Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life's Left Turns

Hi, Ramona here, and while so many of my fellow LIS writers were off gallivanting around NYC at the conference, I was moving. Again.

I moved last summer, when I sold my house. It was a nice but temporary place, and I hope this one will last longer. But…ya never know.

Because I do know that God is not only a God of U-turns and second chances, He’s the God of LEFT turns, those abrupt changes in your life that hit like a two-by-four across the nose. Sometimes I think my life has been made up of them.

This is a shot of my grammar school orchestra. I’m the flute player with the glasses. Yeah…geeky, I know. But it was the late 60s and you didn’t get cool until at least high school. For seven years, I planned to become the next great flautist. By the time I hit my senior year, I had a high-end flute, acceptance into a university music program, and a serious crush on James Galway.

Then one day I hit a wall. One day. Wall. Within 30 minutes I went from music to mass communications. Then to lost…because I had no idea what I wanted to do.

For more than a year, I just wandered, lost in my own life. Now I know it was part of God’s forging me through a left turn. Then it was just scary. Eventually, I learned that life is full of those sudden left turns. Love, loss. Marriage, divorce. Hired, fired. Children, who never turn out the way you expect. Faith that gets questioned and tested.

Only in hindsight did I see that all those turns were part of God’s plan; that He was always in charge of my life’s direction. Let’s just hope I can remember it the next time a left turn comes around.

So, what was your last unexpected left turn?


Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Spring 2010, my husband and I finally celebrated 22 years of marriage - "finally" because many had been unhappy, struggling, etc. But he'd been through a life-threatening illness and that had grown us up. He was in remission and life seemed, while not perfect, moving forward. Then, 1/1/11. Our long-term landlord tearfully told us she needed our house for her son, two weeks later my husband suddenly had to find a new job, two weeks later, my dad suffered serious heart issues, the boss who liked my work suddenly resigned,and issues developed with my children (18,22.) Like a personal tsunami, while I thought it was "finally" time for a clearing in my life, it turned out to be minefield. Still reeling and bewildered at the turn of events, the consequences of which continue to play out. Our 23rd anniversary was a surprised "oh, is that today?" as we tried to greet one another cheerily from beneath the rubble pile of our current circumstances. I Peter 4:12 is the verse I read each morning as I take it all to God who promises me there is a clearing ahead but it's an eternal one that waits for me and won't necessarily make an early appearance. Thanks for the openness of this post (I was the geeky clarinet player in the 60's and I never made it to cool - even in high school!)

Ramona Richards said...

Wow, Lori! What an upheaval you've been coping with. That you've dealt with it through faith says so much. I love that verse, and I really like the way the New Living Translation states it and v. 13:

"Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world."

Prayers for you and your family.

Sharon said...

Love that verse...because I just lived through a great trial.

PamelaTracy said...

Wow, I'm overwhelmed just reading. Good thinking with 1 Peter 4:12.

PamelaTracy said...

Ramona, there have been so many Left Turns I don't know where to start.

I think the most drastic one was me (college, junior year, second semeester) sitting in a laundry mat doing my accounting homework and calling my mom and saying,"I quit." and really doing it.

Ryan said...

For "left" turns in my life...
this verse always rekindles my faith and hope.
Psalm 27:13(AMP)
13[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living!
14Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

You're all so kind! I've been hanging out with Jesus since I was 3 or 4 so at 50,I've seen enough times how He uses trials for His glory that I just try to hang out through the sharp left turns. I'd prefer to hit the shut off valve on suffering but not at the cost of missing the adventure He creates through it all. If you knew me and the fact that I hate roller coasters or anything wilder than a Ferris wheel, you'd know that's not brave talk - it's the work of God in my heart. Thank you for praying!