Saturday, August 22, 2009


Yesterday went something like this: unexpected a.m. visit with great friend, complete with comfy pjs and chai tea; first yoga class in months; long lunch at favorite restaurant with another great friend and Dr. Pepper; quick shopping trip in which I find an awesome pair of trouser jeans for $5 - yes, only $5; pick boys up from school; and then watch them depart with Tim for tennis lessons, leaving me with some quiet time in an empty house.

I had honestly thought earlier in the day, as I drove down Kingston Pike, that I am going to have to blog about this day. It was one of those times that felt like a reprieve from all of the wrestling I had been doing in my personal and spiritual life earlier that week. It was a gift. I felt the joy of deep friendship, physical restoration, great conversation, and small delights (chai, Dr. Pepper, a bargain). I thought that was what the day was all about until...

As Tim and the boys left for tennis and I closed the garage door, the phone began to ring. I couldn't have scripted it any better. I knew on the first ring who it was (see previous post, "Waiting"). My lengthy wait ended with that phone call, and the result was ... disappointment.

Hold on. That's not how it's supposed to go. The day is about rest. Friends. Small blessings. A light heart. Good news - that's what the phone call is supposed to deliver. That makes sense in the day's context.

What do we do when it doesn't make sense? When the light/dark, happy/sad, sweet/bitter come to you all at once? I'm no expert, but I will tell you what I did: I allowed myself to feel the disappointment, to acknowledge my grief, and to cry (hard). When my brain told me to pull it together, I instead listened to my heart and cried some more. And in the midst of the tears, I saw the soft place God had prepared for my disappointment - a day of rest, a quiet house, caring friends, a compassionate husband, tender and loving children.

In acknowledging this, I realized that the contrasts of my day could be best summarized as disappointment/appointment. To be appointed means "to be predetermined." I have no doubt that this phone call came right on time. Appointed also means "to be provided with what is necessary; to be equipped." I was ready for the conversation - to accept the response; to share my story, and to walk in the Spirit.

I am amazed by the juxtaposition of these things - how our hearts can feel so much, how our lives can contain it all, and how God works so beautifully, so deeply, and so graciously before, beyond, and in the midst of it all. I am overwhelmed by His provision - to handle the timing in my life and to equip me for whatever is to come. And I am thankful that He is present in the light/dark, happy/sad, sweet/bitter moments of my life.


Lora-Joy said...

What a great post...thanks for sharing. Good reminder for us all. God truly does prepare us for everything (even when we don't realize it).

Kate Kehne said...

Thank you Susan for articulating so well what I am feeling and also allowing me to be reminded of God's sovereignty and blessings in and through disappointments even. Thanks, friend.

Cindy McNeil-Hatmaker said...

Wow Susan!
That blew me outta the water.

I have a hard time with asking God where He is during the hard times when it hits me; He's there..and He's there during the good times and I fail to acknowledge Him too.

Whatever your grief; my heart cried with you as I read.
I am praying.


deb said...

so sorry for your disappointment but so happy to see how God cared for you and prepared your heart AND for you seeing it. simply beautiful.