Thursday, February 07, 2013

The pursuit of me and puzzle pieces

Hang in there.  This one might seem a bit scattered because there are a lot of pieces that have to come together to explain what's going on but they will come together.  I promise.

One of the things that I've been bothered by since SHF and I broke up is the fact that I thought I had seen the direction my life was heading and it was so suddenly changed.  It's made me struggle a bit with trusting God's vision for me.  People have said over and over that God only wants what's good for us.  I can say without a doubt that in my head I know this is true but my heart has been lagging.  If God wants what's good why is it that many times, when I set my sights on something that seems good to me, it is taken away?  I know the church answer/response is that I can't see the ways that it isn't good or that another way is better and again while I know that is true in my head, my heart knowledge is lagging a little bit right now. 

As you know, I'm currently coaching a girls basketball team.  The league I coach for is through a number of churches in town and it includes a witnessing component.  That's one of reasons I like the program so much.  Not only do I not have parents of opposing teams screaming at me and poking fingers in my chest like I did on occasion when I coached Y ball but I also get to hopefully become a positive influence on the girls for their salvation.  That's pretty awesome. 

I mentioned in an earlier post that there might be some lessons being taught through Upward Basketball that are as important for me to learn as they are for the girls.  This hit me square in the chest last week.  I've had a really good week this week, feeling like I'm getting out from under my sadness, and I think a big part of it has to do with what happened at basketball practice a week ago.  When I told my friend Jen about what happened she put really good words around it.  She told me clearly God is pursuing me even when I'm hesitant to trust him.  It was a really powerful word for me to hear.  God's pursuit is different than man's pursuit.  God's pursuit isn't the man who is currently being TOO aggressive in trying to date me. (Back off a bit buddy.  You are nice and all but let's take it sllllooooowwwwllllyyyy - if at all.)  God's pursuit hasn't been quiet either.  It actually knocked the wind out of me last week.  It's persistent but it's not scary.

Let me fill you in on what happened.  First you have to know I love to put together puzzles.  I don't do it as often as I wish I could but it is one way I happily spend a lazy afternoon.  Next you have to know that our devotion at practice last week centered around the virtue of Hope.

Virtue: HOPE is believing that something good can come out of something bad.
When I first read the description of HOPE it pushed at that little part in the back of my mind that starts to pay attention when suddenly something is important.  It's the same place that was pushed on when SHF walked into the coffee shop on our first date and I realized he was attractive.  It's the same place that was pushed on when I was doing litigation when I realized there might be something going on with a client I needed to pay attention to.  It's a part of my brain that I never ignore because I know when it gets engaged something crucial and critical is happening.

The next thing that caught my attention and started to make the hair stand up on the back of my neck was the scripture verse and the "bottom line" the devotion was intended to teach the girls.
Scripture Verse: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (b) (NIV). 
Bottom line: Whatever happens, remember God has a bigger story.
At this point I was paying pretty close attention to what I was reading to the girls as well as their responses to what was being read.  I don't know how much they got out of the devotion but by the end I was doing all I could to fight back my tears.  Here is the lesson in it's entirety:
Anybody here like to work on puzzles?  When you work on a puzzle, what’s the first thing you do?  I would guess that at some point you take a long hard look at the picture on the front of the box. Then maybe you pull out all the edge pieces and lay them out to create the frame. Or maybe you like to wing it and just start throwing pieces together till something fits.
The truth is our lives are like big puzzles. Every day in our lives is a piece of a big puzzle. On good days, the piece seems to fit perfectly. After all, everyone loves a good day. But what about the bad days? What about the difficult situations? How do we make those pieces fit into our puzzles? If we could see the box lid or the full picture of our lives, we might choose to take out the pieces we don’t like – the hard stuff, the difficult days, the mistakes we’ll later regret. But we can’t see the picture on the box. We are only given one piece at a time.
And guess what? Did you know that God has a bigger story, too? In fact, his story is WAY bigger and WAY better than ours. We can be a part of it because of what he’s done for us. Because God sent his one and only Son to save us, we can have a relationship with God. And guess what else? God holds the puzzle box lid. He knows what the whole picture looks like. And when we believe and trust that God knows where every piece—good and bad—fits, it’s easier to believe that something good can come out of something bad. That’s what hope is and that’s what we will be talking about over the next few weeks.
So when you have a hard day, remember, God has a bigger story. He is in control and his story is bigger and better than anything we can imagine. Once we choose to trust him, we can have hope that things will get better.
After I finished talking through this with the girls and they asked questions and talked about things it brought up my assistant coach Grant really brought it home.  He stated that sometimes the really hard piece is the last piece we are able to fit into the puzzle.  He commented about how wonderful and satisfying it is to SNAP that last piece into place and sit back and see how even that really hard to place piece fit perfectly and to see the beautiful picture that was a mystery not long before.  It was all I could do to not burst into tears so I quickly had the girls bow their heads and I prayed with them and then rushed them back into the distraction (for me) of a scrimmage. 

I still don't see the big picture in my singleness at all.  I don't understand why on the first day I started thinking - hey, I'm doing ok.  This is great! - God put SHF's exwife's best friend in the same class (and same small group) as me and why he choose or allowed that to happen at my church which is one place that I don't worry about running into SHF.  Right now, that just seems mean.  But I also hope (there's that word again) that someday, as Grant stated, that final piece will pop into place and I'll see the whole picture God has been helping me to put together and I'll get it. I'll have the ahhh moment when the puzzle is finished and that portion of my life will make sense.


Suzi said...

First of all I believe the girls on your team are blessed to have YOU as their coach!! I know we aren't in daily contact but you are in my weekly thoughts, no, really ♥ I mean it.

Over the years I have observed many hearts broken from relationships that seemed to come from God, but He always amazes me with His plan. Remember that you are human and you have feelings and it's okay to ask why. The cool thing I read in your words is that your life is a life lived for God and where He is in your everyday life. I love your puzzle lesson. I love puzzles, so many great conversations have come up over placing pieces in their resting place. Have you ever placed a piece and really thought it was the correct fit?? AND you continue you for quite awhile before you realize something just doesn't fit. I have and then when there are less pieces to choose from that aren't fitting in the spaces you have left, you have to reevaluate and you discover your error and wonder how did I think that was even a good fit??? Seems to me that our God keeps replacing your piece just trying to find the perfect fit.....another cool thing is that I believe your heart is open and your eyes and ears are alert and your special someone has not found you yet!! ♥♥♥ suzi

KT said...

That's such a great addition to the puzzle analogy Suzi! Thanks for the addition and the thoughts. :)