“Yes me can Mommy,” is a phrase I hear daily from my 2-year old son. He has wonderful manners and most times asks for things with a please and a smile. He is not deterred, however, by “no” for an answer. He confuses my response with his ability to perform the task at hand or at least give it a try.
One of my favorite parts of him, though, is that however much he wants something, most times he will go another direction (aka toddler distraction) with my gentle lead. He trusts me to show him something else that will fulfill his needs.
How many times, I wonder, do we play out this scenario with God? Of course we don’t talk back to God like a toddler, but we often stand firm in our desire to get what we want like that of my 35-pound bundle of spunk and think to ourselves, “Yes me can!” And often times not only do we think it, but we carry out our original intentions.
I know I’ve had this crossroads many times in my life. I grew up in central Pennsylvania and had solid plans for my future after college. I was not opposed to moving, but had set my own boundaries for how far away I would go. Eleven states later, including moves as far west as Montana, as far south as Texas and as far north as Maine, and clearly I didn’t get what I wanted. But did I get what I needed? Absolutely.
Was is easy to move more than a thousand miles away from my mom and family? Or every few years after that? No way. But when my husband and I pray about a decision and feel that gentle nudge, we start packing, sometimes when moving boxes have not even been unpacked.
There have been many difficult decisions made over the years that were not what WE wanted, loss that left us weak in the knees without any answers. But I think back to those times and wonder what if I had thrown a toddler-like tantrum and stood firm in place, defying God’s lead, questioning His guidance? What I know now is that those choices would have affected not only our life but that of my mother.
God knew my mom had cancer growing in her body years before she would ever find out. All the while He was making a way, carving a trail for me that would meld our lives together and lead to her treatment. A path that would glorify God and show clearly that His timing is perfect. His plans, although hard to understand, are for our good. He does not provide a map, only a destination.
This reminds me of a verse, one that has become the main theme in my book, because of how many examples there have been throughout the lives of both my mom and me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
His promise has been fulfilled in my family’s life over and over again. And so I will learn from my son, to stand firm on what I believe is possible and not be deterred. Unless, of course, I feel a leading from up above to go in another direction. Then I will put my trust that God has something else to show me.
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