Friday, July 29, 2016

It's a Surprise

How do you feel about surprises? I love them! Over the years I have been known to arrange some fun surprises, like whisking my mom away on a trip for her 50th birthday or planning a party for my husband’s 30th birthday. Neither of them had a clue!

Some of the favorite surprises I’ve received were the 13th birthday party my friends and parents planned for me, as well as our fifth wedding anniversary when my husband planned a surprise trip to California. I didn’t know where we were going until we were at our gate at the airport! So fun!

Recently I’ve been struggling with some anxiety and worry. If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I’ve struggled with these things all my life. God has brought me SO far over the years, but every now and then I go through times where I battle them again.

A few things in my life are up in the air right now and I have a hard time with the unknown. With the waiting. With the uncertainty of what’s to come. With not being able to determine the outcome. With not being in control.

Can you relate?

If you follow me on Instagram (@andreafortenberry), you saw that this week I started a new Bible study, Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King. It was just what I needed to calm my anxious heart! I love how God speaks to us in this way!

My biggest takeaway from the first day’s lesson was that God leads us, but He doesn’t always tell us where He’s taking us: “He’s more likely to call you to follow one day at a time than He is to spell out all the details before you begin to obey Him.”

It’s a surprise! We so often want a detailed roadmap of where we’re going and become worried and anxious when we don’t get one. For being someone who loves surprises, I sure can freak out when I don’t know where God is taking me! But instead of giving us a map to navigate on our own, God is our GPS. Only He knows the destinations, but He personally guides us Himself, turn by turn every day of our lives.

As I begin to view my circumstances in light of God’s sovereignty and love for me, instead of my fear of the unknown, I start to feel excitement and anticipation (in a good way) of what’s to come. God has always, always, always provided for me. He has always, always, always taken care of me. He is worthy of my trust. Looking back, He’s planned some pretty awesome surprises before.

Isaiah 42:16 is my favorite Bible verse and it has helped me through times of uncertainty before. It encourages me again in my current circumstances and I hope it will encourage you today too:

“I will lead the blind along ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

Thank you, Jesus!

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