Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh the Irony of Life...God's plan is beyond our comprehension!

Many years ago when I was working at St. Mary’s, my student choir used to sing a song based on a scripture from 1 Corinthians 2:9. The words, “But as it is written, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him" are often used at funerals to comfort the grieving and give them the hope that their loved one is enjoying a new life that we cannot even comprehend.  Yesterday, these words took on a bit different meaning as I read a series of e-mails from the people that are involved in a photo shoot I am scheduled to do on Monday evening for a feature in FIRST magazine.  It’s all surreal to me and the irony of the situation left me chuckling and shaking my head.

I’ve shared with you before that I’m often flabbergasted at the way my miracle has caused such a stir around the world and why it keeps resurrecting itself. I just don’t understand it, and although I’m left humbled and surprised, I must believe that God has a plan for me that I cannot even imagine.  I never,   ever would have imagined the way my life has changed since beginning this journey three years ago, not necessarily just the way I look either. The way I THINK has changed…the way I REACT has changed….the way I PRAY has changed….which in turn helps change the way I ACT….all of which are constantly in need of God’s grace and mercy as I struggle and fail on daily basis.  In addition….the way I spend my time (certainly never enough of it in any given day) has changed because I feel that it is both a responsibility and a privilege to help others by sharing my story.

I often wonder, however….why all the fuss?  After all, I’m just a simple girl that lives on a dirt road in the north woods, can’t figure out how to retrieve voice mail from my I-phone, buys the majority of her clothes from thrift stores and garage sales, and has never had a professional manicure. Oh, the irony of life!  Yesterday,  I went to work dressed in a skirt that I purchased at the Salvation Army in Dayton, Ohio this past weekend. It cost me a whopping 98 cents thanks to the “half-off” sale going on that day. It was paired with an Ann Taylor blouse that cost $1.98 (again a ½ off special) that I purchased at the Goodwill store in Canton, MI last February. The whole outfit cost less than three bucks! You go, girl!!!  You’ll see what I mean about irony….

During my lunch hour I opened my e-mail to find an entire series of e-mails from all the individuals that will be involved in this photo shoot on Monday. First there was contact from the Magazine editor….then the photographer who will be doing the photos….then the person doing hair….and make-up….and finally, the wardrobe consultation who will be on the “set” (what set…it’s being done on my college grounds).  I was informed that this “crew” will be with me to serve and assist me for the entire four hour shoot.  WHAT????  The hair and makeup people will be touching me up between shots…powdering my nose, fixing my hair, etc…..the wardrobe person will be coordinating jewelry and outfits and steaming fabrics and primping….who knows what else?  WHAT???   Are you kidding me…..I’m sitting here in a $3.00 outfit and I’m going to have an entire staff of people “fussing” over me? I honestly don’t even know what to think; I just must simply say, “To God be the Glory” and try to have fun.  Yes, I’ve had shoots before…but they’ve always been just ME picking out a dress, doing my hair, showing up, being uncomfortable and awkward in front of a camera, and trying to hide my discomfort and embarrassment. 

Would I have IMAGINED three years ago when I was riding around my college campus in an electric wheelchair that I would be doing a photo shoot on the same property?  NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!  If I were truly honest with myself I’d admit that I never even IMAGINED that I would be able to lose weight or walk again on my own in the first place, let alone this. I’m overwhelmed, humbled, embarrassed, but so incredibly grateful. We simply cannot even imagine the ways that our life will change when God intervenes….and we cooperate! Eye has not seen….Ear has not heard….what God has in store….and what God can do….if we let Him and are willing to do our part. That is the key: DOING OUR PART.

I’m sharing these thoughts with you, not in any type of gloating or boasting spirit, but with the hope that those of you that are struggling and/or wanting to start a journey will begin to realize that the blessings God has in store for you is beyond your wildest dreams. I’m not saying that you should lose weight, give up a habit, change careers, seek counseling, (whatever) so that you can get “fussed with” or that you will end up in some magazine, but rather to assure you that your LIFE will be changed in ways…MUCH BETTER WAYS....than you can even comprehend.  And in all honesty, it has little to do with weight, sobriety, or income. It has to do with the way you will come appreciate things in a new way….the way will “see” and “think” differently….the freedom that comes from ‘letting go of habits that weigh you down’….the confidence, gratitude, sense of well-being, and joy and satisfaction that comes from working toward a goal and seeing it come to pass.  There is no doubt that your life will change….in both good and challenging ways…but it will change. You must, however, take the first step….and keep walking each and every day once you take that step.  It will not be easy. You will want to give up. You may even go astray once…or twice…or two dozen times.  You will doubt and be tempted and challenged and struggle….but you WILL eventually succeed if you keep trying and trusting God to help you.  I think God wants the best for us…we simply can’t even imagine what that means. Miracles happen every day to ordinary, every-day, simple people…..Believe that it can happen to you as well.

I encourage you….make a plan….take that first step today. Let go of those past hurts and failures that cause you pain; forgive those that have disappointed you; surrender those doubts and fears; believe in your ability to succeed, but mostly, trust that God will help you all along the way. Let go of the “Stuff” that is holding you back, and all the rest will begin to fall in place.  You can DO this!

Have a great day my friends!