Everyday Andrea|Life, Love & The Plans We Make

This is another post from my former life. The words remain true.

Little girls plan out how their lives are going to be long before they are old enough to make decisions for themselves. From the time we are little we dream of wedding gowns and babies. Maybe not ALL girls, but definitely a LOT. Christmas day for me was always filled with Barbie dolls and doll houses. Ken was so HOT, wasn’t he?! I can remember being small and hiding behind a chair with my cousin so that we could make our dolls kiss and our moms wouldn’t see! Ha!

When I was in elementary school, my friends and I used to play a game on the playground called, the Kissing Game. We would run through the poles of the monkey bars, and if you bumped into a boy, you had to kiss him on the cheek. In fifth grade I can remember getting hit in the back with my very first “Will you go with me” note while the teacher was talking. Remember those? You had to answer, “yes,” “no,” or “maybe so.” And “going together” didn’t really even mean anything. We never went anywhere. In fact, my first “boyfriend” and I rarely talked. Until we broke up. Then, we were the best of friends.

I have since learned that life and love is not like that at all. Men and women are not perfect like the plastic vinyl Ken and Barbie dolls. Love and affection is not simple like the kissing game on the monkey bars. And marriage and relationships are far more complicated than checking the YES box in a “will you go with me” note. I said “yes” twenty six years ago and in 2001 I said “yes” again and a year later walked down the church isle on the arm of my dad to marry the man I loved. I remember feeling so blessed on that day and happy that my life was working out just the way I had planned, since I was a little girl. I was a bride, complete with the long white dress and pretty veil. With the help of family and friends it was a perfect day for a perfect couple.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world.

Here I sit, thirteen years and one child later, divorced. When I envisioned my life and love, this is definitely not what I saw. Satan managed to slither his way into my marriage and unravel what God had sown together. The details are not important for this story, but what I do want to point out is that while my plans seemed so perfect, in my mind and in my heart, they turned out to be very different from what God actually allowed to take place. I have learned the hard way that it doesn’t matter what plot we write for our lives, unless it is aligned with the story God has written, it may very well not come together. My life has changed. I once had a home, a dog, two cars and a husband. Today, I am writing this from inside my parent’s home, in the bedroom I grew up in. I do not have my own home. I no longer have my dog and I only own one car. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t wake up several times a week and ask God, how in the world did this happen? Each time I question my circumstances, His reply is always the same.

Deuteronomy 29:29 ” The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children….” In other words, it’s not always our place to know the answer to “why.” It is our responsibility as children of God to TRUST Him. To praise Him. That leads me to the title of this blog. In 1 Samuel 22:5, David is told NOT to remain in the stronghold but to go into the land of Judah. Some versions use the word, “cave.” In all versions, the word Judah means Praise. David was instructed to leave the circumstances that gripped him and travel to the “land of Praise.”
I know that is the very thing God wants for me. If I remain stuck in the stronghold of my past, or camped out in the confinement of my cave, I will surely miss out on the blessings He has promised me.

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later… and we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:18-28

That sounds like reason enough to praise, right?! God promises to bring forth something good, even beautiful, from the not-so-good in our lives. Many times throughout my trial, God has reminded me of the reasons I am here on this Earth. I am to love Him, serve Him and point others to a relationship with His Son. I am to help build His Kingdom. Marriage, children, family…they’re all bonuses. Gifts. And they are certainly lovely! However, whether or not He chooses to bless me with another husband, to partner with me, my purpose here doesn’t change. I will love Him, serve Him and do my best to point others in His direction. I will wake up each morning and praise Him, even when I am hurting.

I am on my way to the LAND OF JUDAH.

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