When surprises come (say yes)

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

“Are you in line?” I say, not wanting to budge (a cardinal sin if you’re a kindergartener).  He nods.

“Do you write in the Goshen paper?” he says at last. Surprised, I answer, “Yes.”

“I recognized your face. I appreciate your articles.” His tone is quiet, respectful.

I smile.  We chat for a bit, and I catch glimpses of his story. He’s the father of three, two teens and a tween. He’d love to have them homeschooled, but “it’s not possible right now.” One word, divorce, tells that tale. Ah, no. An especially devastating surprise, that word.

Remembering my kindergartener, I pick up a kid’s meal for his field trip to the orchard and hurry home. Meeting a reader’s always a nice surprise.

Today, I’m on the run, hurrying in to fetch a mocha on my way out of town. And there she is, my blond friend. I remember when we met all those years ago, her with three small boys, husband gone. Struggling through a lonely separation, she’d smile, still, that brave, brave girl. Always smiling.

What a glorious surprise it was to hear they’d come back together. I rejoiced, happy for them and for how Father works.  And today…

Today, she’s holding the hand of Little Bit, a precious girl He sent when He’d healed their marriage. She’s looking up at me, hands in stripey mittens, eyes big and blue beneath a ball-topped stocking cap. I drop to my knees, admiring the tiny mite. Mama’s grinning down, proud.

And then comes another surprise. “I suppose you know we’re doing this again in February?” She’s gesturing at her waistline.

Sure enough. A fresh and holy ‘surprise,’ a precious gift, is growing there.

I hug her shoulders. And look at her face. She’s smiling.

Her biggest boy is 20. This isn’t how they’d planned it. But she’s saying the ‘yes,’ and she’s opening her arms. To receive the blessing. 

I’m thinking today of surprises that come. Come unbidden, not-looked-for. Come ribboned in thorns and wrapped in dark paper. Those things we’d not planned, didn’t want or see coming…

I think of the pain in unwrapping, the cuts we sustain. The blood, sweat and tears in receiving the gifts. In bending the knee. In saying the ‘yes.’

But I remember the blessing, how that’s always bigger. Bigger than pain. Bigger than loss. Bigger than the ‘no.’

In my heart swells the ‘yes.’ ‘Yes’ to His will. ‘Yes’ to His way. ‘Yes’ to the blessings that come with His gifts.

And you? You’ll join me in saying the ‘yes?’ Oh, please do.

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