Thursday, November 30, 2017

Let Me Finish The Story

"Allie, wait, let me finish the story!"

A few months back, within 24 hours of each other, I heard that saying twice. Or actually multiple times. Two friends were telling me two different stories that they were building up to two hopefully great endings. But I wanted to know the ending faster than they were talking. So I kept interrupting them with my guesses of how things would end.

Spoiler Alerts: I never guessed the right answer. And the endings were pretty great.

One of my devotions around the same time had to do with taming the tongue and listening. I felt challenged in so many ways! Relationally, I was challenged to be a better friend by not interrupting when my friends are talking, leaving my phone in my purse at dinner, and asking follow-up questions either at that moment or in the following days to show I genuinely care about them. Which let me be honest - I was not great at doing. If you've followed me for a while, you know I'm a planner, so sometimes I have to write down "Ask X about her job interview" so I don't forget.

Speaking of planning, do you want to know what was the hardest challenge for me? Listening to the Lord and planning for the future. Knowing what my life would be like in a certain number of years. Or even next month. This time last year, I had no idea what was coming my way in just a few days, and even with the most color-coded planning, I still have no idea what will happen this next month.

I don't like this. I just want to know the ending. For example, my family always tries to figure out what's going to happen next in the story when we go to the movies - it is a fun little challenge for us. Who can get it right first.

But these past few months I've been reminded, gently and not so gently, that He's got the whole plan already figured out. As Momma use to say "this may have caught you off guard, Allie, but it didn't catch God off guard." #MommasAlwaysRight

I've been doing the Seamless Bible Study with some girls from work recently and Angie Smith points out these little 3 word phrases in the Bible like "so Abraham went", also, "Noah did everything". There's a lot of them. These little phrases came after God told them to do something that they didn't have all the information on.

Abraham had to leave all his family and friends and go "to a place I will show you...So Abram went" (Gen 12:1-4). I'm sorry, do what now? Just go somewhere without a destination. Heck, I don't even go for the typical southern 'Sunday afternoon drive'.

You can read what Abraham did when he was told what the outcome would be in Gen. 22. Yea, don't think that would be my response either.

Oh and Noah? He didn't even know what rain was! And "he did everything" (Gen 6:22).

Nothing was recorded about them interrupting God in these scenarios, not saying they did or didn't but I'm thinking they did not.

Want one more example of someone who knew what was coming, but kept at their daily routine while preparing for the next step?

Let's talk about King David. He was anointed king (1 Sam 16:11-14) while a shepherd boy, and then WENT BACK TO THE SHEEP (I'm assuming because he was still tending the sheep in 1 Sam 17:15). I'd be all "give me my tiara now please" oh, and maybe ask for a scented bath. But I don't think I would go back to tending smelly dumb sheep. You?

So now I (we) have examples of how our Biblical heroes all handled dealing with the known and unknown. I could do a whole post on what I've learned about Jeremiah 29:11 and how it is really more about building a life during the unknown but I'll wrap this up instead.

Here's what I know: regardless of whether I know or don't know what is going to happen, God does. And He's also placed me right where I am to keep my eyes and ears open to what is right in front of me. I want my #3littlewords to be "and Allie trusted"... even when it is hard.

My story, your story, is unfinished, but it is NOT at a standstill. It's active and it is a gift to me.  Plus, I'm betting my story will have a pretty great ending.

What is the Lord trying to tell you? What #3littlewords is He speaking into your life right now?

Resources (not affiliates):
Seamless Bible Study
One for the Guys or Couples (more gender neutral than Seamless)

Listening can be hard to do when you don't stop talking. Don't let figuring out your future keep you from letting your story unfold. | Southern Grits and Graces

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