An Unexpected Next Chapter
Written by: Celeste Warner
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God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
– Psalm 18:24 (MSG)
Tears formed in my eyes as I looked out at the ocean—the orange haze on the water reflected the color of the setting sun.
“God knew,” I whispered. I looked down at my Bible and grabbed my fiancé’s hand before looking him in the eye. “God knew this was the life I was meant to live.”
Ten months before I made this statement, I had applied to go to the mission field and serve in Madrid, Spain. Since I was twelve years old, I had dreamed of being a missionary, and finally, my dream was coming true.
However, once I received my acceptance email from the mission agency, the dream quickly turned into a painful nightmare—God asked me to turn down the opportunity.
Though I knew what God was asking me to do, I fought against God’s will. The mission field was how I wanted my story to be written—serving God, helping others, and living in another country. That was how my life should go. It would be a life full of adventure—it would be the life I longed to live. However, the more I trusted my own judgments and desires; the louder God’s voice became—I needed to turn down the opportunity.
It wasn’t easy, but after two months, I stopped fighting. I gave God control. Though I no longer had direction for my future, I, surprisingly, felt free—free to live and embrace the next chapter of my story.
Truthfully, my next chapter was unexpected. I met a man who quickly became such an integral part of my story. He taught me how to love, how to be true to myself, and how to trust God even in the hard times. I watched as a blank, uncertain future began to be filled with plans, hopes, and dreams, and these plans, hopes, and dreams filled me with peace—peace that I was where God wanted me to be.
As I stared out at the ocean, my heart was flooded with overwhelming thankfulness at God’s timing and persistence. He knew the life I was meant to live. He knew the next chapter of my story. He knew this was my new reality. In the midst of the journey, it was so easy to fixate on the ideas of what I thought my life was supposed to look like. However, when I took a step back and trusted God, I got to watch my life turn into a beautiful real-life fairytale adventure.
Your story may not end like mine, but I promise that if you trust God with the plans in your life and walk through the doors He opens and shut the doors He asks you to close—you will find a unique, beautiful story written for you by your heavenly Father who loves you so deeply. Trust God with your story, dear friend. He has so many adventures waiting for you.
1. Are there any doors God is opening in your life? If so, what are they?
2. Are there any doors God is asking you to close? If so, what are they?
3. How can you take these opportunities (these doors) and trust God with them today?
Thank you for this adventure called life. Thank You for being the author of my story. Though it is hard for me to always trust You with my life, Abba, thank You for being persistent and pursuing me. I know You want what is best for me, and I know the story You’ve written for me is filled with so many hand-picked adventures. Help me to open and close the doors of my life as You direct me to. I want to pursue the life You have planned for me. I love You, Abba. Amen.
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