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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Late Bloomer

I've always been a late bloomer. I just had to watch others experience things before I caught on myself.

I've never felt like God took me to any point in my life via the shortest route. Walking, reading, riding a bike, driving, college graduation, marriage, children and ministry have all happened later than I had imagined they would. Basically, milestones, in my life, are met in a roundabout sort of way even though I consider myself to be a very straight shooter.

I've never really appreciated this for what God is showing me it is. I've met the goals with lots of high fives and sighs of finallies but sometimes the long way just takes the wind out of your sails.
Today what I've always seen as deprivation became provision, rejection became protection and hesitation became preparation.

"When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land." Exodus 13:17a

Why did God lead the Israelites along a side road, the long way, to the Promised Land?
To protect them from going back to the lifestyle from which He had delivered them. To save them from being devastated by fighting a battle they were not ready to win.

"God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17b

I have never thought about His timing in my life in this way. I mean, I believe it's perfect, I think. I certainly believe God is sovereign. I know He has worked all these "late" timing issues together for His glory. But, I do think somewhere in my fragile heart I translated "late-blooming" into "forgotten."

I'm pretty sure this happened when most of my friends were married...and I wasn't. And, I think it was again reiterated when my younger friends started having babies...and I didn't. I felt passed over and denied.

Somehow just realizing this has birthed hope in my heart. The truth of being loved and chosen permeates my inner most feelings today.

Understanding that as I stood still, not knowing which way to go, My Rescuer was fighting for me...“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today...The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14 has brought gladness to a dark, sleepy place in my heart. A place long forgotten with the birth of many children and a tiredness that penetrates bone and soul.

The place in this weary heart that has always felt deserted feels loved, nurtured, protected and cared for today. New truth was born in my life today. Another pent up part of my soul that has been held hostage to darkness has become unbound today. I was never a late bloomer. I was right on time. God was always leading me. Going before me. Just as he led the Israelites. "The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them..." Exodus 13:21a

I realize that when I was not free to see, God was still moving in my life, still protecting me, still providing for me. And as the chains were broken allowing me to move, I turned my head and I found my God.

"Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them." Exodus 14:19
I was so busy straining to focus on all I wanted, to see forward, I forgot to look back. He has been there all along. Protecting me. I just couldn't see that until now.

“With your unfailing love you lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your might, you guide them
to your sacred home."
Exodus 15:13


Kathryn, Michael and Alex said...

So beautiful...God's timing is perfect. I pray that we always look at life through His eyes.

Melanie said...

"...milestones, in my life, are met in a roundabout sort of way even though I consider myself to be a very straight shooter.

What a great juxtaposition!

I enjoy your insights.

B His Girl said...

Better a late bloomer than never having any flowers! I can relate to the timing of things in my life also.

Joyful said...

His Hand has been guiding you all along. How beautiful to recognize.

I have recently come to realize how precious God's 'no' has been to a request I have been praying for years. He has showed me the heartache He has spared me by not answering my prayer in the way that I had desired. Thanking Him for His 'no's' that make room for His greater 'yes'.

God's ways are always best,

Wendy Pope said...

Congrats on winning Wendy's book. We share an office at Proverbs and a room at She Speaks. She is Wendy 1 and I and Wendy 2.
It is neat how we all connect!

Angie Love said...

Wow! What a great message, that God loves us so much He would choose to take us the "long way around" when He knows we simply aren't strong enough to face an army head-on.
Weary from emotions of dad's surgery, I am thankful for the long road this week, that my God is protecting me in my weakness so that I do not go back to where I once was...even if that place was 15 years ago or just 2 days ago.

Rebecca said...

Ahh you have such a beautiful family. I just saw your comment on my blog. I grew up with Heather Pliler. How do you know her and what do you do in CS? I teach at Jane Long!