Tomorrow is a new year and a ‘second chance’ for all that I meant to do last year. But then, every tomorrow is a second chance, isn’t it? Another blog discussion focused on whether next year’s focus, instead of resolutions that I should DO, should focus on resolutions to trust God more, to discern more and to not look back and question decisions and actions so much. Another’s comment was instead of resolutions to focus on HOPE – the hope that God gives, that when I am following His will, Romans 8:28 will be evident (all things work together for good).
Hope of a second chance has been so evident as I look over the past year as well. To hear my mother say, “I love you,” for the first time was the door of a second chance for good memories with Mom.
Traveling 5,000 miles with my sisters, including bringing one of them to Mom for reconciliation after over 30 years, and watching them pray together (Mom’s second chance, and my sister’s to give up the grief and guilt of our past) and then to see them sing Jesus Loves Me.
Finding the fellow who taped an important moment in Mom’s life 30 years ago and getting her a copy. Meeting a young woman who interviewed Mom for her life story and creating a book thanks to a Senior Wish Program. Giving the gift of grace was rewarding, but exhausting and almost every time life’s circumstances took me away from ‘my’ writing, I’d get a little discouraged and question again if I’m really supposed to be doing this when my time keeps getting stolen, God would send some hope. Sometimes it was an unexpected note of encouragement specifically about something I’d written, sometimes an email from an editor, sometimes a check or an acceptance for something I’d submitted months before, and two requests for material while I was with my sisters thousands of miles from home – material I just happened to have on my flash drive (took a few things to work on) and could send in immediately. But always a second chance to be reminded that it is not ‘my’ writing – it is HIS story that I am telling, and that maybe that next story or first chapter just hasn’t happened yet!
Prayer is a second chance too – though it should be a first chance. Haven’t we all heard someone say, all I can do is pray? I know that God want’s us to do our part, but how do I know what it is if I haven’t been listening…instead running around ‘trying’ to resolve things on my own. So many, many second chances He has given this past year. So, really, even when I do automatically turn to the Lord and ask what should I do about this…it is another chance to watch God work.
The picture above was an amazing event. I’d been sorting out papers, preparing for a court hearing with my Mom…for over 30 hours straight and was so exhausted. I kind of cried out to the Lord, asking, “What good is all this – how can any of this (to me useless work) produce anything for your glory?” Mindlessly grabbing another stack of papers from a room full of boxes as I prayed, I was startled to see a yellow paper slide out and float down like an autumn leave and land (providentially) on top of the pile reserved for ‘trash’. I couldn’t believe it when I read those words – Watch God Work!
He did, you know. We had other miracles that day. An approval from a an insurance request from 18 months prior, the right people in the right place at the right time, an unexpected, previously unknown, Christian sister with a word of encouragement, and so much more.
Then I got to go to a dream conference in New Mexico – funds supplied through:
- a partial scholarship
- a gift of some old gold from a deceased friend who years ago said this is broken but might be worth something someday
- three stories that just happened to sell the week I needed the funds
- an old friend showing up unexpectedly who felt she had to tell me about an airline voucher she had but didn’t need – and wondered if I had need of one
- an unprecedented first-time ever bonus at a part-time job
- a gift specifically to pay for a critique from someone who ‘wanted to be a part of the ministry’
and God worked out so many blessings at the conference – rich devotions, awesome speakers, great new friends, and wonderful affirmation and encouragement.
That’s just the tip of this past year… I should really go through my journals and make a list, but for now I’m looking forward to 2011 and…
watching God work!