Peace comes not because your prayer has been answered exactly as you prayed it, but because you shifted your focus and the burden of responsibility on to Him.
- Christopher Parkening
A neighbor came over yesterday for coffee. She’s someone I bump into in the apartment building’s laundry room and have chats with by the mailboxes. We’re friendly, but not exactly friends.
She knows a bit about my life, and I know a bit about hers. Last week she sent an email saying, “Wondering if you have time to get together. There’s something I’d like to talk to you about.” I had a hunch the topic was her teenager.
Sometimes, when life is rough, you wonder how God can bring anything good out of your misery and pain. You trust that he has a plan but moan that it’s not visible or comprehensible. And then one day—perhaps years later—someone unexpected shows up on your doorstep and pours out her heart to you. Somehow she knows that you’ve been where she is now. And because of what you've been through, it's obvious that you can help her.
On that day, you give thanks to God for the opportunity to be his instrument. You give thanks for being able to put your hard-won wisdom to use helping someone else. And you give thanks, most of all, for that plan you couldn’t see in the midst of your own tears. For it was there all along.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.