Holy Interruptions

I am not a planner. Partly because I’m terrible with details, but also because things never work out according to my plan anyway. I’ve literally tried to have no expectations about anything, so that I can’t be devastated when things don’t work out. Turns out, I subconsciously have expectations anyway, and then I still feel disappointment. I’m thinking it’s better to acknowledge what I want and find the right perspective on it.

We went on our Stateside time/furlough/#idon’tknowwhattocallit about 8 months ago. We really thought we were in a good place, ready for a truly great time home. Lots of anticipation with our kids of travel and fun and reconnecting with friends and family. While there were definite highlights during that time, I also experienced several months of depression and some anxiety that felt like it came out of nowhere. I cried everyday. Had a hard time making simple decisions and even driving. My husband and sons were just as confused as to WHY I was acting like this. It wasn’t what we were expecting.

We spent the second half of furlough seeking help and answers to this low season I had been experiencing. I spent time journaling, with a counselor, and lots of time in prayer, pleading that His will would be done but that it would look like MY will. By the end of furlough, I was in a much better place, feeling stronger, healthier, ready to get back to our place of ministry and pour out my heart with my students, my friends and my family. It was invigorating to raise so much support in a six-week time during the holidays. Seeing God provide like that made me feel a little bit like HE was on OUR side. Looking back, I see the error in my thinking.

Subconsciously, I expected a very successful return to the mission field, where I could be everyone’s savior again. I would be able to share my joy, our American goodies, tacos and cookies, and fill the gap that we surely left when we went back to the US. (please note my sarcasm)

That all came crashing down the day before we left for Africa. Well, I came crashing down. I slipped down the stairs and hurt my back. It took a couple of weeks once we returned home to fully understand how badly I hurt it, but when the pain got bad enough, the doctor very clearly told me that it needs surgery.

So instead of getting busy with ministry and homeschool and loving on all my friends here, I’ve been laying on my couch and going to the doctor. I’ve been asking for help from the very people I came to help. I’ve been doing nothing when I wanted to get busy doing something. I’ve been getting even further behind in homeschool when I wanted to catch up.

Not what I expected.

But it would be a mistake for me to assume that something has gone wrong here. God knows the plans He has for me- they are GOOD. (Jer 29:11) I can make my plans but He will direct my steps (even the ones that fall down stairs)- there is a reason and redemption for all the moments of our life. I can guarantee I will NEVER plan something bad or inconvenient, but it is those very inconvenient moments, those “holy interruptions” to my plans where God works His best.

If I can’t anticipate what my path will look like, I can most certainly expect it to be GREAT. So in the midst of this down time, I’m again readjusting my perspective. I didn’t need to come back to Africa in great shape as everyone’s savior. Jesus is doing that. I’m being forced to slow down, to humble myself and let Him do His work on me. Changing me from the inside out. If that means time on the couch, spending time with the ones I love, then great. If that means time spent reading and learning, so be it. If that means asking for help when I want to be giving it, then that is good too. Not my will, but God’s.

I can expect things will rarely turn out the way I want, but I want God’s way every time because it will be GREAT. Every. Single. Time.”

~Maggie

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