I have for you,
declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you
and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope
and a future.”
This has been my favorite scripture verse for quite some time now. It brings me comfort and joy, but it also brings me sadness. I am humbled as I take the time to hover above my life so far. I am beginning to appreciate how his divine plan is unfolding. It is as if I am unfolding this intricate piece of origami. As I unfold each tiny piece I see another part that before I did not see. Or now I am able to see it from a different vantage point. It was there neatly tucked away inside a paper crevice.
“For I know the plans I have for you…” some may think that is predestination, but I do not believe that to be the case. I could have always changed my mind and taken a different path. I believe it is grace freely given from God that helps us realize the plans he has for our lives.
For many years now I have been trying to live my life according to the plans God had for me; at least as I saw them. There may be the catch, ‘as I saw’ his plans. Maybe there was a larger plan that was impossible for me to see. Maybe certain parts had to be completed before I was allowed to see the bigger picture. Or maybe I am still not in a position to ‘see’ the whole picture.
We can only see things from where we are until we unfold another corner of the origami and more is revealed.
Our youngest son used to occupy his time in church making origami peace cranes. What can I say; he was quiet. As you are making each fold you cannot see how it will turn out in the end. You just continue to follow the ‘plan’ i.e. the directions until you see the final creation.
Sometimes I feel physically ill; like I want to throw up and regurgitate this thing called grief out of my system. But I know that will not help it go away. Instead I cuddle it like a newborn; caressing its soft cheek. Holding it; close to my heart just as I once held her close…the frail body of my dear friend.
I saved a white rose from one of her funeral arrangements. I placed it in fresh water. I positioned the vase right near where I fix my morning coffee. Every morning for over a week now I have been gently kissing the soft petals. It has become part of my morning ritual.
Why you may ask? I cannot give you an answer.
It’s symbolizing an expression of my love for her.
“…plans to prosper you and not harm you…” I feel blessed to have so many friends willing to be here for me. It is difficult at times to believe that God has plans not to harm you. My ‘faith twin’ of the heart is gone. I reluctantly accepted the past year that she was not able physically to contribute as she had before. Before the ruthless pancreatic cancer took over her body, she relished in what we created together. I cannot see deep between all of the folds, but there is a delicate paper crane. I must believe this to be true.
“…plans to give you hope and a future.” Speak Lord your servant is listening. Unfold another piece and reveal to me how I can better serve you and your people. You are the way, the truth, and the life…what lies ahead in the future?
God’s plan so far has joined our two families so that we can be there for one another into the future. She was not just my friend I have a special relationship with each person in her family and so does my husband. We love each one of them as we have shared much of our lives together. They are each as much a part of our lives as our own sons. God’s plan…
Whatever the future holds it will be filled with love. Love can never be taken away. It continues to grow stronger as memories of our loved one lives on through us. She took love with her to heaven…love she had for us and the love that we had for her.
We are called to love one another tenderly.