Today I am gloomy.  Maybe it’s the stormy weather outside.  I don’t think so.  For the last few days I have been lost in my own thoughts. Some would say they are just the lies of the enemy.  But I am not sure, because most are true.  I have realized at nearly 55 years old that I have wasted this life He gave me.  I haven’t accomplished anything of value.  I mentally made a list of the things that prove my uselessness.  The list is in my head….well, actually it now in this blog goes something lik:

  1. I never made straight A’s or was I at the top of my class.  I was average. A “B” student.
  2. I never learned to play or became proficient on any musical instrument.
  3. I am an average singer. A “choir voice” as someone once put it.
  4. I started but did not finish college.
  5. I have had little to no success at achieving significant weight loss.
  6. I have done nothing profoundly amazing or world changing for God.
  7. I have a tendency to not finish things or consistently stick with something.
  8. I never became really good at any one sport.
  9. I have never done anything adventurous like hiking in the mountains or zip-lining or bungie jumping.
  10. I can cook, but nothing spectacular.
  11. I want to be a writer, yet I don’t have any major accomplishment or published work to show for it. So, technically that means I am not a writer.
  12. I am not that good at memorizing scripture.  I’m not that good at memorizing anything!
  13. I’m just not good or outstanding at anything.

There is more, but I am sure you are becoming bored with the list already. There is a point to this post.  So stay with me.  So I am riding to work, contemplating how much of a loser I am, when my phone dings that I have a text message. It’s the daily devotional text that Molly set up on my phone, God bless her!  “Devotional: Trust what is.  Learn from what was and have faith in what will be.”  Then with perfect timing, as always, the familiar song that touched my heart the first time I heard it:

The Glorious Unfolding

Lay your head down tonight

Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and SEE and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and SEE and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll SEE the glorious unfolding

Just watch and SEE (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)

Those words penned by Steven Curtis Chapman, whether he realizes it or not, were written from God to my heart.  This is the second time God has used it to pull me up out of the pit.  I didn’t cry though, I listened instead.  I let the truth of the song penetrate the darkness that was swirling around me.  Suddenly thoughts came one after another.  Sure, I might seem average, unsuccessful, invisible, unimportant and useless by the worlds standards.  But. (and I love this) I am good at one important thing.  I am good at believing the truth of who God is.  I am good at holding on tightly to the thread of hope and faith that gives me life.  I believe.  I believe that Jesus is the son of God.  I believe that He thought I was worth leaving heaven to come and sacrifice His life for me.  I believe that when He hung on that cross, I was on His mind.  I believe that He died there on the cross for my sins, so I would not have to.  I believe He shattered the darkness of death and conquered the grave by walking straight out of that tomb three days later and shocking the stinking pants off everyone who saw Him, heard Him, tried hard to comprehend Him, or believed by faith He was who He said He was.  Then He just hung out with them for 40 days before ascending to sit at the right hand of His Father!  I believe that everyday, whether I feel like it or not, He, God, the creator of the universe, the creator of man, this inconceivable sacrificial lover of humans is with me. Me! Me? Why?  I don’t get it. I don’t understand why He would love me so. I’m such a disappointment!  Yet He does love me.  He stays with me.  He makes a way for me.  He takes care of me.  He listens to the pathetic thoughts that swim around in my head.  He cares enough to take time to remind me, to tell  me, that I am worth it to Him.  That He will never forsake me.  That He isn’t concerned with achievements, talents or successes, He is only concerned with my heart.  And while my heart struggles to not focus on the world but to focus on Him, He sees me.  He knows me.  He loves me.  I would have been exhausted with me by now! But not Him.  He keeps showing up and proving His love for me is real and unconditional.  I believe in a God who is who He says He is!

None of this changes the fact that I am ordinary or unimportant by the worlds standards or by my misguided standards.  But it does change the feeling that I am worth it to Him.  He’ll use me somehow.  I just have to be willing.  I will continue to believe.  I will do my best to live for Him.

Azalea Trail Maid in the Family!

12/18/15

What a busy 10 days it has been!!!  This is the first chance I have had to just sit and ponder over everything.  Molly Grace made Azalea Trail Maid for 2016-2017!  She was amazing in the interview on the 12th, not just in her appearance and air of confidence (but not an arrogant confidence, just a sweet air of confidence), but I was more blown away by the sweetest moment after the interview.  She came into the room where the other candidates were waiting nervously and went straight to her friend Julia and sat down beside her and hugged her.  The lady in charge said she couldn’t stay in the waiting area, so we exited the room and were walking out the back of the beautiful antebellum USA Alumni House when Molly turned and motioned for Julia to come over.  The ATM volunteer told them Julia had to stay in the room…then Molly Grace said, “Is it okay if I just pray for her?”  The lady said “Oh…sure.”   It was the sweetest thing ever.  One of those moments a mama treasures in her heart.  This baby girl of ours has suddenly turned into this young woman of faith.  This baby girl who sucked all the air out of the room when she finally took a breath after agonizing moments of silence as the doctors worked with her; this baby girl who has been a handful since she hit the floor running; this baby girl who has been loud and boisterous and broken so many things; this baby girl who ran out into the road at age 3 and was nearly hit by a truck, but never flinched, she just stood there facing the truck nose to nose; this baby girl who has endured back pain and a ruptured disc at eleven and then back surgery at twelve, but never really let it stop her from enjoying life with friends; this baby girl has rocked our world since day one! She, of course, still has her moments and is still a handful, but I see glimpses of the woman God is growing her to be.

The letter finally came!
The letter finally came!
Sister celebration!
She's a peach!
She’s a peach! Literally, she’s a peach!
The Five Friends Forever
The Five Friends Forever….love these girls!

So, we are on this very expensive Azalea Trail Maid journey now.  She will be awesome!  I saw her walk into two separate interviews with poise and confidence I didn’t even know she had, and knock the socks off those judges!  I’m so proud of her.  I know God has her here for a specific reason and for a specific task.  I’m holding on for dear life as we ride this last wave of childhood to graduation in 2017!