The topic for this week’s blog came to me as I was listening this morning to the pastor share his thoughts about Joseph and how God “changed his story.”
If you’re not familiar with the story of Joseph let me give a summary. Joseph was engaged to Mary, a binding commitment stronger than the one we call engagement these days. When Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant he made up his mind to “divorce her quietly,” so as not to publicly humiliate her.
After the decision was made, before he could set the wheels in motion, an angel came to him in a dream reassuring him that Mary had not been unfaithful. Rather, the infant growing in her womb was a gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, who would become the Savior for us all.
This morning when the pastor mentioned that Joseph seemingly had his own story, his own plan as to how things were “supposed to go,” it reminded me of me.
See I’m not sure how my family and I ended up in Ankeny, Iowa. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful and lovely community—a place where we’ll make many happy memories, I’m sure. But here’s the deal, this wasn’t how my story was supposed to play out.
You see, my husband and I are Nebraskans at heart. And I liked my life there. I liked where I worked out. We had our favorite restaurants, places to shop. Most of all, we called it home, and as a girl who doesn’t like change, I was content to spend my days in Gretna for many years to come.
So, when God interrupted and seemingly “changed my story,” it made me a little mad, a little bitter, a little, well, angry. What right did God have to change my story without consulting me?
I felt sad, alone, in limbo, so here’s what I decided to do, walk with him. Literally. This past week as I was struggling with these feelings of sadness, I went to my local Y and walked on a treadmill. My goal was to walk two miles each time and spend time in prayer—religious speak for just talking to him. As I walked I shared my confusion, frustration, my pain.
And I prayed for the change in my story, the one that was leaving me unsettled. Because the fact of the matter is that the change in my story wasn’t really a change to God. He knew where he was leading me all the time. The change was only news to me.
I know I’m at a crossroads and that I can either fight with God, or continue to walk with him—not just on a treadmill, but all the time, without props, or people, or places that are familiar but with him, the author of my story.
Change is hard. Accepting it is even harder. It seems fitting this time to end with someone else’s story whose world was rocked with change. The story of Mary, who was told she was to become pregnant with the greatest gift the world has ever known, Jesus.
When she received the news, Mary didn’t flinch, didn’t shrink back, didn’t complain. Here’s how she accepted the change given to her by an angel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Mary embraced the change in her story because she knew the author of her story. May we accept the twists and turns in our own lives taking a cue from her.
So my friends, walk with God this week and let him show you how the twists and turns in life can be beautiful. Most of all remember that the ending of our story will be very happy, very happy, indeed. Merry Christmas!