might be the girl who hasn’t fully surrendered but God is troubling the waters of your heart. 

He is stepping on your toes or just wooing your heart.

Stay in process.

Don’t beat yourself up when taking one step forward and two steps back.

God is doing a new thing. Remind yourself of how far He has brought you.

Are you loving God  while you’re wrestling through the messiness of your life? He won’t let you go when you feel stuck. Trust His process.

Isaiah makes reference to doing this new thing in our focus verse.

Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19 

Unfamiliar Steps

Knowing God leads us to take obedient, unfamiliar steps that stretch us, even relocate us. 

My shopping day had me preoccupied with  lists and loneliness, I wasn’t in the shopping mood. I was missing home. Struggling to enjoy Christmas, throw  in a past of divorce and Jesus could get hi-jacked through my sadness.

As I was spinning the carousel I noticed a down syndrome sandy-blonde hair girl smiling from ear-to-ear at me. She captured me. 

With a love for special needs people, I was struck by the innocence and purity of her heart.

The down-syndrome blonde girl intrigued me. She seemed to watch me curiously as I spun the rack over and over in search of the perfect earrings.

The annoying, indecisive shopping trait I have drives me to find the perfect gift. Needing no help getting stuck in overthinking. 

After a minute or two of exchanging partial smiles through the spinning carousel towers, she walked up, and said,  “Don’t overthink it.” Then she started giggling.

She opened her arms wide and said, “Do you need a hug?”

With tears welling up in my eyes I  said, ”I sure do.” 

She was Jesus with skin on right then.  Her Mother smiled saying, “Overthinking trips us up too.” I laughed and said, me too.

God’s Gentle Reminders

God reminded me through the blonde, wide-smiled girl to look around and you will see me. 

Blended families, distance, and new seasons are tricky. Being where God wants us to be doesn’t promise painless or conflict-free results.

New seasons in our lives aren’t always anticipated, even when we know they’re God.

Change is always stretching and shifting our thinking.

Jesus dealt with the same thing with the disciples. He said, “You can’t put new wine in old wineskins or they will burst out. You must put new wine in new wineskins.”

He wanted to change the way they think and to raise their level of thinking, but they weren’t always willing. Neither are we. 

Our mindset gets locked and fixed on how we think things should be.  The control freak in me hinders the process of smooth transitions.

Unpredictable Paths

Unpredictable paths are frightening and God can’t do a new thing if we won’t budge from the familiar thing.

Change doesn’t always march up and announce three months prior that it’s coming. We prepare our hearts in the unknown and trust God who is all-knowing to direct us in the new paths.

God promises to go before us and make the crooked places straight. We love it when He promises us this until it gets crooked and narrow. Not resembling anything we imagined, He calls us deeper into the unknown.

He promises to meet us there, never forsaking us. I do not love change, friends.

Growing up in some instability helped forge some ruts in my life.

Be in control so you know what is coming at you. Plans for me weed out unfortunate surprise endings. 

I like predictable paths. Everything going along with my plan. God has gently peeled my need to be in control  to rest in Him being in control.

Moments to Connect

When I’m busy trying to be in control I’m missing moments to collect, like the blonde girl being Jesus with skin on. And just enjoying God.

The blonde girl was my necessary interruption to get my mind off myself and see who God had placed right in front of me.

God took me 2000 miles away to do a new thing in me. 

Trust is a funny word. Treacherous as it sounds. Vulnerable enough to put our hand in His as he invites us to ride or die with Him.

He never wastes a sacrifice we make. A reluctant yes. A broken piece of our lives. He collects them all along the wilderness roads we travel.

Can you see Him doing a new thing in your heart today?

Is He sending you a blonde hair girl to remind you to not overthink life?

Can he peel your hands off of something you’re wanting to control?

Then I went down to the Potter’s house, and there He was, making something at the wheel, And the vessel that He made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so He made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Jeremiah 18:3-4 

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