Monday, May 1, 2017

Wasted Moves

"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him..."
Ephesians 1:10
(KJV)


Every now and then, Kevin, Zach, and I enjoy playing Candy Crush.
It is great fun, and we sometimes take turns, especially when we reach a level that is hard to beat.
I'm sure most, if not all of you, have tried the game, so I am hoping you will know what I mean by a "wasted move".
It happens when you are trying to "burst jellies" or make a match,
there are no possible matches where you need them to be, 
and, off in the distance, in a completely different section of the screen, you see flashing to alert you to a possible match in the flashing area.

I always get frustrated when this happens,because you only get a certain number of moves during each turn, and it seems like a waste to use one of those moves on something that does not appear to be helping to clear the level.
But, there is something interesting that often takes place if I go ahead and take the suggestion of the game and use one of the proposed moves, even though it appears to have no desired impact on what I need to happen.
As I use the recommended move, the surrounding areas are impacted.
Things start shifting around, and even though the proposed move at first appeared to have no bearing whatsoever upon the area I was trying to clear, it sets in motion a domino-effect chain of events that ends up moving things around to benefit the overall success of clearing the level.
What looked like a wasted move turns out to be the very thing needed to propel to victory.

It reminds me of life.
Have you ever prayed so hard that something would happen,
that a mountain would move,
that there would be a shift in your circumstances,
that God would allow something to take place that would bring about necessary breakthrough in a difficult situation, only to see Him allow something that appeared to be completely irrelevant to transpire?
Perhaps, in the midst of your intercessory praying, all of a sudden, He asked you to do something that seemed to be totally unrelated to the impossible hindrance in your path.
Maybe it felt like a completely wasted move, and perhaps you fought doing it for a while because it truly seemed to have nothing in the world to do with resolving the issue for which you were praying,
but, after looking around and seeing you had no other available options, you went ahead and obeyed the gentle urge God impressed upon you.
As you walked forward in obedience and did this seemingly unrelated thing,
you were amazed at the succession of events that followed.
What seemed immaterial, irrelevant, and off-point, ended up causing surrounding circumstances to shift, eventually connecting to the situation you had been praying about and shaking things up to the point that breakthrough burst onto the scene.

With God, all things are relevant.
Everything is connected and makes sense.
There are no wasted moves.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28

Even when the action He bids us to take appears to be out of place and unrelated to what we are praying for, we can be sure and certain that if God is telling us to do something, it is never without significance.
That seemingly wasted move may not even be remotely applicable to the problem at hand,
but the result of our walking in obedience to God and doing it anyway may be the catalyst that will spark the very result for which we have so earnestly prayed.

In this post about feeling God-forsaken, I included the song "Just Be Held" by Casting Crowns. There is a line in this song that has been echoing in my mind for days.
"Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held."


If video doesn't load, click here.

Sometimes, as God leads us to take steps that are propelling us forward towards our ultimate goal,
it feels like our world is falling apart.
But, in reality, every questioned "wasted move" is actually forcing things to fall into place.
It is hard, if not impossible, to see, at the time, but, many times, as we look back, in retrospect,
we clearly see that there really were no "wasted moves".
That each time God rearranged a piece of our life's puzzle, He had a reason for doing so.
Just like a jigsaw puzzle requires certain pieces to be placed so that others can be added,
God has to orchestrate things in our lives in a certain order.

