Always Believe and Never Say Never

Have you ever said never? Here’s my list:

1) I’ll never have a child with a December birthday. I hated having a December birthday.

2) I’ll never be a teacher. I didn’t like being around kids.

3) I’ll never live in Louisiana. It’s too swampy.

4) I’ll never have three kids. There’s always an odd man out and two against one.

Boy does God have a great sense of humor when it comes to all my nevers. I was unknowingly shaking my fist at God, saying, “I know what’s best and that’s how it’s gonna be!” True to His nature as my loving Heavenly Father, He gave me what was for my own good and His glory.

What do all my nevers have to do with my relationship with God? Living in a very disfunctional environment most of my years growing up, I have compensated by having compulsive control issues. To always believe I can rest in God’s perfect plan is a challenge for me. 

Because God has shown Himself faithful in redeeming all my nevers from the past, I have learned it’s best to never say never. His provision for me is much better than crazy ideas I have for what I don’t want. Here’s how God chose to reveal Himself in my nevers:

1) Five years after we were married, my husband and I brought home the most adorable little girl, born the day before my 25th birthday, wrapped in a Christmas stocking. Though we have never been able to have a pool party, Sarah and I celebrate our birthdays from Thanksgiving through Christmas each year. Best never God gave me ever!

2) Though I wouldn’t listen to my husband’s Aunt Molly and get my teaching certificate “just in case,” I ended up getting the call to teach in an 11th grade Sunday School class. Looking at those eight pairs of eyes with their blank stares didn’t keep me from sensing God whisper,”You’ve gotta do this!” Never looked back after that day, spending twenty years in Christian education.

3) OK, I’ll admit the l-o-n-g drive from the border of Texas to the border of Mississippi along I-10 through Louisiana leaves much to be desired, but a bit north of there there were pine trees like we had in East Texas and a fabulous job opportunity for my husband. Now, almost 25 years later, we have fallen in love with our state where we were called, as my late mother-in-love always said, as foreign missionaries. 

4) A short 14 months after our December baby was born, we received our “gift of God,” Matthew. He was the second and last child born to us, so we never had three children. I still wonder if one might end up at our doorstep in a basket one day, but I believe God has extended me grace on this last never. Despite us not having three children to raise, we have many other children we think of as our own, from our neighborhoods, my classrooms, our children’s friends, even some of our employees.

So, what do we do with those pesky nevers we have declared?  Can we just be honest and say that most of them are made in fear? Can we confess that to God? What if He allows them to come true and redeems them? What if He extends grace and they never come true? Either way, we can let go and let God be in control. Thy will be done!

The Director of my story knows best. By the grace of God, I will choose to always believe and never say never. 

Linking up with Suzanne Eller’s Live Free Thursday.



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