Monday, January 19, 2009

Random Thoughts on Chapter Endings and Beginnings

A good author knows to end a chapter with a surprise hook--and then open the next, new chapter with a question, either stated or implied. How will the character handle this latest unexpected turn of events? Will it be an impetus for change or a cause to despair?

The plot of my life's story has included many surprise twists and turns. What originally seemed to be a tragic twist of fate soon evolved into a new path, a change of direction into uncharted adventures and higher reaches of personal growth.

Many of you know that this past summer our family faced a new life chapter with one of our daughters that we thought surely foretold a tragic ending. But as the story unfolded, little Kai's entrance onto the scene has brought numerous surprise blessings none of us could have imagined before. Not only has our prodigal returned, but the beautiful baby boy she bore has ushered into our lives a season of spiritual growth and insight I never expected--not to mention the love and pure sweetness he brings.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the spiritual lesson I learned as I watched Kai sleep and realized how I love him just for who he is. He doesn't have to DO anything, he simply has to be. And it struck me how our Heavenly Father longs to be with us, to share our company. We can simply BE. He loves us for who we are, not for what we do or don't do.

This past week, I've been struck by another Kai lesson on spiritual growth--"The Infant's Art of Trusting." A baby has no comprehension of the behind-the-scenes time, effort, and expense that goes in to meeting his needs. He simply knows someone rushes to meet his every need when he cries.

While this most recent chapter in my life story comes to a (surprise) ending with the closing of Barbour's HPMysteries book club line, and the subsequent cessation of my full-time employment, I've been tempted a few times to give in to sadness, disappointment, and yes, fear--until I'm reminded how my Heavenly Father is working in ways I can't even comprehend to meet my needs. (I'm also reminded of the tremendous blessings I've received throughout this most recent Barbour chapter--the opportunities to work with the most fabulous editors and writers in the world. . .and to actually get PAID to do what I love most, read mysteries!)

As I turn the page and begin a new chapter. . .full of questions. . .I look forward to the lessons the Lord will teach me, and the ways He will, once again, prove He will provide for me.

15 comments:

NancyMehl said...

Sometimes as we walk along the path with Him, we come to a corner where the road ahead is hidden from our view. That's the time to cling tighter to His hand. Just like little Kai trusts those around him - so we trust our Father, who knows the "blessings around the bend."

Looking forward to the "blessings around the bend" in your life, dear Susan.

Thank you for letting me tag along your path for a while. It's been joyous!

Nancy

Anonymous said...

Hey, we're not parting company, dear friend. I'm holding tight to your hand and forcing you to come along to see what lies around the next bend! Susan

Kim Vogel Sawyer said...

Looking back on the footsteps of my life, the times I saw as the darkest/worst/most confusing led me to the times of greatest blessing. Praying that same blessing for you, my friend! "Trust in the Lord for ever; for the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength!" (Is. 26:4)

Beth Loughner said...

Susan,

Thanks for the encouraging words. Like Kim, my darkest hours often produced blessings. Not that I liked the process of being hammered, scraped and then polished, but I take comfort that God knows exactly how to use the tools.

And for the record; you'll always be a Barbie Girl. :-)

Beth

Mary Connealy said...

Wisdom from Kai, this could be a book, Susan. :)

I think the innocence and complete need a baby has for others might be a very good illustration of how we should depend on God.

Erica Vetsch said...

Susan, it's so generous of you to share encouragement with others when you're facing disappointment and uncertainty in your own life.

How often do we face what we think is a fork in the road or a totally new direction, when God had it on our 'life map' all along?

Thank you for the reminder that God is good, all the time.

Crystal Laine Miller said...

You are a wonderful editor and person, Susan, and a good writer yourself. I don't know what all this means, either, but I've been praying for you, and your family.

Love all the Mysteries! I've read so far, so you did such a good job there, in my opinion.

I look forward to where God is taking you next. Love you! and your encouragement, even when you don't know what comes next. It inspires me to believe and hope.

Barbara C. said...

Susan,
Thank you for the encouragement you've given on Edit Cafe. I enjoy checking each evening to see a new post. May God be especially close to you during this time and bless you in mighty ways, that you don't even know yet.

CatMom said...

Great post, Susan, and I'm praying for you as the Lord leads you in another adventure. ~ THANKS for sharing another Kai picture - - what a precious DOLL !!
Blessings, Patti Jo :)

Susan said...

Patti Jo, I posted that picture just for YOU. :-) It warms this ol' granny's heart to be ASKED for pics of her sweet little guy.

I'll pop in here on comments every now and again, just so you all won't forget me. LOL

Group hug to you all! Susan

NancyMehl said...

And a hug back to you, sweet Susan. (S)

Nancy

Martha Rogers said...

I so enjoyed working with you, Susan. God must have something mighty big in store for you to shut this door.
Thanks for the pictures of Kai and what you've learned from watching him. Babies can teach us so much as we're teaching them.
Hope you'll keep in touch through the ACFW loop.
Blessings to you and your family.
Martha

Ausjenny said...

Susan I want to thank you for editoring the mystery books. I love them even if im way behind but I really do appreciate them and hope what ever is round the corner for you will be a wonderful blessing to you.

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

Susan, it speaks a lot of you as a person to share inspiration and wisdom with us readers when your life is so uncertain right now. So, for that, thank you!

I admit I was surprised when I first learned the HPMysteries club would be closing. Unfortunately, the launch happened during a time in our economy that's hard for anything new to get its feet wet. I pray once things recover and take an upswing again that the idea might be revisited again.

In the meantime, keep smiling and trusting God. The darkest hours of my life when everything was unraveling always led to abundant blessings beyond my wildest dreams. I'm confident the same will be true for you.

Susan said...

Ah, thanks, Tiff! But the sun is shining in Ohio today. . .and in my heart! I just learned my son and daughter-in-law in Kansas City are going to make me a grandma again in September(this will make #5 for me). Life is good. God is good--all the time.