As I look back over my life, thus far, I see moments when my world has been shaken to its core.
Don't we all?
One such time that comes to mind happened a short time before I left home to venture out on my own.
I spent many evenings sitting alone, seated on a deserted rock, or walking along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, contemplating, considering, and praying over my future.
I was lonely.
More than anything in this world, I wanted to find the man God had created just for me and to start our life together.
Though the dear Lord walked close to me and our relationship was precious, I longed for the right human hand to hold, as I walked and took in the magnificence of the lapping waves near my feet in the sand.
Due to a chain of events, completely not my doing and beyond my control, things at home became beyond miserable.
As much as I wanted to stay with Mom and Dad and continue life with them as I had for all of my years to that point, situations at hand completely prohibited it.
I literally had no choice.
Looking back, I can see that God knew that if He allowed things to remain comfortable, I would not want to never leave.
He also knew that about 180 miles away, the soul mate He had created with me in mind was waiting, every bit as lonely as I was, praying just as hard as me, and it was time for his prayers and my prayers on the beach to be answered.
The "fullness of times" had come for us to meet, for the right human hand to take hold of mine, and for the days of loneliness to be over for both of us.
This whole situation and my having to leave home sooner than I wanted to felt like a completely wasted moved.
My world felt like it was falling apart, as I finally accepted the reality that home was no longer a place for me, and God nudged forced me to absolutely step out, leave my comfort zone, and make
 plans to move to that place 180 miles away.
Soon after I got there and just a little over 30 years ago (boy, does that make me sound and feel old!), I laid eyes on my soulmate and future husband for the very first time.
If God spares time and our lives until one special day in June, by God's amazing grace, we will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary.
I can tell you without a shred of hesitancy and straight from my heart that it has been the most wonderful life, the sweetest of journeys.
Kevin and I have walked through fiery trials time after time.
We have laughed until our sides ached and cried until our hearts broke,
but whatever the situation, we have done it together,
hand-in-hand and side-by-side.

That 180 mile move felt very wasted, at the time.
That feeling couldn't have been farther from the truth.
Nothing, and I do mean nothing, about that move was wasted.
God knew.
He knew who I needed to walk through life with.
He knew the exact shoulder I needed to lean on,
the particular set of arms I needed to hold me when I cry.
He saw the whole picture...every bend in life's road, every heartache, every surprise,
every situation that would rock my world.
He knew that Kevin and I would never meet if I were to stay where I was.
So, through some painful, uproarious circumstances that were hard to navigate at the time, He orchestrated every necessary detail, and He took me to exactly where I needed to be.

I will never be able to thank Him enough for my dear, sweet husband, and I pray every day that God will give us many more years together.
Every second He chooses to give us and our dear son is beyond precious to me.
I praise Him for the way He has led my life's decisions and done what He knew was best,
even when it looked like a "wasted move" from my limited, inferior-to-His point of view.
I'm so grateful He does what is right, regardless how much we kick and fight.

Perhaps, you are experiencing a similar time in your own life, my friend.
Maybe it looks like your world is falling apart.
Let me just tell you this.
Regardless how it looks to you, there's a good chance that it is actually falling into place.
Just go with it.
Let God lead.
I can assure you that if you do, you will never regret it.
He always, always has your best interests at heart.
He absolutely does what is right, every, single time.
Just let Him hold you during the transition.
Lean into Him.
Trust Him with all your heart.
Watch Him fit the pieces to your life's puzzle into place.
He is weaving a beautiful tapestry, and one day, you will see.

(The 2nd blog post I ever posted here was on 10/2/2011, and it was about puzzles.
If you'd care to read it, click here.)

54 comments:

  1. A great message, Cheryl. It seems timely for us in God's family as so many teachers of God's Word instruct us to trust God because transition is on it's way. Thank you for sharing your personal story with us and the great song too. My favorite line: With God, all things are relevant.
    Everything is connected and makes sense. There are no wasted moves. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
    Romans 8:28

    Loving hugs to you on this first of May!
    Mary

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    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet friend! Your dear words of encouragement are so precious to me. Sending love, hugs, and gratitude to you!

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  2. What a great post, and very true! Eric and I have a favorite response to things, which is, "It makes no earthly sense"...But we do it anyways. Time and again we see just what you are saying...It doesn't make sense but it falls into place. :)

    By the way, I've never played that game, lol.

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    1. I love your and Eric's saying, "it makes no earthly sense". God's ways are so far above ours, and He is so faithful to demonstrate that in our lives. He is ever faithful. Sending love and hugs to you, dear friend. :)

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  3. Dear Cheryl,
    What a beautiful story of how God brought events together to fulfill His purposes in your life! Isn't He amazing the way that He works? I just spoke about that with another friend today: God's ways are not like our ways, but His ways are best! You are so right that there are no wasted moves when we walk with God. Congratulations on your soon to be 29th Wedding Anniversary! Blessings and Hugs to you!

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    1. YES, dear Bettie, it surely is amazing how God works! We don't always see it at the time, but later, He makes all things clear. Thank you for your dear, kind words of encouragement...you are such a sweet blessing to me! Sending love and hugs to you!!

