Joy in "That"

IMG_1816 I was 18 when someone in my family had the idea that we should go play family soccer at the park by our house. We weren’t what you or anyone you’ve ever known would call “sporty,” but we piled into our black Izuzu and drove the 0.3 miles it took to get there.

We were going to be so normal. So sports-ish.

We got out of the car, walked onto the field, and my mom immediately kicked the soccer ball with all her might right into my face.

Down I went, flat on my back, just like a cartoon. My mom, dad, and sister were instantly convulsing with laughter. It took me a few seconds to make sure I wasn’t dead before I joined them.

It’s one of my favorite memories because OF COURSE the one time we tried to have conventional family fun, someone immediately wound up with a concussion. And of course it was me.

I love that my childhood memories are unconventional. If you know my family, you know that “normal” just isn’t and never has been a possibility for us, even when we try. And that’s okay.

I’m in this season, right now, that I never expected to be in. This is vague, I know, but you guys are mostly strangers, and hello, “stranger danger!” But, I’ll just say, I’m pursuing things I never could have imagined or dreamed of. I’m having one of those Who am I and how did I get here? seasons. In a good way.

I’m learning and remembering that the body of Christ is diverse and where God sends one family “here,” He calls another one “there.” He tells some to do “this.” Others to do “that.” And here’s the thing - even when the “that” God gives you doesn’t feel like your normal, it doesn’t mean you’ll be miserable. Even if your “that” is unconventional for you, it doesn’t mean God is trying to soccer-ball you in the face. With God, what’s normal or conventional for us doesn’t seem to matter much. There is joy in any “that” that comes from Him.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

I hear this verse get mistaught and misquoted often. “Prosperity” pastors will tell you it means that if you pray for something, God will give it to you. You’ll be rich! You’ll be healthy! You’ll be successful! That’s just not true. Tell that to the disciple who loves Jesus who is also “losing his battle” with cancer or who just lost a child.

What that verse means is that when you delight yourself in the Lord, when you love and trust God, your desires will start to line up with His. What He wants will become what you want. Seriously.

I’m learning that my family might never feel normal or have a successful round of family soccer, but God has a plan for each of us. His plan isn’t “scary.” His plan isn’t frustration. His plan is joy.