I’ve been writing here for more than three years—sporadically more than anything, but pressing on nonetheless. It's been a place I've pondered and processed and grew and shared. As I reflect on these last years—almost 300 posts and tens of thousands of words written—I see that while I've changed the look of my blog, God has changed me.
When I started writing here I was playing lots of tennis and having a great time with it. Much of my days were filled with tennis matches and drills and lunches with friends. Life was good and full and carefree. But tennis had become more than a hobby; it was more like a part time job (that I paid for). And something inside told me that God hadn’t put me on this earth to spend my days that way—that He had more planned for me.
I pulled back from tennis a bit, but continued to play competitively. And then in a match almost exactly three years ago from today, I went for a shot and hurt my elbow badly. The diagnosis? Tennis elbow. What should have gone away in 12 weeks lingered for months. I saw many doctors and therapists, and tried all sorts of treatments. Nothing worked. “Give it time,” most of the specialists said.
The fall tennis season started without me and I mourned the loss of a big part of my life. I looked for ways to fill my surplus of free time and started to write more. I started to focus less on myself and more on others. I discovered gifts I didn’t know I had. And my relationship with God became more intimate and personal.
When I look the last three post-tennis years, I am amazed at the places God has led me. How He’s changed my outlook and centered my thoughts on His work. His children. His purpose for my life.
Since I set down my tennis racket, I’ve:
- Been to writers’ conferences
- Joined a writers’ group.
- Had stories and articles published (and actually got paid!)
- Been on—not just one—but four mission trips. And have plans for more in the near future.
- Developed a deep love for missions and Haiti in particular.
- Joined the prison ministry.
- Backpacked the Grand Canyon.
- Confronted (although not conquered) my fear of public speaking.
- Made close friends who have a heart for writing, for missions and especially for the Lord.
I don’t know why I hurt my elbow…or why it refuses to get better. Was it bad luck? An accident? Divine intervention? Perhaps. I do know that when one door closed, a wonderful path came into view. One I started on reluctantly, but now travel enthusiastically. On the road I’ve experienced God in rich and powerful ways. He’s opened my eyes and broken my heart to love His children. And He’s awakened a sense of adventure that is such a part of who I am now.
With the improvements God’s done in me, it’s fitting my blog reflects that change. I no longer see myself as primarily a thinker. A ponderer. An observer. Now I’m a do-er. A risk taker. An adventurer.
And with our awesome God as my guide I’m discovering I’m not so ordinary after all.
We may be happy and comfortable in our lives, but our plans are not always God’s plans, and the good things we do are not always the best He has in store.
Where is God be leading you from "good" to "best" ... from thinking to doing?
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)
|Haiti and Me . . . March 2010|