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  4. Such a beautiful post and it's true, we have to step out in faith and do things as He wills, not us. We're going to be facing big changes in the next few years and have been praying for God's hand to lead us.
    And for the record, I've never played Candy Crush and don't have a clue as to what you were talking about! :-)
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, I do trust God to lead and guide you in your changes, sweet Betsy! I know you both walk close to Him, and I know He will make your decisions clear to you. Sending much love to you, dear friend. :)

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  5. I've given up playing these computer games. The computer always wins. However, it has never beaten me at kick-boxing. I have sent many a computer, tablet and smart-phone back to its maker!!! They're not so smart when in a million pieces!!!

    Indeed, God directs us in paths that we never envisaged when we started on our journey.

    God bless.

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    1. Oh, Victor! I can just picture you kicking your computer out the window!! LOL! God bless you, my friend. :)

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  6. Sweet sweet testimony Cheryl of God bringing your husband along. I love the line, God has no wasted moves...it's so true. Blessings sister

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    1. Thank you, dear Betty. It means the world to me to see that you have stopped by here...your words are such an encouragement and uplift. I was just thinking about you today. God bless you always, my sweet friend. :)

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  7. Cheryl, I was thinking along similar lines today. I have a friend of many years whom I met when I lived in California. She was dating a friend of ours who eventually became her husband and a partner in my husband's business. When we left CA to move back to the midwest to care for aging parents, my friend and her husband followed us so that he could continue to work with my husband. After about 8 years my husband was diagnosed with a heart condition and he had to give up his business. I needed to return to work for the health insurance and took a job in Ohio. Our friends moved back to California with their children -- 3 of which they had adopted while in the midwest. This was 21 years ago. Today I saw a photo on her FB of her with and her grandson, the child of her adopted daughter. He is a beautiful downs syndrome little boy. So precious and so loved by my friend and husband and the rest of the family. I stared at the photo and thought back to all the puzzle pieces God moved to bring that family together. We didn't know when we left California how all of our lives would change and to what extent. But God knew. Just as He knew that time on the beach what would unfold in your life. I am in awe of a God that is not limited by time or space. A God that holds time in His hand, and releases it into our circumstances as He sees fit. And it's always done perfectly. Thank you for this beautiful testimony. Love you sister. ~ Nancy

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    1. What a beautiful story of looking back and being able to trace God's hand! Oh, I just loved reading this and thank you so much for sharing! I am in awe of our dear Lord, too...and I love what you said about Him not being limited by time or space and how He releases time into our circumstances as He sees fit. I should trust Him more...I should be so convinced of this truth that I never worry again. Thank you for your dear, encouraging and edifying words. I love and appreciate you so much, sweet friend.

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  8. Such a beautiful post with a powerful message, my friend. I so appreciate you and the wisdom you share...thank you!

    Thinking of you, dear one, and sending love your way!

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    1. And, I so appreciate you stopping by and leaving such precious words of encouragement, dear friend. You are such a blessing to me. Sending much love and gratitude and many hugs your way today!!!

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  9. Hi Cheryl,
    I must be one of the few (only?!) who has never played Candy Crush :) but I can certainly relate to times that seem to have little value later burst forth with purpose when God is in the midst. It's true that the unseen is more powerful than what we can see and understand with our eyes, isn't it?! Thank you for these inspiring words and wisdom gleaned from the fun of a game! :) I love that! xoxo

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    1. Well, it sounds like quite a few have never played, so you are in good company! :) That is so true about the unseen being more powerful than what we can see and understand! I love that! I am so thankful for your sweet visit and kind words. Sending love and hugs to you, sweet friend!

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  10. Your posts are always so inspiring dear Cheryl! It is so true what you have written, our Lord makes no mistakes, even if we can't comprehend His moves, He has a plan! I've never played Candy Crush but I've heard it is a lot of fun to play. Isn't it wonderful when the Lord gives you insights into life from simple experiences you are involved in! I enjoyed hearing about how the Lord rearranged the situation in your life to allow for you to meet Kevin! I know He did the same for my husband and I too! Such amazing goodness of the Lord, and how He orchestrates events that seem to have no meaning or connection, and yet years later we can look back and see His hand of design on our lives even in the moments that made no sense! Such a beautiful and amazing post you have shared today, appreciate your friendship so much, and praying the Lord's sweetest blessings on your life today!

