In the beginning God... Genesis 1:1
Please Read: Pages 114-119 of the book, Made For This by Jennie Allen
Ecclesiastes 3:11, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Pages 118 – 119)
The beginning of life is filled with incredible wonder and joy. As a young child, my moments were filled with delight and childhood amazement. Then, life began to happen as my story started to unfold. Possibly, it was when I was 6 years old, and I did not understand why my Mom had cancer, and when I was 8 years old and my friend was run over while riding her bicycle, or when I was 23 and my baby was gasping for breath in the ICU of the hospital. Each number represents a chapter in my story. The programming of my mind was formed quickly and now I found myself in a place of searching, seeking, and asking what my meaning in life truly was about.
Here is a chapter of my story, and I will refer to it as chapter 45 as I correlate it to that year of my life. It was late summer, about three years ago, and in my pursuit to navigate my journey, I had decided to be a part of a group called WILD Women. Now stay with me, I’m not that kind of girl! WILD stands for Women In Leadership Development. I had heard the program would be life-changing and challenging, but I had no idea what to expect.
The first session began, and we were each given a quarter. I sat there grasping the quarter in my hand, and wonder filled my mind what was going to come next. We were instructed to look at the date on the coin, and then here came the question: “What happened in your life that year?” I looked at my coin and my heart dropped. It was the year I was 14 and I sat at the cemetery watching my Mom’s casket close for the final time. I refer to that moment as the “click and the lock”. As the casket was being lowered into the ground so were my dreams and hopes of what a happy life would look like. In the “click and the lock” moment, I became imprisoned to my hurt.
The leader instructed us to share with the group what event had happened. Truthfully, that wasn’t what I had intended on sharing with a group of strangers. Interestingly enough, I sat there and listened to multiple stories of celebrations and disappointments, intertwined into each person’s life. Beautiful moments were shared, such as baby’s being born, couples getting married, and sweet remembrance of celebrations with family and friends. I also listened to stories of women in abusive situations, ladies suffering from deep grief, and disappointments that were unfathomable.
If you picked up a quarter today, and you looked at the date. What would you be reminded of from your story? We have all had ups and downs, just as Joseph did, but the question becomes, what will we do with them? Will we suffer in silence, retreat to a place of comfortable quietness, or say God you designed my story from the beginning to the end, and where I am today, please use it for your glory.
On page 115 Jennie says, “everything you have is to use for God while you are here,” and I would add everything means everything, including the joy and the sorrow, the happiness and the hurt, the certainty and the uncertainty, and the pleasures of life or the pain. Do we allow disappointment to consume us and stop us, or can we move forward into graceful spaces of His love, while resting on the unchanging promises of God? In the detailed story God has written for us, the glory of the Father is written in each chapter, as we allow Him to take our disappointments and turn them into new appointments.
Jennie shared this phrase on page 116, “A line stretches out as far as the mind can imagine, beginning with God and with no end in sight. Each of us is like one dot in the arrow.” Now, let’s reflect on the arrow and remind ourselves that God has designed us as an important dot in His process. We each are a beautiful reflection of the Father as a masterpiece designed by His hand. We are all a chapter of God’s story, and we all know a book is not complete when a chapter or a page is missing.
Today I would challenge you to focus on your dot on the arrow and ask God to magnify the meaning and reveal to you what He desires to do in you and through you. Ask Him to give you clarity for your next step. Each step forward with God is purposeful and powerful, even the small steps. Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.”
Here is a good way to review and reflect on your dot of God’s story for you:
1.Write out the date you were born on a number line up to the year 2020.
2.Reflect back on each year and write down the things in your life that have taken place (Think about Joseph’s story and the quarter activity. List the positive things and the challenges).
3.Add Bible verses or thoughts of how you have seen God in each event.
4.Pray over your storyline and ask God to reveal to you how He wants to use your past, present, and future for His divine glory.
5.Move on into the purpose God has called you to, as you declare boldly, “I Am Made for This.”
M – Make the choice
O – Obey His Word.
V – Value His voice
E – Exit the place you are in
O – Occupy
N – New Territory
Dear Heavenly Father,
Today, our hearts are filled with incredible gratitude, that you pursue us with incredible love, mercy, and grace. We thank You for designing us intricately and with great purpose. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed sin and the cares of this world to weigh us down and take our eyes off of you. Help us to have the wisdom to know when we should stay in a season and when we should move on. Please help us each day to reflect You more and more and bring great glory and honor to Your name. We ask this all in the name of Jesus and for the Father’s glory! AMEN!
“God is more after His glory. And glory is the visible expression of God’s goodness and beauty on this earth. It’s how we recognize Him” – Jennie Allen