Wednesday, May 25

My Upstream God

What a CrAzY life we are living! In what seems like a blur of events, we have; emptied our house, had a garage sale, closed on our house, moved into our temporary 'apartment', finished a school year, and held TWO TOT Shine Time events. We have survived; however, survival was questionable at times.

Today, I hit a BIG milestone as I taught my last class at the Baptist Healthplex. For many seasons of my life, the gym has been my place. Here in New Albany, that has been especially true.

See, I didn't think I wanted to teach classes anymore when we left Clinton. I decided that it was time for me to move on. In fact, I thought I wouldn't even join a gym. For some unknown reason, I felt like I would enjoy just exercising on my own... OUTSIDE.... in JULY! That didn't last at all, so I quickly found the healthplex and went in one afternoon to join. During my conversation with the man at the front desk, he found out that I was an instructor. I remember Bobby being THRILLED at the thought I might be able to teach some classes. I assured him that I was 'done' with teaching and I'd only be participating in classes. He grinned! Then, quietly, he said, "We'll see."

I didn't necessarily want to put myself out there again. Teaching is tough for me, because I typically keep to myself. After a year in Clinton of being on display, I'd decided to seek out ways to hide, to isolate, and to heal quietly. Apparently, God said, "we'll see." And, I'm so thankful.

Our time in New Albany has been BEAUTIFUL. God has done amazing things in us, around us, through us, and with us. When I think about His work in our lives for the past four years, I'm AMAZED! But, there have been some dark days. Each of those tough days began with a fight to just to get out of bed and move. On those TOUGH days, you better believe I DID NOT want to put on a happy face and lead some ladies through an upbeat exercise class. Heck... all I wanted to do myself was sit on the couch, eat a tub of ice cream, and have my own pity party!

Maybe.... just maybe.... that's why The Lord carved out the need for an aerobics instructor soon after I arrived.

Maybe.... MAYBE.... He knew there would be some days I'd need a group of precious people depending on ME to lead them; therefore, I was going to have to depend on HIM even more to lead ME! Ohhhh..... He is SO wise!

I wonder how many times I make a plan, pray a plan, for my life while God grins his own version of, "we'll see...."

For the past five years, LIFE has taught me a number of things. One central truth is that I MUST trust Him with the happenings of TODAY, because I have NO IDEA how they'll prepare me for my TOMORROWS. I heard a pastor say once, "God works upstream." I think that's beautiful. Father God knows what the future will be. He's there! So, TODAY, He's preparing us, preparing others, orchestrating situations, and rearranging some obstacles to pave the way for TOMORROW.

So, TODAY, I'm grieving the end of my time with a group of people that is so very dear to me WHILE I celebrate the provision they've been for me. And, I'm doing this while I read sweet words of encouragement from them. Had the Lord let me have it my way, I would have missed out on more blessings than I can print. But, the gift of their encouragement at this moment in my life is one I'm so thankful I get to receive

 I can truly relate to Paul when he said to the Philippians, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. (1:6)