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    1. Oh, dear friend, thank you! I so appreciate your precious words and encouragement today....it just means so much to me! I am surely so grateful for your dear friendship, too, and trust the dear Lord to bless and be with you always. I am praying often for you and sending much love to you today!

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  11. I've never played Candy Crush but I sure have had my heart melted by reading your story today! WOW! God's timing is always perfect. Such a wonderful message of His great love for us despite our circumstances. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Dear Cindy! How I appreciate you and your precious, kind words! I cannot thank you enough for stopping by, reading, and leaving such loving support. Sending much love and many hugs your way!!

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  12. Oh yes...I have been there too. I am so glad that I am never too old to learn His ways! Beautiful heartfelt post, dear Cheryl.♥

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    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet friend! Your dear words and smiling face are always such a bright spot in my day. I am ever so grateful for your support, encouragement, and friendship. May the dear Lord bless you! Sending love and hugs your way!

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  13. Wonderful story of the hand of God and the hearts of your and Kevin!

    I was also struck of how our wasted, wrong moves, are still able to be used by the sovereign hand of our Father.

    So thankful for that love and grace. Good to hear from you and your thankful heart, sister.

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    1. Thank you so much, brother! I love what you brought out about how our wasted, wrong moves are still able to be used by our Father. Wonderful, comforting thought! May He bless you abundantly for the encouragement you are to me and others. I so appreciate your visit and kind words!

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  14. You are so right - when we follow God's lead (instead of what we think we should do), there are no wasted moves! Visiting from Messes to Messages.

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! It was just such a dear blessing to have you visit and leave such sweet encouragement. God bless you, my friend!

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  15. It's lovely what a game can teach us about the lessons in life.
    This is lovely. A beautiful reminder that God has no wasted move or plan in our lives. Everything is calculated. Everything brings us to our ultimate and eternal purpose.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Lux! It always means so much to me when you stop by. You are a blessing to me! May God bless you, my friend. :)

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    1. Thank you, Regine...all glory be to Jesus. God bless you!

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  17. Cheryl, Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom here which brought me such encouragement. Even though I am busy, busy, busy and spend three precious days a week with my granddaughter, I am navigating through one of the loneliest times of my life when it comes to female fellowship. My husband has heard me say often, "I am almost 57 years old and I feel like I am wasting my life away rather than living it." You have given me hope that in this season I find myself in, God is not wasting it and will indeed redeem it.

    I appreciate you so much. You are such a dear friend to me, and I think of and pray for you often.

    And thank you for the Candy Crush tip! I never do the suggested move because of the reasons you stated, but I am going to have to try that now! lol.

    God bless you sweet friend.

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    1. Oh, dear friend! Your words are just precious to me and always so encouraging and uplifting. I cannot thank you enough. I appreciate you so much, and you are surely a dear friend to me, too. You will NEVER know how much I appreciate your prayers...I need them so much! God bless you over and over again...I love and appreciate you dearly.

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  18. Thank you for this encouragement! God doesn't waste anything, even the hard times are used for His glory and our growth.
    Visiting from #GraceMoments

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    1. Oh, how true, Julie! Thank you so much for your dear visit...it meant the world to me. May God bless you abundantly, my friend. :)

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  19. This is a wonderful testament to the way God has moved in your life, Cheryl. You are so right-so often those "little moves" that seem meaningless have a huge impact in our lives-something that we never dreamed would happen.
    God bless you- You are a good soul! xo Diana

    ps. Just realized you are not on my sidebar -and I read from there. Off to fix that right now while I am thinking about it.

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    1. Oh, how sweet you are, dear friend! It just means the world to me that you are adding me to your sidebar! What a dear you are! Your kind, encouragement here is precious to me, and I am so grateful for our email correspondence, too. SO very thankful for your dear presence in my life. Sending much love to you and trusting God to bless you abundantly!

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  20. Praying for Kristen.. My heart hurts for her and her family.. I know this has to be the longest/darkest time of their lives. God is there.. He never leaves us nor forsakes us.. Praying God give them strength and understanding. Praying for health of Kristen and her sweet baby who is definitely a fighter.
    Wasted time... love your post. So true.

