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Choosing Joy Instead of what was Supposed to be

March 17, 2020 4 min read

I’ve managed to do almost everything else but write this blog post today. I pushed and pulled furniture around my room in the name of inspiration and creativity. I shoved my desk against a wall by the window, but it turns out, my new view is of the garage roof. Not really the inspiring idea I had in mind. 

But I had to do something. I had to move and walk and lift heavy things. But as the minutes ticked by, I also let myself cry. I let the grief and frustration and stress from the last few days and weeks spill onto my cheeks and down my face, because it wasn’t supposed to be this way. 

It’s such a terrible phrase, “supposed to be.” It’s a mark of our plans and hopes and desires—things we have so very little control over. And I’m trying to stop the loop playing in my brain, because I believe that I’m right where the Father wants me—at least I’m trying to believe that. 

I was supposed to move to Chicago this week—serving our beautiful families on the north side of the city. I was prepared for my days to be a chaotic mess of English lessons, ESL training, homework help, and home visits. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I was going to find an apartment, and then I was going to figure out when to bring the rest of my things. My boxes are packed. Im ready to go. 

Instead, this morning I woke up in my parent’s house. I turned off the news because my head and heart couldn’t hold another word. With Little Women playing in the background—God’s gift to me in this season—I rearranged the furniture in my room. I made a cup of coffee and talked to the Father. I reminded my heart of truth but also let myself feel the grief of losing what was “supposed to be.” And I also tried to stop Googling “Coronavirus Chicago,” because that’s not helping. 

My plans to move are on pause for a bit—lots of life seems to be on hold. I’m in the thick of this with you, and my heart and mind and body are weary—like how that 12-hour Thailand jet lag feels on day two or three.

But even in this uncertainty, there is hope and joy and truth. Psalm 33 has been on repeat in the last few days—a reminder that I am not God. It’s a reminder that I can’t actually control all those things I thought I could. My plans, my ideas, my vision for tomorrow ultimately falls on the Father. Yesterday and today and tomorrow, I am praying for joy. I’m praying for a heart that worships and hands that stay open. 

So, friend, as all of us step carefully and try to navigate this season, may we hold tightly to truth. May we love our neighbors. May we look out for one another and care for one another. May we talk to the Father more than we binge the news or Netflix or social media. May we worship and celebrate and remember that the marks of the Holy Spirit in our life are love and joy and peace; patience and kindness and goodness; faithfulness and gentleness and self control. May all that we are wait quietly before the Father, because our hope is in Him.

Jesus said that the world would know us by our love—for Him, for each other. May we be this love even in these in-between kind of days. 

 It’s time to sing and shout for joy!
Go ahead, all you redeemed ones, do it!
Praise him with all you have,
for praise looks lovely on the lips of God’s lovers.
Play the guitar as you lift your praises loaded with thanksgiving.
Sing and make joyous music with all you’ve got inside.
Compose new melodies that release new praises to the Lord.
Play his praises on instruments
with the anointing and skill he gives you.
Sing and shout with passion; make a spectacular sound of joy—
For God’s Word is something to sing about!
He is true to his promises, his word can be trusted,
and everything he does is reliable and right.
The Lord loves seeing justice on the earth.
Anywhere and everywhere you can find his faithful, unfailing love!
All he had to do was speak by his Spirit-wind command,
and God created the heavenlies.
Filled with galaxies and stars,
the vast cosmos he wonderfully made.
His voice scooped out the seas.
The ocean depths he poured into vast reservoirs.
Now, with breathtaking wonder,
let everyone worship Yahweh, this awe-inspiring Creator.
Words he breathed and worlds were birthed.
“Let there be,” and there it was—
Springing forth the moment he spoke.
No sooner said than done!
Psalm 33:1-9 (The Passion Translation)

1 Comment

  • Patty March 17, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    May God help us all through this time. We say we trust God when things go right,but then life comes and we didn’t see it coming. Then is when I need to trust and give thanks to God. Kate I love you ,but God loves you more. I hope we all are being over cautious,but if not then thank you God for holding us back from what could be very bad. For Christians the bad would turn out good in the end. Can you take your training on line and get a head start? We’re still praying for you,and thanks for sharing . We all feel that way at times but don’t always know how to share.

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