On Turmeric Rice yesterday, but please … not today.

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My husband and I went out to dinner last night and I had the most amazing Turmeric Rice. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I told him I was going to try to make it sometime. This excitement followed me home from the restaurant as I headed straight to my computer to start looking up recipes. I sat there for hours planning the most incredible meal that’s going to be coming out of my kitchen sometime soon.

Well, guess what? It’s sure not going to be today. As I was struggling with the strength to just get out of bed this morning, all I could think was:

Was that even me?

Was I really that excited about making Turmeric Rice? Or about cooking at all? I sure don’t care about it today, that’s the truth. Life may have forced me out the door for a while today, but on the inside I’m struggling. I’m very tired. Weak. And more than a little queasy. And of course my head hurts.

This is pretty much my “puny day” usual.

But, on top of that, I’m also still fighting the tail end of a sinus infection that has had me off my Lupus meds for the past week now. These immune modulators fight with the antibiotics, so anytime I get an infection, everything must stop. Never a good thing for Debi. It always takes me a while to bounce back from that.

Anyways, just suffice it to say that I definitely don’t want to smell any turmeric today. Or much of anything else, either. My poor husband knows not to expect much on days like these, but thankfully, he is pretty much happy with anything. Such a sweet guy he is.

The thing is, though, I was thinking this morning about my food excitement of last night. That triggered memories of the old Debi – that “before Lupus Debi”. She was the strong, energetic one who was usually covered in dirt and sweat. Or strewn with flour, happily cooking a giant meal for a crowd of her loves. She got so much joy from feeding people.

It’s funny how I had almost forgotten about her. For some reason, though, that recipe hunt brought her back. It was good to see her again. Even if just for an evening. At least I know she’s still in there somewhere.

Over the last five years, though, life has shown me that things sure do change. Wow. Do they ever. Old ways evolve into new ways, and we just have to learn to be okay with that.

We do.

And I believe we also have to allow ourselves the occasional moment of melancholy about it, as well. I mean, we can try to hide it and act like we’re okay, but that’s just not being honest. We can only feel what we feel. And we’re going to feel it whether we allow it or not. It’s still going to be there.

We just can’t stay in that place.

I’ve learned through my own experiences that God puts things in our lives that may not feel good, but they are good.

He allows these things because (I don’t know if you’ve noticed this yet or not) He’s really not about making us happy. He’s all about making us holy. He’s refining us. Teaching us to trust him. To cling to his strength. To be content. No matter what. And to be ready for service.

This is how he writes our story.

So, as we all know, some chapters are easier than others. As difficult as some parts can be, we have to surrender our story to him. We have to accept that his ways are higher than ours.

That, no matter where we were yesterday, this is where we are today. Through his immeasurable love for us, this is where he’s brought us. This is where we’re meant to be.

And, because of that, where we are right now is beautiful. Stunning, in fact. Because it’s from God, and we all know that God is love.

So what do I do with that glimpse of the old Debi?

Well, I was discouraged for a bit earlier, but now I’m just trying to see her through the eyes of the new Debi. The one who may not be as strong, but who can now clearly see the extraordinary within the ordinary. That’s a different kind of strength right there.

Do I waste time wondering why God allowed things to change so much? Or do I spend time on my face in thanksgiving for the lessons he’s allowing me to learn through these changes?

See, we may not get to choose what happens to us, but we certainly can choose what we do with it. Today, I’m choosing to shake off my funk, and kick it straight to the curb.

I’m choosing to let go of what’s behind, appreciate the beauty of whatever today may bring, and press on towards tomorrow – all while tucked safely in the arms of the one who loves me enough to write such a beautifully complicated story.

So I don’t know what you’re dealing with today, my friends, but I pray you can find the beauty in it. And I pray for you to be encouraged.

God loves you – this day and who you are right now is part of the beautiful and complicated story that he’s writing just for you. This is his plan for your life. Trust that there will be parts that won’t make you happy, but know that each and every struggle gives your story a beautiful, intentional purpose. Now you just have to decide what you’re going to do with it.

Thanks for growing with me.

“… forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

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