Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sweet Serendipity

Oh how God works in crazy ways. 

Last week, the man of my dreams asked me to marry him. It was the best night of my life and I wish that I could relive it over and over again - the suspense, the surprise, the secret scheming of my best friends. But never in a million years would I have ever imagined that this would happen at this point in my life.

Nine months ago I was ready to pack up everything and leave for Africa, become a nun(such a ridiculous thought), sign away my life to med school, or whatever other wild life-changing thing was plausible. After many teenage years of boy-crazy days, longing for the perfect love story, I decided that I didn't want to get married or fall in love anymore. I wanted to do something 'crazy' ... 'for God' (whatever that meant?)  

Ironically, within a month after my new life decision, God dropped someone in front of me - or more like shone a light on him since he had been in my life for the past six years - and pretty much shouted (kindly, but clearly) "Here you go, Kayla!"

I first learned that this word existed when I was in grade 11. My teacher had a pretty-looking poster on the wall with the word decorated in a fancy way. I had no idea what it meant, but I thought it sounded interesting. Last semester I finally found the definition in my statistics textbook: "finding one thing when you are looking for something else." Personally I think that's too beautiful of a definition for a research book.

God is the King of serendipity. 

I was looking for adventure, and instead God brought me love - an adventure in itself. 

I wanted to feel the thrill of freedom. God wanted me to feel a physical representation of His love - in which I would find the greatest thrill and the greatest freedom. 

I think this happens more often than we realize. We go looking for something we think we want, and God surprises us with something else. 

"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."  Proverbs 16:9 

Sometimes we think of this verse as comfort, and we preach it to ourselves when we realize we've become control-freaks. Other times we become extremely frustrated when our plans don't work out and we secretly wish that this verse didn't exist. I am the ultimate plan-maker. Seriously. I really like my plans. I like to know what I'm going to find ahead of me. I like to be prepared. And I'm generally not a fan of surprises. But I've been learning that we should always try to find excitement in the unexpected things, because they most often bring the most joy - and joy goes beyond the circumstances.

There are so many big uncertainties ahead. (How is a wedding going to fall into place? How am I going to afford life as a student? What if nobody thinks we're doing the right thing? What if everything falls apart? What if... what if... what if...) 

Slowly, I'm learning how to find freedom and joy in the parts of my life that I'm not sure about. I'm being reminded that God is holding us in the palm of his hand, and I'm learning that the poster in my grade 11 classroom was there for a reason. I'm learning that we might think we are some certain place for one purpose, when really God has us in that place for another, greater purpose.

I'm also learning that everyone is going to have opinions - but ultimately, only God knows.

Only God knows the reason for us being wherever we are.

Only God can lead us in the right direction.

Only God can give us beautifully unexpected changes in direction that are in our best interest.

Only God can compose sweet songs of serendipity, that soothe our wandering, love-longing souls. 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9