"My dad preached a great sermon last Sunday... He gave an analogy of a string of pearls, and how, if you look, back on the circumstances of your life and string them all up like a string of pearls - when you go through a new trial, you can go back and touch every pearl and say "This trial was preparing me for now."
That, by the way, is my beautiful daughter and the necklace (which she helped me make) looks much better on her than it did on the table. : ) I made it with her and we talked about things I remembered God doing in my life, times I was afraid and trusted God to help me, or times I didn't know what to do and God led me. Each one of those beads represents something special to me... when I asked Jesus into my heart, trusting God for the money to go to FPC, trips to Mexico, marrying Lowell, praying and hoping and waiting (years) for a baby, each of my kids, church, retreats... just to name a few. I wrote them all down so I won’t forget and I wear it. I wear it on days when I need to REMEMBER that God is faithful and I don't have to worry about the future that I can't figure out. I wear it when I need a tangible, touchable reminder of God’s plan being worked out in my life. And I love it when people ask me about it because I can tell them what it is and hopefully encourage them, too.
And by the way, I’ve given up on figuring out what God has planned for my future – or at least the near future – and how He’s going to accomplish whatever it is that He’s planned. I’ve wondered quite a bit this summer (okay, obsessed) about where He’s taking us and none of it has (yet) turned out like I expected. So for now, I’m just going to keep reminding myself that God knows the plans He has for me. And I don't need to know it all. (SIGH.) Just like He knew how each trial and blessing in my life was preparing me for now, He knows what’s next and what’s down the road. I intentionally left the necklace with extra space and tied so I can add to it as time goes by because I know there will be more to remember and share. But for now, I'll keep remembering and holding on to what I know... He is faithful. He is good. And He knows what He's doing.
Keep walking by faith...