Last night, the husband gave me the night off. He released me to head to a local coffee shop to write. So once I had Samuel nursed and tucked snugly between the blankets and sheets of his crib, I headed out.
In the car, I called my sister. We had a wonderful chat filled with lots of laughter and stories. It was nice. However, it was so nice that I drove blindly to my destination.
Without thinking, I arrived at “the strip” next to our local university. If I had been thinking, which I clearly wasn’t, I would have swung left instead of cutting right to head to another coffee shop.
Nevertheless, I arrived at the coffee shop and realized there wasn’t a single parking spot available – big surprise. There were college kids everywhere. Some were dressed in sweats and lugging two ton back packs. Others were dressed in sequin shirts with black heels carrying a pack of cigarettes. I saw my former life flash before my eyes quite literally.
I drove past the coffee shop searching for a road that I could actually turn right on – every road sign I passed seemed to sprout the pointing finger of a one way only sign. I felt like I was being lectured.
Pointing arrows like fingers saying:
- You should have paid attention instead of driving without a plan.
- You will never get caught up on your writing.
- You are a failure.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I cut through a parking lot in search of a way to turn around and head back home.
In one last ditch effort, I drove by the coffee shop again, and lo and behold, two slots had opened. I pulled in and parked. I lugged my two ton bag into the shop along with my computer, and plopped down in my usual seat – iced chai latte in hand. I like to write here on Saturday mornings while the college kids sleep.
As I open my computer, I realize something isn’t right. I can’t get comfortable. I rearrange my books, and I begin to write.
I couldn’t concentrate. The guy behind me was talking about his weekend adventures – something about short skirts and a date. Where are my headphones? Ah. At home.
I tried to tune out the poor, misguided kid on the other side of the wall, and then, I realized…
I looked at my barely touched latte, the battery draining on my computer, remembered the pointing fingers of the one way signs, and sighed. Tears welled up in my eyes.
I tried to fix the space bar to no avail. In the end, I repacked my bags, tucked the space bar into its slot, grabbed my half drank (or is it drunk? I’m too tired to check) latte, and left.
I tried to hold it together. I made it as far as the first red light. Once stopped, I put my head on the steering wheel and cried.
When I got home, Mark had his computer set up at the dining room table, and he was praying for me. This meant the world to me. He said,
God can still answer your prayers. Don’t lose hope.
And so I write. It’s not what I wanted to write. It’s not where I wanted to write. But yet, I’m writing.
A quarter of my latte remains. My space bar is working – thanks to my husband. Chris Rice is playing in the background. The smell of flowers fill the air – flowers Mark bought and arranged.
I am surrounded by grace.
I am reminded that intentional living doesn’t always mean you accomplish what you want to accomplish. You can set aside time to do what you believe the Lord has called you to do only to realize He has another plan for you tonight.
We can plan, but it is He who directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9).
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What about you? Where have you seen God directing your steps lately?