Two failed marriages and nine years of singleness later, my sister Kelly said she wanted me to meet her boss. I wasn’t looking (a bit of an understatement!) and this prospect wasn’t particularly appealing. I was independent, financially stable and content with my life. I didn’t feel lonely or needy. But God had given me a word the year earlier and I couldn’t dismiss my interest. I vividly remember attending Sunday service one morning and being fascinated by the ‘arms’. Our worship leader invited everyone to stand and join him in song. When it was time to sit down, I noticed a sea of arms going up, making a semi-circle and resting on their loved ones’ shoulders. It was mostly the men and it looked like a sea of shoulder squeezing love. This imagery really resonated in my soul and sparked a question for God. In spite of the fact that I didn’t necessarily desire to find a significant other, I felt oddly compelled to ask, “Where’s my arm, God? When will I have my man?” He replied instantly, “Oh Sherry, I have someone for you, we are just waiting for YOU to be done.” It was such a profound moment of clarity for me. While I had grown in my faith walk and made much progress sorting out my personal life, I knew I still had a way to go. His word made perfect sense to me and I believed what he had whispered to my heart. So, while I really wasn’t looking for someone, I knew God had a plan for me and I felt curiously intrigued when Kelly mentioned her boss. I thank God every day for the word he gave me and the desire I had to listen, because just one week after my sister’s initial prodding, I met my husband, Lindon. Lindon had been through his own faith journey. Divorced after over 20+ years of marriage and single for almost two, he wasn’t looking either. When Kelly told him about me, his reaction was much the same as mine; intrigued but not necessarily excited. What a pair we were! 🙂 I’ve heard my husband tell people over and over again that if you asked him just five years ago if he could have ever, in his wildest dreams, imagined having the life he does today, he would have told you no stinking way. He knew it was possible, but he just didn’t know if HE would ever enjoy it; he certainly never expected it to happen so quickly. It wasn’t on his radar. It wasn’t on mine. That’s how God words. Expect the Unexpected. He has your back. Our God is an awesome God. He is capable of speaking through a burning bush to Moses, providing manna that fell from heaven for the exiled Jews and restoring Paul’s vision after blinding him, why wouldn’t we expect he can take our suffering, our hardships and our challenges and turn them into joy and laughter? “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 But we get stuck and forget. We get so busy hunkering down and ‘doing life’ or just trying to survive that we focus on what IS rather than what CAN BE. We draw inward and try to rely on our own strength and make decisions based on our own knowledge instead of relying on the almighty power of God. We leave him out. Sometimes intentional and sometimes not, but regardless, what a disservice to the Creator of the universe, to the Maker of heaven and earth. He deserves much more than our neglect, ignorance or lack of confidence. We deserve more too. Recently, Lindon and I met a lady at the AACC Conference. We could hear the brokenness in her heart as she shared her story with us. After a lifetime of marriage, she’s now going through a divorce. She has no idea what the future holds, and while a faithful believer, she struggles with uncertainty and apprehension. We shared with her our story of God’s Redemption. Of his unfailing, never ending love and grace. Of our life, love and happiness. We could see the relief wash over her face. The joy in her smile as she listened. The hope she felt as God encouraged us to share our story with her.
Friends, if you are going through a hard time and wondering why God isn’t working on your behalf, wonder no more. He is always present, always in control and always loves you. We may not be privy to the big picture, and sometimes the individual parts seem unfair and harsh, but trust God because HE KNOWS the whole story. He is orchestrating from a completely different vantage point and we must believe with all our hearts and souls that he knows EXACTLY what he is doing….every second of every minute of every day. He is constantly working on our behalf. Have faith and trust. God has your back!