It is no secret, on this blog or in my life, that I am a lover of plans.
I like to know all the plans: Plan A, Plan B, C, D, E and F, Worst-Case Scenario A (B, C, and D), the play-by-play. I’ve even been known to drop a hefty $60 for the perfect planner.
So what happens when something doesn’t go as planned?
A few nights ago, I spent my entire evening un-embroidering a pullover I had made after our engagement. Donning my future initials, I joked with him as I had it made that it “may be bad luck, but I’ll take my chances.” (lol to that)
I don’t tell you this story to make you sad or angry or even make you pity me. That is actually the last possible thing I could ever want from anyone in life. It took a lot of emotional roller coaster-ing to even get to that point and for me, it was a sign of strength. I tell you this to say that there is power in every almost.
As I worked a conference with some work friends a few months ago, there was a joke made about me almost doing something. To be honest, I can’t even really remember the entire conversation, except for Kevin looking at me and saying, “See? There are hidden blessings in ‘almost.'” That hit me in the gut and I looked at him in the eye and told him, “Wait for it, I’ll be writing a blog post about this.”
(Two months later, but who’s counting?)
This entire journey has been learning the blessings of almost. Do you ever get a feeling of instant relief as something doesn’t work out? That’s never happened for me, since I’m an extrovert and cancelled plans are the bane of my existence, but it’s been rumored that there are those people out there.
It’s the “almosts” that are our biggest saving graces. Almosts of swerving to not hit a car. Almosts to not getting the job. Almosts of changing your major during your last year. Almosts of realizing one of your biggest disappointments have turned into even bigger blessings.
These kinds of “blessings” are typically harder for me to see because I am a very detail-oriented person. (I think my specific use of quotations here says that loud enough.) I like to see the big picture, but it requires a lot of talking with myself to ensure an angle isn’t forgotten.
Within the Christian community, there is always a lot of talk about how God open so many doors that you couldn’t ever see the repercussions of the “almosts” that could have altered the entire course of your life. For me, that was the purpose of escaping to Colorado. I needed to get away and try to find perspective on my newfound reality. It was never easy and there were many days spent fighting myself, ensuring that even if I thought my way was better, I couldn’t see the entire picture and kinda needed to trust the One who could. Bad day after bad day followed me for a long time, but the bad days slowly turned from bad to okay, okay to good, and good to great.
And as I pulled stitch after stitch, I couldn’t have been more absolute in God’s timing.
One of my really good friends wrote this last week and I feel like it’s a crucial read:
“Sometimes, you just have a hard day. Like a, ‘can it be tomorrow already sweet Jesus please’ kind of day. You wonder why God lets things happen the way they do. And you find yourself looking inwardly for the answers, trying to think of something you could’ve done better or could do now to help. And theres so many times when you feel like you can fix yourself. But then you remember slowly all the times when God fixed the things that you couldn’t. Too many times to count, really. When your life was a hot mess, and now you’ve found a rock to stand on. When you were at a loss for direction, and He provided all that you needed. When you were broken and lonely, and somehow you wound up around people who really know how to love. And He gently reminds your soul that He hasn’t given up on you, or on this world. There was never a moment He didn’t see or wasn’t there. There is hope yet to be had, and a promise yet to be fulfilled.”
Throughout this entire journey, I have spent a lot of my time fighting myself, convincing myself, and at times, even coercing myself to take the next step. To pray over step after step, hoping that my movements are the ones He orchestrated from the beginning. The path I’m on now would have not been the one I would have chosen for myself, but like they say, hindsight is 20/20, and I am quickly seeing the picture come into place.
God is moving bigger and higher mountains for me than I could have ever dreamt for myself six months ago, but I couldn’t be more excited or afraid or elated about it. My dreams these days were not my dreams six months ago, but without that almost, I couldn’t be here seeing a bigger picture that is panning out dreams I never knew I had.
To someone who is mourning their almost: it was an almost for a reason. Convince yourself that something better is coming down the line and when it comes, count your almost blessings.