As I approached my kitchen sink one morning, I saw something that delighted me! No, it wasn’t that someone had replaced it during the night with a brand new, two-in-one, modern kitchen sink. To all appearances it looked identical to what it had been before. No, it wasn’t that a fairy godmother had washed it beautifully while I slept either. It wasn’t gleaming, shining, lustrous or spotless. It was just my old ordinary kitchen sink.
But as I got close to it, I discovered that many jewelled drops of water created a pretty picture on the stainless steel sink. Small gems of water glistened; patterns emerged. I looked. I saw. I marvelled. I found myself exclaiming in wonder. The next thing I did was to grab my camera. It was time for a few pictures.
Don’t you think the patterns are pretty?
There were big drops and small ones. Oval drops and round ones. One looked remarkably like a sea horse; one resembled the landmass of Australia. There were bigger drops interspersed between smaller ones. There was even one which looked like a little river. I was fascinated. And more – it also spoke encouragement into my heart.
I had worked very hard last year to produce a book that was dear to me. The book’s name? ‘When the Rain won’t stop” – Words of comfort and hope for a troubled heart. I was a finalist (with 3 others) in a Writing Competition and was very excited about it. I wrote it out of my own experiences of life’s stormy seasons. God came through for me during those seasons. Every time. And so I had to share His goodness with the world.
I hoped and prayed that I’d win so I could have it published. But the winner was announced last week. And the winner wasn't me. That made me sad. You see, it’s been well over two years since my first book was published. I have written FIVE additional books since. But not one of them have found a publishing home – as yet! Finding a publisher for them has been as difficult as trying to find a lion, elephant (or even a koala bear) prowling around in my garden. I spent Wednesday in a haze of disappointment and sadness.
By Wednesday evening I knew I needed to stop feeling depressed about it. The thing is – I do know God is in control of my life. My disappointments are often His appointments – to grow me, to mature me and to work His best purposes in my life. I knew I needed to let Him have His way in this too.
As I pulled myself together ("C’mon Anusha. This is only a small glitch in your Writing Adventures”), I decided I’d listen to God. And here’s what happened. Remember my blog last week? I shared that when a door bangs shut in our faces, we often need to stop, take a few steps back, listen to God and change direction. Well, God used my blog to speak to me! Isn’t that funny? Yes, it was time for me too to stop; listen to God and to change direction.
Later in 2013, I hope to start paid part time work outside my home – the very first opportunity in 23 years. Now, isn’t that an exciting step forward? What’s even more special about it is that it’s a job I’m passionate about – helping people, dreaming dreams, being part of my church’s outreach to our community. My losing this competition made me realise that perhaps I needed to place my Writing in a different drawer to where it had been held last year. No more in the topmost drawer of my working life. I realised that CareLink needed to be in that topmost drawer for now.
I will continue to do lots of writing this year but not write competitively. Not because I am disappointed. No; not at all. I am very pleased and proud that the two books I wrote in the last 12 months both reached the finals of two competitions. And that is enough for the moment. I now perceive a larger picture; God’s picture.
Writing to deadlines takes a lot of work and causes stress I don’t need. I’d do better to write at a slower pace. So I could pour more into my job. I shifted my perspective. CareLink First. Writing second. Or perhaps travelling side by side. I now have a brand new perspective on all of it - my God - my life - my work - my writing . And I am very excited.
What has my writing to do with pretty patterns in my kitchen sink? I was reminded that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Sometimes I don’t see that. But if I stop and allow God to show me – He does. It’s as simple as that.
Have you found any pretty patterns lately? If not in your kitchen sink – perhaps in cloud formations that graced your sky? Or somewhere deep within your spirit? Sometimes it’s hard to make any sense of life. But when we yield to His ways – enchanting patterns edged with grace and truth may pop in unannounced to surprise and delight us. May God use every circumstance in your life for good, today and always.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28