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In the Master's Hands

I have always loved history! Romanticizing the times and places gone by. Forget no running water and poor hygiene, how lovely to have frolicked in fields, spinning in fancy palace gowns. Watching hand painted sun sets, tucked away in some secret high tower. Waiting for my knight in shining armor to arrive. Serene, magical, and full of endless possibilities.

In all the books we read of the prince and princess in search of unrequited love, it's easy to forget about the wars that were so often waged on those mighty fortresses. Or the day to day difficulties they faced. Had I lived in one of those decades, I'm sure I would have found longing for some other time or space that seemed more appealing written on pages than reality.

We always want for a different time or season, don't we? When life is easier and more fun. When we can sleep. When there is more money. When we have more time. But most times life is just hard, cruel and unappealing. It knocks us down over and over. And just when we rise again with a smile, determined to make it to the shore line, another wave throws us to our knees.

I have felt this time and again in my life. My marriage, my parenting, my finances. Just when things get good and I start to hope, the other shoe drops. It's hard to not become convinced disappointment, not goodness and blessing, will continue to follow me all my days.

I remember this sentiment clearly last year when we sent Lincoln to school. He was so so so excited for kindergarten. Till he realized it wasn't quite what he had been expecting. 3 days in and he changed his tune. His smile went to tears and it was a battle every morning to get him out the door and into the school building. There were many tears on both our parts for the first two months. And you better believe I wanted to throw in the towel, every. single. day. All I wanted to do was wrap my baby up in my arms and tuck him back in the safety of our home. Hide him away from the harsh world and all the big scary things there are in it.

But every day I just felt God tugging at my heart to keep surrendering my trust to him. That he was working a good thing in Lincolns life. Something I couldn't teach him. In fact, something I wasn't needed for. Just Lincoln and God on this one.

And now, a year later, as I watch my boy jump out of bed, so excited to get ready for school; and then boldly walk into the school building, almost without a second thought about me, because he knows his God is big enough. I can't help but think where we might be if I had given up when it got hard?

As I ponder this work of God in our life, it makes me take a second look at other things that I wanted to give up on: My weight. So many times, I wanted to crawl back into bed or buy that latte. But hard work and dedication finds me finally close to my goal and feeling so much better inside and out. In my marriage. The time I packed my backs and walked out. Or the countless times I threatened too. But I stayed and allowed God to grow a young girl into a woman after his heart. And now I rest secure, not in my marriage, but in the truth that what God has brought together, no one can separate. My relationship with God and journey to healing my soul. What an excruciating road to walk! Unveiling some of the most painful and humiliating parts of my life to the King of Kings. Surrendering each one to him so that he could use them for my good. Allowing him to replace my DNA with his and learn to love the woman he made me to be. I now find myself finally able to be at peace.

I marvel at all God has done in my life and thank him for not letting me run away each and every time I wanted to. On the other side I can see the good and perfect plan he had for each of these seasons of hard. And I feel so richly blessed that I chose to stay.

Wherever this finds you today, on the hilltop or in the valley, let me be your cheering section for a moment. Keep going!!! It will be worth it. All the grit, early mornings, late nights, tears, and pain are being shaped and molded into something so beautiful! Just keep giving it to God. Keep trusting he is the only one capable of never disappointing us. In fact, each hard thing we walk through is an opportunity to strengthen our faith and our salvation.

Romans 5:1-5 tells us that those hard, cramped places that press against us, are refining us for glory. Strengthening us to be grounded in our faith but yet still pliable for the master's hands. These difficult seasons are actually reasons for us to rejoice because we can be assured God is not finished with our story yet. And if he isn't finished yet, we can hold onto hope that better is coming.

Our lives will never end up like we expect. And they will definitely not amount to some romance novels thrills. But we can know every good and perfect thing comes down from our heavenly Father who loves us so dearly. We can root ourselves in the knowledge that when we go through the dark and difficult places, he is up to something good. We are guaranteed that our expectations, when placed in God’s hands, will never leave us disappointed or wanting more. He is incapable of failing us.

Photo Credit: Julia Costanzo Photography

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