Thursday, October 27, 2011


Do you ever find yourself  looking back at life and wondering if things turned out 
just the way they were supposed to...
or if the choices you made interrupted the perfect plan that could have been?

No? Oh, okay...I'll shut up now.
Can I be honest?
I think about this alot at times.

I look back at different times in my life and I think to myself
why did that situation turn out the way it did?
Was it my own doing? My choices?
 Did God allow certain things to take place in my life 
to ultimately bring Himself glory?
 Maybe it's both...
Maybe God allowed things into my life, knowing full well what my response would be,
so that in the end the story of his grace, forgiveness, and faithfulness
would make His glory shine.

I guess I start to struggle with guilt when I think about it too long.
And I have to remember that
God is faithful even when his children are not. 
(Max Lucado)

 It's easy to look back and see all the things we would have done differently were we given the opportunity.
It's easy to feel like we don't quite measure up because of  where we've been.
I remember sitting in a college Sunday school class one day where everyone voiced where they thought they'd be in 5 years. I said something along the lines of wanting to be married with a family...I said regardless of what happened in those 5 years, I wanted to be faithful. 

I failed miserably. 

I battled some of the darkest days of my life during those years.
I ran hard and fast from what I felt God asking me to do,
and I still wonder to this day what the outcome would have been
had I simply obeyed.

But I didn't and I can't go back now.
And I guess what I've come to realize is that no matter how far down the wrong road you go,
you can always turn around. 
You'll still have to travel the long road back home...
that's just the natural consequence of choosing our own way,
but you won't walk that road alone.

Shortly before the major turning point I had during those hard years, my sister Katie called me up out of the blue and said that the Lord just kept putting me on her heart that day.
I told her how I was struggling and that I was tired.
I was tired of running.
Not long after that conversation she sent me an email with a story she'd heard...
It's stuck with me ever since.

A shepherd has the important job of protecting his sheep from danger. He must always keep his eye on them, making certain that they don't wander off.  The safest place for a sheep to stay is at the shepherd's side. 
Mature sheep obviously have learned this, or they wouldn't have survived. 
When a lamb insists on wandering away and absolutely refuses to stay where it is safe, the shepherd must resort to a drastic measure in order to preserve the sheep's life. 
He breaks one of it's legs. 
This seems so cruel!! But it is the only way that a lamb will learn. The shepherd binds up the leg so that it will heal, then carries that lamb on his shoulders as the flock moves from place to place. 
Eventually the broken leg heals and the lamb is free to go where it pleases.  But by this time the sheep has become close to the shepherd and no longer wants to wander off. 
That lamb keeps his eyes on his shepherd all the time. 
The things that used to tempt him to run, are no longer appealing. 
He knows the hurt.
He'd much rather stay close to his shepherd. 
I was reminded this week of who my shepherd is.
It's Jesus.
He knows my heart, my fears, my failures, my regrets, my hurts, my joys, my desires.
When I struggle with big questions,
he gives big answers.
When I struggle with great weakness,
he reveals his great power.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul...



Ashley said...

Wow, Maureen....that was beautifully written. :)

Katie G. said...

I had forgotten about that story - thank you for posting it. I needed badly to hear it this week. I love you, sis!

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog through MSM and decided to take a peek around. Thank you for posting this. It blessed me. Such a good reminder and just what I needed to read. Thank you for letting the Lord use you to reach out to others!

Devon said...

First time - by chance landed on your blogspot. Loved what you had to say in this post. Look forward to reading more as you are now a "short cut" on my desk top. Will follow as soon as I get more time away from these kids.

Anna said...

wow. thank-you for sharing your heart like this. I have been studying Psalm 23 in our small group, and I love this description of the shepherd!

oh, how He loves us, even when we were still sinners! so thankful for his faithfulness to us, even when we are not!