Rivers and Starlight

Oh, how I enjoy sitting by the river watching the currents. It is so peaceful and calming. I remember my favorite spot by a particular river. One night years ago when I was feeling lost, alone, sad and looking for any sign of what my purpose is, I went to meet God at the river and sit on my favorite concrete block where the riverboats would dock. Sadness consumed me, but deep down inside, there was hope. There had to be… because I was looking.

Dear reader, let me share with you how I found God in the river and in the stars! As I stared at the dark water, I became entranced by its swirling and tossing and folding into itself. The motion was like my life. It was like a rhythmic dance that seemed to change time to keep one on her toes! Still, it was soothing…maybe because I could identify. Finally, after a few moments of staring into the water, I let go. My shoulders slumped, and my sadness began to filter into the waves like an unraveling ball of yarn- slowly but steadily. I noticed that even though the currents seemed to be going in every direction, the bigger picture showed the river moving as a whole in one direction. I wondered, “How could this frenzied, indecisive water know where to flow, still, when it seemed to have no direction?” Just then, my attention was drawn to the reflection on the water’s surface, and I looked up. I looked up at the great expanse suddenly feeling very small. The spread of stars looked like pale gold glitter strategically dusted across a bluish black velvet cloth. I was in awe. The water seemed guided by God who made all of this and was in control of and watching over the river. I thought to myself, “God is guiding the river and it is still on course.” A spark of hope caught in my heart. “Surely, like this river, there is hope for me!” I called out to God and began to confess my sins, disclose my pains, expose my wounds and request an increase of hope. My eyes teared. Then searching the sky for an answer- anything- any sign at all, a star shone brighter than all the rest and began to twinkle. My eyes grew wide and my pupils dilated. Peace warmed me in the midst of a cool breeze. “God, who am I that You would acknowledge me?!” Big, warm tears streaked my face. We passed the time together there, at the river, under the starlight. HE turned my heaving sighs to laughter, my tears of sorrow to tears of joy. A burden, a weight, had been lifted! We playfully walked back to my vehicle, drove home together, and HE tucked me in. HE’d never left me. I’d just gotten distracted, went too far and stayed too long, but I was home now where I was supposed to be.

God is everywhere. HE found me when I was lost…and as badly as I needed HIM and still do, HE wants me and still does. I am a Believer, so my faith assures me that HE wants you too! #HEISEVERYWHERE

Jigsaw Puzzle

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Jigsaw puzzles… they didn’t always used to be my favorite. They started off as a way to keep me busy and quiet while my mother cleaned our home. At first, all of those little pieces seemed overwhelming like they had placed a special demand on me to put them together and with accuracy! Asking my mom for help, I learned some great strategies that helped me not only complete the puzzles but also more easily and with speed, focus and excitement!

The key was to first organize. Sorting the pieces and grouping by similarities helped make sense of the massive pile (Massive is an exaggeration, but as a child, everything seems bigger!). I would first sort and group my straight-edged pieces together, making the four corners a sub pile. Then I would go to work sorting my colors even down to the shades and tints. Special identifying markers would have their own pile such as a birdhouse hole, door or path. The strategies my mom taught me stuck with me even unto adulthood.

Dear reader, as you know, this site is branded “Looking for God #HEISEVERYWHERE”. With that being said, let me share a bit more with you about how I recently found God in a jigsaw puzzle. Last month, I took on my first 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. At first, part of me thought I was crazy. Another part of me was confident that no matter how many pieces to the puzzle, the same strategies could be applied. As I studied the pieces in order to put together the puzzle, I noticed pieces that seemed like they would fit but didn’t. There were some that seemed to have no place at all but did when it was time. There were some that fit but needed a little push to make the union seamless. Still, there were pieces that did fit and match until the arrival of bona fide surrounding pieces made it clear that a particular piece was a counterfeit! Even though I had my strategy and I knew what the big picture should look like, it was clear to me how much I still needed intuition and God’s guidance. I didn’t know what I was doing! The relationship of the pieces ministered to me and reminded me of people who have come into my life, those who left and those who stayed.

The first type of piece reminded me of people who came into my life that I was excited to see coming, thinking they would be a good fit in my life only to find out that they were meant for some place else. The second type of piece reminded me of “angels in disguise” who seemed to have no rhyme or reason for being present until their purpose was served. Bless the LORD! Isn’t it amazing how our eyes can be opened to what was in front of us all along?! How often do we see without SEEING?! The third type of piece is the one that is meant to be there. It belongs. It looks right, and whatever might be askew just needs a gentle nudge to make it just right. How often do we neglect fine tuning just because something is right? Just because things are right doesn’t mean they can’t be improved. Bless the LORD! The fourth type of piece reminded me of the people who seemed to jump right into the rhythm of my life and flow! I mean they fell right in, we had things in common and my close loved ones even liked them, but as other things started falling in place, it was clear that the person I welcomed so easily was a fraud- maybe not intentionally. Maybe they too thought we were a good fit, but there was always that one thing that never was quite right…

In every situation, I need God. No matter how good my strategies may be, I need God. Even if the destination is obvious and the big picture seems crystal clear, I need God, and as a Believer, I believe we ALL need God. Take your pieces to God. I promise you that HE can do something with them!