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When God’s Ways Are Not Our Own

Have you ever looked back at your life and wondered: How exactly did I get here? I know I have. No matter how much you plan, however many checklists and goal sheets you fill out, life seems to have a mind of its own.

When I was a kid, I would scour the house for all the half-empty notebooks and dream up poems and short stories that would never see the light of day. Words were my obsession, and I something inside of me urged me on, as if saying: Here is a passion I have given you. Cultivate it, for one day you will use it. Trust me.

Seven-year-old-me thought that meant I was supposed to go out and write the next best-selling book before I’d reached the second grade. So, like any reasonable person, I sought out my favorite foil-stamped notebook and got to work… An hour later… Nothing. No matter how much I stared at that page, the words wouldn’t come. But God, did You call me to do this? Did I hear You wrong?

Without any further strokes of genius, I set the notebook aside and went on with my life, assuming I had to find my true calling. When I was twelve, I went through that phase where every middle school girl wants to be a marine biologist. I thought it was a foolproof plan, aside from my innate fear of the ocean. But if that was where God wanted me, surely He’d make a way? But that wasn’t the plan either.

On and on this went, me trying to listen to God’s calling while trying to make my own plans. Marine biology turned into physical therapy, which shifted to physics. For each one, I laid out my checklists: degree + internship + job = happiness.

It was then, I felt that same stirring as when I was a kid, and I looked up to find the world of geology. For some unknown reason, the world of rocks, soil, and geological puzzles drew me like a moth to the flame. It had to be the hand of God, I thought to myself, right? And there, among the dirt and mountains, I felt like I had finally found my true calling. It all made sense. The creative brain God had given me came to life at the possibilities beneath our feet. My analytical side flourished while postulating scientific theories, and the writer inside me thrilled at the prospect of writing reports. This, finally, felt like the perfect fit. Confident I was on the same page as God, I planned out my path. First it was the undergrad followed by the Master’s degree, and then a job in the environmental industry stewarding this beautiful earth God had blessed us with.

What I’ve come to realize through all of this is that God’s greatest calling in our lives is to live within His presence. It is there, where we can hear and discern His voice, that He whispers to us words of life, direction, instruction, comfort… We get so caught up in making plans, that it’s all too easy to forget that it is not us who are in control.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

—Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

This is what the main characters in my debut novel are forced to learn. Losing her dream job what not what Abigail planned, and moving back home to a sleepy mountain town and renovating her great aunt’s antiques shop definitely was an unexpected detour.

But as she sifts through the attic and stumbles across another mystery, she quickly realizes God was in control all along: in the tragedy of her past, the circumstances that got her to where she is today, and the future to which it will lead.

A wave does not know on which shore it will break, neither can we see the entirety of God’s story. Like a complex tapestry, only the master weaver can see what the image will become. But we can trust He is there beside us, waiting for us to trust Him and take each next step in faith.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the river, they will not sweep over you.” —Isaiah 43: 1-2 (NIV)

Blurb for The Glass Cottage

Could a nineteenth-century diary be the answer to Abigail’s prayers?

Iris wanted nothing more than to live her own adventure. But on the tails of the Colorado gold rush, a certain discovery could upend her world before it’s even begun.

Over a hundred years later, Abigail Prescott returns to the sleepy mountain town she once called home to help her great Aunt Josie restore the old antique shop, The Glass Cottage. Looking for peace and God’s direction for her life, the last thing she expected to encounter was a ghost from her past—Benjamin Greene—her childhood best friend. The boy who got away. Is this just a coincidence, or could it be the start of something greater?

Together, Ben and Abigail work to fix up the shop and stumble upon an old journal. With more questions than answers, Abigail embarks on a journey of self-discovery to track down the mysterious Iris, but the truth is not always what it seems.

In this tale of friendship, love lost, and love found, Abigail must decide for herself: Is every story worth saving, and if so, at what cost?

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