The Heart of Man
A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for “Repurposed” at my church. It’s a training program designed to help you find your God-given purpose. Several of my friends had gone through this training experience, and I was excited to take part in it until I received an email with a pre-training assignment. In this assignment, my task was to list my top ten “high points” and “low points” in life. Ugh, my mind immediately went to the low points, and I really behooved having to recount them. Then, onto my “high points” which was, of course, so fun. The magic, outside of actually qualifying your top ten high and low points in forty-two years of life, was connecting them. They call these connections “hinge moments.” From that, one thing was clear, if God brings you to it, He’ll also bring you through it. Every single high and every single low prove one thing, God’s faithfulness.
In life’s mountain top moments, we understand God’s plan fully, right? He is great and greatly to be praised. But, in the valleys, we plead with him for understanding and resolution. His ways are so mysterious. And, mysterious(ness) is alluring when you’re on the periphery of it but not in the middle of it. All of our life’s experiences are purposeful and necessary for our evolution earthside. Now, it’s easy to say that when all’s right in the world. The challenge is maintaining that same understanding, rather, mindset when life throws us lemons (big, fat, giant lemons).
Many moons ago a beloved human being/co-worker/friend, grabbed a piece of printer paper and pen and wrote the loveliest verse on it to give to me. It read, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9)” She was moving onto the next adventure, but, in her heart, felt the calling to share that verse with me. To this day, I have that very piece of paper that Tonya K. Dunn-Harris gave to me, and I treasure that truth like I treasure her. She and I shared a lot of life’s highs and lows. We laughed and cried. We wondered what was next. I’m grateful that God’s divine plan brought us together, or, as she would stay, “that she was one of my steps.”
My personal plan for every single day is for it to go along perfectly, but I know that is not God’s plan. He uses people, things and experiences to sharpen us. And, why do we need to be sharpened? So that we can live out His purposes for us on earth and bring His kingdom the glory it deserves. That thought alone really makes me want to SHOUT FOR JOY! It is true, God doesn’t waste a thing.
My friend and family member by choice, Donna Rankin Whitehead, had a stem cell transplant this last year. I don’t know if you know much about it, but it’s a serious, serious thing and THE absolute miracle in modern medicine. I hated more than anything in the world to see her go through that, but, listen here, what I experienced watching her go through that changed me. And, it changed other people. You would never see her without a smile on her face. You would never catch her with a bad attitude. You would never see her treat the angels attending to her with anything but kindness. You would never see her without makeup (God love a Texas woman). She was going through the valley of valleys and putting on a clinic for all the world to see. I weep as I type this part. Her smile, positive attitude, kindness toward others, appreciation for all those who helped her in any capacity and her FAITH made me better. It made everyone around her better. Never, ever, ever would I have wished such a difficult time on Donna, but, I know one thing for sure, God established that step. He knew she was strong enough to take it and that her faith would move mountains while others watched in amazement. The angels in heaven must do the Texas Two-Step every time they hear her name because she brought a kind of glory to God’s kingdom that is rare and precious.
Friends, today and every day that follows, remember Proverbs 16:9. Our life’s purpose is really revealed in our own personal highs and lows. We have a choice as to how we see those moments and how we use them to help, heal, lift up others. And, if you look around at the world and it all seems bright and shiny, remember this, no matter how good someone else’s life looks, they’ve been through the valley(s), too. They could be like Donna, in the valley with lipstick on and super-sized faith. We are all more alike than we are different. Better yet, we are all God’s, and that makes the journey even sweeter.
Comments are closed