I stared at my computer screen willing it to be an error. This had to be a mistake. I had not raised all the money that I needed to attend the writing conference, but I felt certain I would reach the goal and be afforded an opportunity to be there. This could not be right. Yet there it was —“registration closed.” The finality of those words set a fury of doubt, fear, and resentment ablaze within my heart.
Why had God encouraged me to seek financial assistance from family and friends only to slam this door in my face? How was I supposed to explain it to everyone? What was I supposed to do with the money?
Can I be honest?
I was angry with God. But, more than anything I was afraid that maybe, just maybe, this closed door was an indication that I was not supposed to be writing after all. Each time I reached for my computer this fear enveloped me. I no longer felt capable of writing anything of value or worth. But, something inside of me would not let this dream die. I did some research and located another writing conference. It would be two months before the conference cost would be revealed, but I printed out all the information and offered up a half-hearted prayer of hope. Two months passed and the cost for the conference was finally revealed. It was the EXACT amount of money that I had raised for the initial conference. EXACT. I had everything that I needed to immediately register and secure my place at this conference. I rarely hear from God in an audible fashion, but I distinctly recall hearing…
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
In seeking to apply logic to our situation we lose sight of God’s presence within it. Our vision becomes clouded by the closed door, missed opportunity, disappointment, or heartbreak. Instead of pursuing God within the mystery and confusion of our circumstances we allow bitterness and hopelessness to take root within our heart. We must allow our fear and uncertainty to draw us closer to God with the knowledge that His plans for us are always good.
So, today speak this affirmation over each closed door, missed opportunity, disappointment, and heartbreak. “The Lord has a plan for me. They are plans for good and not for disaster. They are plans to give me a future and a hope. Nothing is haphazard within my life. Everything has a Divine order and I will trust God to provide me with clarity and understanding in His timing. There is nothing convenient about loss, tragedy, or disappointment, but I will seek to anchor my hope on the promises of God and trust Him to make things right. In the meantime, I will maintain my faith. I will trust in the Lord.”
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: “Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light.”
[photo: Angelo Gonzalez, Creative Commons]