“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gunna get”
My little cousin said this over and over again prior to Valentine's Day – quoting one of my favorite 90's movies, Forrest Gump.
As I heard that quote, I couldn't help but to fixate on how true such a simple line from a movie actually is. How beautiful. How epic. I feel like the most human thing we can do is desire to plan out our lives; yet, in all of our planning and wanting there is the 99% chance our lives will look completely different. I say 99% with care, as I do believe in good and right desired blessings. We, as humans, strive and strive to think we know what is best for us – but in reality, what we think is best ...what we think we can control... what we hope to plan...
Well, what we think we want isn't always God's plan for our lives. In actuality, our plans are usually in that 1% window, if that 1% even happens (this ladies and gentlemen is what I like to call pure and downright LUCK!).
With all jokes aside, my point is, Our plans are not always God's plans for our lives.
'Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God Answer him!" -Job 40:2
Giving God a chance has made me realize that His purposes will be revealed over the course of my life and not always at the moment that I desire. Five 1/2 years ago I was engaged and planning my wedding. I thought a man was my end all be all and I was going to live happily ever after. Crazy cool thing about God is... He doesn't always give us what we think we want, rather He gives us what we NEED. Friends, I needed a swift quick in the gut and a major wake up call. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not thankful for my singleness as I now have the greatest opportunity to go and serve the nations! I have learned over the past 4 years of walking in faith that God has VERYdifferent plans for our lives than we do and ultimately He knows what is best.
You see, when I grab for a piece of chocolate out of that pretty little Valentine's Day box that I am hoping is filled with caramel – with my luck, I typically get the one with that nasty squishy strawberry filling. The funny thing is, I eat it anyways hoping I will be surprised with delightful awesomeness; and unfortunately, I tend to taste the bitter end of something downright disagreeable. You think I would learn my lesson by now? Or maybe I was desiring only what I wanted without seeing there are twenty other chocolates to choose from. Talk about banking on that 1% chance ey?!
So, in comparison a box of chocolates can be indeed a lot like life – never knowing what you are going to get. Sometimes we get something we never expected or hoped for. Sometimes we are so surprised we are really grateful we didn't grab the one we thought we wanted. Sometimes it is hard to stomach and maybe sometimes it's super good. I think those yucky moments, that bit of suffering before you know you can't change that choice and just stick it right back into the box... those are the moments we grow.
If life were all good and your faith was never challenged, where would you be spiritually? If you were actually in control and all the chocolates you ever chose were caramel filled, would you ever really know how to examine and look out for that strawberry one to stay away from? I believe, it's the yucky and bad chocolates that test our faith. That really produce our character and allows us to realize that we don't have as much control as we would like to think we do. Suffering through the chew and trusting that the next chocolate will be caramel or even better... that is a lot like putting all of our trust in God. Because really, what God has is a lot better and it's like caramel plus almond (and that my friends, is a dangerously tasty combo!)
'Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom , let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting...' -James 1:2-6
We mature and our depth of character grows as we learn to rely on God through everything we endure. That means the good and the bad. Sometimes we think we need and plan to pick a caramel chocolate, when God has this kicker combo of caramel and almond waiting for us.
Earlier today I had a conversation with a couple that is very dear and close to my heart. We spoke of this very topic and it has inspired me to write this blog: Our plans versus God's plans. We joked and laughed about how much can change in just a few years. How so many unexpected and great blessings have happened! I have watched this couple date and get married as I was the maid of honor at the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended (seriously! look at that!)
Now they are expecting a baby boy in May! Today I just smiled as I looked at them and thought of how rad God's plans really are. We all concluded how forever thankful we are that none of our plans even compare to Gods. There are just some wise people that come into your life that capture a special place in your heart, Kendall and Taylor Heenehan are that amazing couple for my life. Without their love, care, and wise words of Truth I cannot say I would be where I am today. These two people taught me that God has something better than caramel for our lives. Kendall has wisdom beyond her years and is the most honest, transparent person I know. If you've had a conversation with her you know what I mean - feeling fully affirmed and unconditionally loved. The highest compliment I can give Kendall is to say she has inspired me to be the greatest version of who God created me to be. Kendall mentored me for a year and poured her heart out in prayer for all the times I chose to pick strawberry filled chocolates for my life. Without her love, I wouldn't be writing this blog and I for sure wouldn't be embarking on the world race.
So in honor of Taylor and Kendall's love and for our plans not going anything like we had planned. I say cheers to that box of chocolates we like to compare to life … because whether I pick up a yucky one and grow a little more or one that surprises me with every chew of joy, I have faith that God knows what's best.
And thank you, my dear friend Forrest Gump for inspiring us all.
4 years ago yesterday, I committed my life to Jesus Christ. I got baptized on February 27, 2011. God is BETTER.