Please welcome back this weeks guest Jennifer Slattery for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
If only we could see things from God’s perspective, imagine the heart ache, frustration, or plain foolishness we’d avoid! If only, when we can’t see, we’d learn to trust, knowing God is indeed good even when it feels as if everything’s falling apart. His love is ever-reaching, ever-healing, ever-drawing, even when we feel all alone. And His tender mercies will never, ever fail.
Oh, how dense we (me!) humans can be, but every once in a while, we look up, and our hearts warm, because suddenly, our eyes are opened, and we get it. And we grab hold of it, whatever it is, with both hands.
One Mother’s Day, our family spent the afternoon looking through old photo albums. As we flipped through page after page, I was struck by how quickly time had passed. Glancing at my daughter–taller than me and of course much wiser— I had a strong desire to draw her close, to pull her into my lap like I used to.
Only she doesn’t fit, and she often balks at snuggles and butterfly kisses.
I wanted to hold her tight just the same, to cherish what little time we have left before she launches into adulthood.
Little did I know, God was stirring my heart for my next big task–perhaps the most important one I’ve ever undertaken.
It’s funny how He does that. He can (and sometimes does) ask us to do something we’d rather not. But most often, I believe He stirs our hearts first, planting a seed of desire.
1 Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purposes.”
The following Wednesday, we sat in our KC house, packed boxes all around, my daughter crumpled in my arms, crying. The next morning would be her last day of school. She’d have to say goodbye to some dear friends, to a wonderful church, to loving neighbors … to embark on the unknown.
But what she fears most is loneliness. I feared the same–a long lonely summer of her stuck in the house.
Driving that evening, I poured my heart out to God. I know He values community. I know He longs for us to live in close relationships, to avoid isolation. I knew He had a solution, I just couldn’t see it.
So He showed me. As I prayed for her and the situation, I realized, that summer, I would be her friend. I’d turn the move into an extended vacation–an opportunity to explore, have ice-cream, sight see, and giggle over silly things.
Because God knows how much our children need parental interaction and influence, whether they think they do or not.
Incredible joy swept over me as I realized God had been setting this up all along. It began with a fledgling of a desire, stirred by a very real need, that blossomed into a solution.
What a tender heart He has!
So that’s what we did. And while we explored Omaha, I used our time–this move–to show her:
1) God is good, loving, faithful, and true. In all things, always.
2) God can and does turn all things to good. (Romans 8:28)
3) Blessings abide in every storm cloud … if we’d but avert our focus.
4) A faith that is not dependent on our circumstances, but instead, that is rooted in the truth of God.
5) How to trust not in our home, our savings, our friends, but instead, in God’s unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11 “No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love.”
It’s been a few years since that move, and to be honest, it wasn’t easy. Our daughter struggled more than I imagined she could, and there were many times we both cried out to God, asking Him to intervene.
But I’m still grateful for that time, and the opportunity she and I had to draw closer together. Though the trial has passed, the blessings we relational blessings we experienced through it has remained. And I believe that glue that God formed will allow us to get through the next hurdle, whenever it arises.
What about you? When have you seen God turn a particularly painful experience into a blessing? Did you experience the blessing right away or did it take time for you to realize it? Share your thoughts with us!
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently available in print and e-book format for under $10! You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Slattery/e/B00JKQ4ZTW/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
Beyond I Do:
Released Sept. 2014
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: