Thursday, January 26, 2017

A blessing in disguise.....

So I woke up this morning and looked at my Facebook feed - nothing unusual about me doing that!  But then I noticed a "throw back Thursday" photo someone else had posted.  On this day 39 years ago (yes, that is a long, long time ago! Sigh!) there was a major snowstorm in the Chicago area.  And then I remembered that day, almost like it was just yesterday!  Here are my photo's from that major snowstorm....

Yes, that is me and Ken and the parking lot of our apartment.  But here is the story that makes this storm "extra" meaningful to me.  We were supposed to close on our house buy on that very day.  It got delayed because of the weather.  In fact, there was an almost two week delay before we actually finally closed on our house.  Now considering that we were supposed to be moving into our new home, you can only imagine what our one bedroom apartment looked like.  We had everything packed and only had a narrow walkway through the boxes.  We had not gotten groceries for some time, since we did not want to worry about moving stuff like that.  We had made our apartment seem even smaller than it was by purchasing furniture for our new home - before we moved in!  So we had a large dining room table and six chairs and hutch crammed into the space.  As a side note that particular table and chairs now resides at Gwen and Tim's house.  And I sit at that table every time I am there.  We were grateful for some good friends that lived next door to us.  They invited us over to eat with them.  On the second day, Ken was able to walk to a small convenience store and get some basic supplies to tide us over until the parking lot was cleared out. It certainly made our last few days in an apartment an interesting memory.  

I am really thankful for Facebook on days like today.  I would have just sort of blasted by the date and not even recalled this event.  It is good to be reminded that even when your plans have to change, or things don't go exactly as you wanted them to, there may well be a good memory in the making.  

Here I sit, in that same house that we were so anxious to finally own.  And I can tell you, that snowstorm 39 years ago was just one of many things that didn't quite go as planned for Ken and I. 
I am so thankful that over the years I have learned that it is really okay to NOT have everything happen as you planned.  It's a hard lesson, but a very necessary one.  Sometimes we don't know what is really the best for us.  It is good to let go and trust that God is in control of things.  Flexibility is a wonderful thing.  It is not always easy to set aside your plans and your ideas when something comes up.  But more often than not, in the end something good comes out of the change of plans.  It turned out that our move in date was changed not only because of the weather.  There was a delay in getting our electric meter installed.  We were blessed to have apartment management that allowed us to stay in our apartment for an extra two weeks. They might not have done this for us if it were not for the snowstorm! So the snow was a blessing in disguise for us.   By the time we actually did our move, most of the snow had melted away.  We had no way of knowing that snow was actually going to help us out.  And it was totally out of our control.  

What a great reminder to just take things as they come and not be so ridged in our thinking.  When our plans don't work out, when people disappoint us, and even the weather conspires against us, it is good to step back and take another look at the situation.  There could be a really nice blessing hiding right there for you.  It is so much easier to do this when we remember this verse from Jeremiah....
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jesus, thank you for your great love and care for us.  Holy Spirit, help us all to look at the challenges that we face from a different perspective.  Give us grace to look above the situations and to see those blessings that might be hidden from view.  Remind us, Jesus, that you care for us!  Amen

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