How did I get here?

Hindsight is 20/20.  Seeing is believing.  Looking back allows us to move forward.  

Just for fun, google sometime... "quotes about looking back"...

Where are you in the "looking back" department?  Our teaching pastor recently led us back through his journey of walking backward through his life to answer the question, "how did I get here?"

It's a fun, not-so-fun, journey.  As I gave it a try, my mind recreated many specific, unexpected scenes.  The memory path took me back through specific career moves... teaching school where God clearly reminded me of some forgotten realities of challenges in raising young children as well as the truth of learning many strategies of a "new" job... late nights, early mornings, weekend catch-up.  Back up a little further to a year in children's ministry, then a step into teaching for several years.  Way back to 15 years in the preschool education world... how very much I learned from others about how to listen better than I ever had before.... Throwing in the joys and sorrows of raising teenagers, the precious memories of the birth of our four children, the loss of two our of babies who never took their first breath here on earth. Meeting, dating and marrying my husband, Frank... a paragraph of love.

 Sprinkled through all, I saw our life of indescribable joy, eternal hope, excruciating pain, unthinkable sorrow, overwhelming hurt, acceptance of the unexpected, devastating disappointments..

and the Lord was with us.

Several chapters in Genesis recount the story of Joseph.  I wonder, sometimes, how he would recreate his story... his life was a roller coaster of events - many of the circumstances came because of the decision of others.  He was sold into slavery by his brothers; his honesty landed him in charge of Potiphar's house; his integrity then landed him jail as he refused the sexual advances of Potiphar's wife.  He correctly interpreted dreams of two cell mates, the only one that could have helped him... forgot him.  He was finally remembered as the dream interpreter and was placed in charge of all of Egypt during seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.

and the Lord was with Joseph.

Friends, how did you get where you all... the good, the bad and unimaginable?  If we believe God's word to be true, we believe that He is with us... today, tomorrow and forever.  Can you just think on that for a few moments?  Wherever you are, however you feel, the Lord is with you.

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love... Genesis 39:21

and the Lord is with you too...

This is us... THIS is joy

Christian artists, Casting Crowns, wrote a song called Thrive in 2014.  The theme of the song is that we, as believers, should be living in the promise of thriving, not simply surviving.  The song is upbeat and encouraging.  One bridge in the song repeats with intensity the following chorus:

Joy unspeakable
Faith unsinkable
Love unstoppable
Anything is possible 

My three grandsons have loved this song... we often sing it together in the car, but as you might imagine, the tempo intensifies during this bridge.  Somehow this Mimi seems to get a bit mixed up in the words... joy unsinkable, love unspeakable, faith unstoppable, but I always catch up by the line, "anything is possible"... with Jesus.

...Speaking of those three grand boys... once again we've experienced such joy unspeakable as we welcomed grand boy number four to our growing clan.  Ryder Clay Anderson made his grand entrance into the world on Friday evening just before 6:00.  As we anxiously awaited his birth, words and phrases from Psalm 139 spun webs of apprehensive anticipation and unimaginable excitement.  

Ryder was knitted together in Kellie's womb.  
God, the marvelous Creator, formed each of Ryder's parts.  
Ryder is fearfully and wonderfully made.
Nothing about this child is hidden from the Father.
God's eye was on this precious baby before he was even formed.
The day Ryder was born was determined by our loving, powerful, ordered God.

As I write this very sentence, Ryder is exactly 2 days old - he has much to learn as he grows and navigates this world... His parents, Tim and Kellie, understand Ryder's precious, priceless worth in their eyes, and in the eyes of 2 sets of grandparents that are "over the moon enthralled" with this little boy, as well as a wealth of aunts and uncles, cousins, great grandparents, and numerous friends.  We understand that he is loved deeply, created by and for a relationship with his Heavenly Father through Jesus.

Oh friends, our Heavenly Father feels that very same about you and me.  Joy unspeakable - We are loved, created and never hidden from him.

This is us and this is joy!

For you formed my inward parts;

    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.  Psalm 139:13-16


Click here to listen to Casting Crowns:  Thrive