How is God connecting the dots in your life into what may seem an unexpected story? Read on as Rebecca Stuhlmiller offers a helpful perspective.
Connecting the Dots
By Rebecca Stuhlmiller
When I was a teenager, my best friend and I drew pictures of our dream lives: the boys we wanted to marry, what our houses would look like, and how many kids we’d have. Even as a young adult, I expected to have enough raw talent to create the picture of my life, inside the lines, with shades of my choosing.
Instead, my years have resembled a connect-the-dots picture, the kind of awkward "masterpiece" I could create as a child. I could craft an image by counting and drawing a (relatively) straight line. One to two. Two to three. Three to four. A fish! A house! A tree!
Dot 22 … married a guy I barely knew.
Dot 25 … gave birth to my first of three daughters.
Dot 28 … surrendered my sorry, playing-the-church-game life to Jesus.
Dot 30 … divorced the guy I barely knew.
Dot 33 … married a farmer with four kids.
Dot 40 … spoke in front of my first audience.
Dot 50 … sold the farm, joined the cancer-survivor club, embarked on a two-year missions experience.
Dot 53 … moved back to the US.
Nothing close to the picture I drew as a teenager. So many unexpected dots!
Transition has become a familiar picture for me, one who has called four countries, twelve states, and thirty-five dwellings, home. Many dots that don't always feel connected.
Instead of waiting around for the next dot to appear, I try to live with intention as I connect with family and friends because I have learned that the next dot in line is not guaranteed.
A long-ago shepherd and king wrote, “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me." (Psalms 16:5-6) He saw that God drew a good picture of his life.
And God has connected all the crazy dots to draw a good picture of my life.
My Artist knows when and where he’ll move his sharpened pencil —up, down, or sideways. I want to nudge it along in the direction of the next dot: an image of my own. But I can’t see the big picture. I can only see the morning sunrise over the city across Puget Sound. I can live in transition, anticipating the next dot, and watching for what God is drawing.
Rebecca Stuhlmiller is a writer, international speaker, wife, mom, and gramma who lives near Seattle, Washington. Her mission, based on Colossians 1:28-29, is to help women create room to love God and love people. Check out her speaking topics at http://rebeccastuhlmiller.com.