I had recently been through a season of brokenness and uncertainty. Unexpected challenges and unplanned changes had led me to set aside my own agenda and plans. I didn't really know what was ahead...I was just praying for God to lead me. Then this door that I wasn't even looking for--that I didn't even know existed, let alone knew how to ask for--suddenly appeared and swung wide open. It took a bit of courage to take that first step and say "yes," when everything in me was afraid I didn't have what it takes and I'd just trip and fall on my face. But once I walked through that door, the path beyond has been one beautiful surprise after another, all orchestrated by a God who seems to love to pour out unexpected grace upon grace.
There is absolutely no reasonable explanation for the series of events that have taken place over these past few years...but for God. It's all a crazy story, actually...one that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the goodness and provision of God. I didn't do any of the things the "experts" recommend when starting a business. I didn't hustle. I didn't knock on anyone's door asking them to let me make graphics for them. I didn't reach out to any publishers trying to publish my work. I didn't start lettering verses or creating art for the purpose of making money. I did it (and still do) simply because it fuels my soul and gives me space to slow and be still and breathe in the goodness of God. Every time someone hires me to help them with a design, or spends their own hard-earned cash on one of my little art prints, it absolutely floors me and leaves me so humbled and grateful. I've seen how art and design can point hearts to Jesus...I've seen how God can take the imperfect work of my hands and use it to help others share Christ and grow His Kingdom...and that is a pretty incredible thing to be a part of. I am grateful every day that I get to do what I do...it is all a crazy amazing grace.
You see, we can dream and plan and think we know what we want to do with our lives, but there's something to be said for holding those plans and dreams loosely and keeping your hands and your eyes open to new and unexpected things. Because God is always working. Sometimes deep under the surface. Sometimes in ways we would never expect. He is always working. And nothing is ever wasted. It is all working together for our good and for His glory. He is writing a story that is far better than anything we can dream. We just have to trust Him with the pen.
That thing you don't understand right now?...that dream that fell through...that goal that didn't quite work out...that plan that went awry? All of those things that you thought you had control of, until you suddenly didn't? What if all of it, even the things you didn't understand or the things that didn't quite go according to plan--all the things that seem to be blocking the path you had envisioned ahead of you--what if those are the very things that are leading you to the path God ultimately has for you? What if He is writing a bigger and better story than you can imagine for your life? What if you let go of your grip a bit and hold all those plans just bit more loosely...what if you left room for God to weave something new and unexpected into your story?
You just might end up with a life you never planned, doing something you didn't know you could...and better than any of your dreams.