Seeing God’s thread


I was explaining to a friend who was pregnant how, when my husband and I were first married, we had a dog named Bear who was like our baby. He went on camping trips, canoe trips, airplane trips – everywhere we went, he went (even our honeymoon). I didn’t think I could ever love anything more than that sweet dog. But then we had a baby.

“When you have a baby, it opens up a place in your heart that you didn’t know was there,” I told my friend.

That’s the only way I could explain this new experience of love that occurred when my first baby was born – as if my heart had grown another chamber.

I had just talked to my spiritual director the day before about this experience of love – this sense I have that I want to experience more of His love (hence her last assignment to me to focus on Song of Songs 1:1-4 – your love is better than wine) and how God’s love for me must be something like the love I felt for my baby. And she asked me one of her favorite questions: “Why is God bringing this up now?”

“Why God? Why now?”

And I thought of the conference I attended a few weeks ago – it was one I especially was looking forward to – mostly because we had just moved out of the house we had lived in for 30 years and the thought of getting to spend 2 days at a conference focused on God (instead of boxes!) sounded like heaven. And the first night was wonderful – I left about 11 p.m. feeling so much peace and full of joy. I walked a short distance down the dark sidewalk toward my car, hopped in and backed up as I began maneuvering away from the curb.

Oops! What was that? I think I backed into the car that had been parked really close to mine – so I got out and went to inspect (full disclosure – my car already has a ton of little dents/scratches). I look at the other car – a Lexus! Uh-oh. But I don’t see anything on the car. Yay!

I jump into my car and drive away – but suddenly it’s as if a blanket of guilt has been thrown on me, and I begin to question what I did: I didn’t look close enough at the other car; I should have left a note; I felt something when I backed up, there must have been damage. I turned my car around, and then another thought pops into my head: the devil is stealing away all the peace and joy I received at the conference that night, and there’s no way I’ll be able to get it back. I can’t imagine enjoying the rest of the conference knowing that this whole car thing had happened.

I was rapidly going down that slippery slope of listening to words drummed up from my past.

I pull up to the Lexus and look again, but it’s on a dark, unlit section of the street and though I don’t see anything, it’s really hard to tell. So I drive away again, but as I head down the street I see a man walking toward the Lexus – I wonder if he is the owner. I get the urge to stop and say something to him, but I remind myself that I don’t want to get out of the car in this dark neighborhood and talk to a stranger. I keep driving, feeling even more angst – why didn’t I just ask that guy if he is the owner, and I could have taken care of it right then.

The same negative thoughts pummel me the whole way home. But then it occurs to me that when I am in spiritual direction, there is always a thread of events and people that God uses to reveal Himself, and they always seem to go back to the questions of my heart that I am exploring with my spiritual director. So when I get into my garage, I turn the car off and ask God: “How do You see me God? In my mind, I know You love me, but right now, when I look at the mess that I feel like I created, my reality tells me I am unloved and mess things up. Not only did I not handle the car thing well, but now I’ve ruined the whole conference (which I was anticipating would be so wonderful) because of this.”

And then I heard God say: “I see you as someone who will go back to the conference and look for that man you saw and talk to him, and you will know I am with you in this. Whether you find him or not, whatever the outcome, you will know I am with you in this, and I will give you peace.” At that moment, peace settled over me. The next day I went back to the conference, trusting that if God wanted me to talk to that man, he would be at the conference again and I would find him.

And it happened – at the end of the afternoon session, I was out in the lobby and saw a tall gray-haired man who looked like the man I had seen. I went up to him and asked if he had been at the conference the night before and if he drove a Lexus. With a surprised look he said yes. I explained that I thought I may have backed into his car, and we could go out and check right now.

He smiled. “I used to care about those things, but not anymore. Don’t worry about it – I’m sure it’s fine. Thank you for being honest.”

God wants to open our eyes to the threads He weaves in our lives – He wants to answer the questions on our heart about who He is and how He loves us. After connecting enough dots, we suddenly see the picture God is drawing for us – this picture reveals the hand of God in our life in a way that resonates in our soul and feels so personal. It answers our questions.

In the past, I may have stayed stuck that night in those negative emotions. But when I turned to God with the question on my heart – “How do you see me God? How loved am I by You?” – He answered me: “I see you as someone who hears my voice, who knows in her heart, not just her head, how loved she is and that she has a good Father she can count on to help her. I answer the questions of her heart.”