A few weeks ago I, along with my parents, took my son to see his first live theatre show-The Lion King. Going to the theatre was one of my favorite things to do when I lived in New York City. One of the perks of living there was having all of the Broadway shows right at my doorstep. Thankfully, Broadway shows now travel and occasionally make their way to our neck of the woods here in Oklahoma. When they do we take full advantage.
We were a little late to the game in buying our show tickets this time, so we had to settle for box seats on the very top level. As the usher showed us to our chairs I was immediately concerned. For one, it was high up, much higher than we had anticipated. So high that I felt like I needed to keep my four year old on my lap the entire time in order to keep him safe from the ledge. I looked over to my parents who I could tell were having a hard time themselves. My Dad backed away from the railing feeling dizzy. My heart sunk as I knew, these seats were not going to work.
The only problem? Written on the front of our expensive tickets as clear as day: NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES.
This once promising evening, a first-time theatre experience for my Milo, was going downhill fast.
I turned to my Mom and gave my only problem-solving solution:
“The only thing I can think to do is go to the Box Office, explain the situation, and beg them to let us do a ticket exchange.”
She nodded and hurried down, trying to get something secured before the show started in a mere 15 minutes. I stayed in our seats, holding Milo tightly in my lap, while he asked me over and over again what was going on. I tried to assure him everything was fine.
Only I didn’t know if it would be.
This evening had been planned for over six months and it was falling apart in minutes. I said a silent prayer for redemption, knowing it would be a long-shot. Especially as I watched all of the seats filling up around me to this seemingly sold out show.
A few minutes later my Mom returned, with a smile. The lady at the box office had apparently felt sorry for our dilemma and traded out our tickets for a set of new ones, at no cost. We made our way down the stairs to be seated. Imagine our surprise when we realized our new tickets were orchestra seats, a mere 15 rows back, dead center. We went from having seats where the actors were but tiny specs, to if I squinted I could have seen nose hairs (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but they were dang close.)
If everything had gone according to my original plan, the experience wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing as it was once everything went awry.
Think about that for a moment. My failed plans, lead to greater ones.
Sometimes, the plans you’ve made for your life feel as if they are unraveling. Sometimes, the hopes and dreams you’ve had seem to be dying. Sometimes life seems as if it is going one way and you are forced against your will to go in a new direction.
In those moments your heart can go from disappointed to downright broken. It’s ok to feel that way.
But friends, sometimes those things happen to make way for something even greater that’s in store.
No, it doesn’t feel like that in the moment. It feels like everything is falling apart. But trust me when I say to hold on, keep going.
My plan was never to become a widow at the age of 31. My plan was never to be a single Mom. My plan was never to have a child that requires so much extra medical care and attention.
Yet you know what?
My plan was also not to start a blog. My plan was not to reconnect with my High school love of over 20 years. My plan was not to see my daughter’s story used the way it has. My plan was not to quit a job I hated and have the opportunity to do the things I love.
Letting go of a goal, a dream, a life, it’s never easy. Still sometimes we have to let go of certain things to allow other things to enter our world, things that were meant to be there in the first place.
Our Creator so lovingly tends to blow us away with the threads He's weaving in order to create our beautiful tapestry. Out of ashes it typically comes.
Remember that when you are in a season of loss. Remember that when you are in a season of death. Remember that when you are in a season of loneliness. Remember that when you are in a season of confussion
Don’t be afraid to let go of what was in order to make way for the newness to come.
You may be on the verge of being moved from the balcony to orchestra center and you don’t even know it yet. And I can promise you, once you’re there, you will see the stage better than you ever did before.
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