As children of God, we don't see the entire picture of our lives. We only see one piece at a time and it does not give us a good look at the whole image of the puzzle our lives are forming. It takes a lot of faith sometimes to trust that those dark pieces are part of a much bigger plan. I've lived through a dark corner of the puzzle of my life recently. Yes, there have been some brilliant glimpses of light along the way to keep me going but it has been hard too. At times God has graciously given me glimpses of what this puzzle He is putting together with my life looks like. These glimpses certainly give me hope and increase my trust that He is indeed working it all together for my good and His glory.
Let me share one of those glimpses that time and distance have revealed to me recently. Each one of these puzzle pieces at the time seemed like such random events.
- Last spring we visited Abundant Life Christian School to consider it as an option for Brooklyn but decided not to change her schools as she had so much change in her life already.
- July 2014, Dennis was having difficulty getting around and fell while I was at work and was unable to get up or get help for close to 4 hours. I started working from home at that point.
- Later the same month I seriously injured my shoulder and was unable to work.
- In light of these last two facts, we decided to enroll Brooklyn in Abundant Life Christian School rather than the school she had been attending as her former school was near where I worked but 40 minutes from home.
- I remained on leave from work until after Dennis had died.
- I returned to work in March but my job now required traveling. At times that travel was planned in advance but other times it could be very short notice. I realized very quickly that as a single parent with a child who had been through the recent death of her parent, this just would not work.
- I prayed, sought advice and eventually left my job of 25 year at the end of April. I did not have another job but just knew this was the right thing to do. I had complete peace about this decision. I knew the budget would be tight but I had seen God provide in so many times and ways that I knew I did not have to worry in this regard.
- At about the same time as I gave notice at my old job, I noticed a part-time position open at Brooklyn's school. It looked like a great fit in regards to the skill set needed as well as the schedule. (It is a school year job so if school is not in session, I would be off from work.) It would also be a nice supplement to my income.
- I applied, interviewed and today was offered the job!
Do you so how all of these pieces fit together? From visiting a school closer to home, to having me at home to help Dennis so that making the move to this new school made sense, to the timing of an opening for a job that would meet my schedule and financial needs, God was putting together this part of the puzzle of my life. I am amazed at the way God was putting this all together. I am blessed by the glimpses He gives me of His hand at work in my life. Isn't God amazing!
It has been a little over three months since Dennis stepped out of his cancer ridden body and into the presence of His Lord and Savior. I often think about all he must be experiencing and know that my imagination cannot even begin to picture it. I miss him so much and can't wait for the day we will be together again.
Recently when God provided for a financial need I had in a totally unexpected way, one of my friends said, "I can just picture Dennis and Jesus watching this unfold. Dennis would have that smirk on his face." I added, "And Jesus would be assuring Dennis that he was still watching out for his family."
The day-to-day living without Dennis is lonely and hard at times. I miss him in practical ways, like cutting the grass, and in companionship. I can't even begin to count the times I have thought, "I can't wait to tell Dennis about..." only to abruptly remember he is not there to talk with. His presence is missed.
But we are moving forward. God has a plan and purpose for the rest of my life and Brooklyn's life. I choose joy and hope. When I am overwhelmed I often sing this old hymn:
- When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,Count your many blessings, name them one by one,And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
- Refrain:Count your blessings, name them one by one,Count your blessings, see what God has done!Count your blessings, name them one by one,Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
- Are you ever burdened with a load of care?Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,And you will keep singing as the days go by.
- So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
The blessings along the way are many. I choose to count them and marvel in the amazing puzzle God is putting together in my life.