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  • Rebecca

Finding Purpose

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” ~ Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

I am a planner. Remember that love of all things paper? It goes much deeper than that, I’m afraid. I LOVE journals – fat ones, skinny ones, journals with lines, dots, grids, blank ones…. I literally have a stack of new journals at any given moment waiting to be written upon. Before people were hoarding toilet paper, I was hoarding journals.

Each of these journals has a special purpose; some are for sweet or cute things the kids have said growing up; some are Bible studies: some are specifically for holiday planning or lists or business tasks and goals. I have one journal that is my main planner, however: my Bullet Journal. For those of you that may be planners yourselves, you will know EXACTLY what that means. Bullet journaling is more than a planner; it is a way of life. You only have to search it on Pinterest to see these things are a work of art in and of themselves.

Journaling for me is a way to organize my life; to keep control in a world that, in my experience, has been out of control since my first family member died. I don’t just write down appointments or to-do lists. I plan my life down to the MINUTE every single day. When I am organized and on schedule, I am the happiest. My husband, free spirit that he is, learned this the hard way within about 5 minutes of being newly married. When I get out of my routine for the slightest reason, it can all go downhill very quickly.

Enter the Coronavirus.

To say this has turned my life upside down would be an understatement. It has turned EVERYONE’s lives upside down. There are jokes about introverts not being phased by this at all…. how all moms are homeschool moms now…. how to make homemade toilet paper, etc. They are all fun to laugh at, but when it comes down to this extrovert’s daily routine being shot to heck? I am STRESSED.

Let’s throw one more log on that fire and add in the fact that we are small business owners in a world where no one can go anywhere. Granted, we are a medical office, but people still don’t want to get out in the event another patient might be there. When we don’t have patients in the office, I can’t feed my children. Small business owners around the world are feeling the same anxiety we are right now. Not knowing where your livelihood will come from is a fear like none other.

How do we cope under such stress? How do we remain strong and courageous when the world as we know it has fallen apart in a matter of days? How do I plan my days when I have no idea what the day might bring other than being in the house with 2 little boys who grow more restless every day?

I look back at the cross. I look to the One who lived in an incredibly unstable world, who knew what His future was and still kept going. Jesus didn’t have to wonder what was going to happen to Him; He knew His life on this earth would not end well and He would die a horrific death. Yet He willingly chose joy and obedience as He kept moving toward what God had called Him to do out of His great love for us and for His Father.

I don’t know what’s going to happen or when this is all going to end. I didn’t know my entire family of origin would die by the time I was 48 either. If I had, would I have responded the same as Jesus? If I knew the pain that was coming, would I have been full of joy and love and obedience? Probably not. But this I do know: when things are uncertain, we anchor ourselves in truth. Truth that doesn’t change with death or circumstances or politics or pandemic viruses. Truth that brings us life and hope and peace. JESUS is that Truth. He is the Way. He is Life.

When my planner is empty and my days are long, I will fill it with Jesus. I will find purpose in the unstable, the unknown. I will look for joy all around me: in my own home, in the faces of my children and my husband. I will look for ways to help others as they are struggling to cope as well. Because let’s be honest - we should all be filling our days with Jesus even when our planners are full, for no amount of planning can give us the security we so desperately crave.

And maybe…. just maybe…that is the point.

What is the purpose you are meant to find in this season?

Finding joy in riding virtual roller coasters!

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