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    1. Oh, Judy! You are a precious, kind soul! I am SO grateful for your continued prayers for my dear niece...they are SO needed and appreciated. Her delivery is drawing ever closer, so, obviously, there is a lot of battles with fear over what is ahead. GOD is our refuge and strength, and we rely solely upon Him to see her and her baby boy through this with health and life. GOD BLESS YOU for being so faithful to pray for them, even when I don't ask. Oh, my, you just have no idea what it means to me and all of us. Love you so much, sweet friend.

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  21. Hi Cheryl! I remember reading that God writes straight with crooked lines, and that thought came to me as you wrote about the way you met your husband. We just don't have any idea what God has in mind, and yet we are on his road the whole time.
    I have played Candy Crush, and I know exactly what you are talking about. Even 'wasted moves' can be filled with forward movement! It's a great thing that we are being led (whether we know it or not) by the wisest, most loving Father of all.
    I still have Kristen and your family in my prayers,
    Ceil

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    1. Wow, I love that about God writing straight with crooked lines. That is an amazing thought! Thank you ever so much for continuing to pray for Kristen. I just included you in an email I just sent out. You will never know how much I appreciate your love and prayers and friendship. May God bless you, my friend!

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  22. I'm glad to see from the other comments that I am not the only one who hasn't played Candy Crush! I have seen people play it though so I understand what you mean and it is a great illustration. I love this: "What looked like a wasted move turns out to be the very thing needed to propel to victory." It is often difficult to see what God is doing in a situation or why he is leading us in a certain direction, but later it often makes more sense and we see what he is doing. Thanks for this encouragement to trust God even when things do seem like a bit of a puzzle.

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    1. Oh, bless your heart! It is a fun game, but quite frustrating, at times! Just like life, I suppose. Thank you ever so much for your visit and kind words! They mean so much to me. :) May God bless you abundantly, my friend!

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  23. This is one of the most insightful and beautiful pieces you've published. I felt so encouraged. I haven't played Candy Crush. If you hadn't included the picture, I'd not have had any idea. ~smile~ Thank you for being my friend.
    Laura

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    1. Oh, thank you, sweet friend! I am so grateful to you for your encouragement, love, support, and friendship. Sending much love and many prayers your way!!

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  24. Such wise words you have written, my friend. Although I have never played Candy Crush, I understand what you are saying about "wasted moves." Thank you for the reminder that we can trust God with all our moves---even (and especially) with the ones that don't seem to make sense. He sees the big picture; we don't.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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    1. Thank you ever so much, dear friend! I am so grateful for your sweet visit and kind words. It is a blessing to walk this blogging journey with you! Sending love and hugs your way!

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  25. What a beautifully written post, Cheryl. I'm so glad that you followed God's lead and met your dear Kevin. Thank you for sharing this, as an encouragement for me. I hope and trust that one day my prayers will be answered for healing hearts in my family, and that I can look back and see the big picture.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Kitty! Oh, it breaks my heart to know that you are bearing this sorrow concerning hearts in your family that need to be healed. May God comfort you and send the healing for which you so fervently pray. Sending big hugs and much love to you, sweet friend. Keep encouraged! God is working, even though it may not look like it...perhaps He is now letting some necessary moves fall into place in your and your loved ones' lives.

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  26. This is very timely word for me Cheryl, so many things seem to be shaking in my life right now, but I believe as I lean on God, everything will fall in place.
    I am encouraged Cheryl and I thank you for following God's lead to write this, and I mean it.
    Have a super blessed evening!
    love

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    1. Bless your dear heart, sweet friend. I know God is allowing the shaking to cause things to fall into place for you. God bless you abundantly...thank you so much for your dear visit and kind words. They truly meant so much. Sending much love to you, sweet sister!

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  27. LOve the truth you have written about Cheryl. So often we are standing the hallway of life. We can see an open door but cannot see what is on the other side. Yet we know as soon as God opens it wider it's for us to walk through. We don't know how long we will have to stay in the hallway but it's good to learn to rest and enjoy it because God has things for us to learn while there. As always you have packed your post full of truth and wisdom. Blessings my sister.

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    1. I loved the thoughts you shared, dear Betty. Thank you ever so much, and may the dear Lord bless you, as you so often have blessed me in so many ways. Sending much love and gratitude to you!

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