Unknowns: 1 Lesson from This Week

1 Lesson Unknowns

I’ve been in my fair share of hospitable beds.

I know all the pain and suffering that those beds can symbolize, but in my experience they are sacred places for thinking. The silence and uninterrupted space of being in a room by myself has often brought me deep, soul-level comfort.

I must be at least a little strange from the norm though, because I cannot count how many times a member of the hospital staff asked if they could turn on the TV for me.

No thank you, I’m very happy without it.

They would look at me a little funny and then exit the room.

My favorite pass time is thinking. Figuring life out.

For me, thinking is the art of working on the biggest and most beautiful puzzle, I enjoy putting the pieces of my life together. Sometimes by faith believing that the shaded or unidentified areas will eventually add depth to the picture when more life passes.

Like planning the next piece in the puzzle, I get to choose. I look for the patterns. I take the pieces in my fingers. It feels like it is in my control.

If I’m unsure what to do, I move on to the next piece.

All the while thinking and having a conversation with myself. Next moves, big picture, different angles. Sometimes I’m reviewing lists, plans, little things. And other times I’m wrestling big questions and covering big hurts.

These other times reveal life’s unknowns. They become the nebulous thoughts. The ones that seem so big when life slows to a stop and I find myself in the sacred silent places. When I am in a right spirit, my thoughts lead me constantly into the presence of God.

The lesson for me now is really a question: why not create a habit of letting God in and see what He does to change up my thinking? Why wait for hospital bed moments to invite Him in, when He can be intimately involved in the placement of each puzzle piece?

So, I’m consciously inviting Him into my mental spaces. I discuss my thoughts, turning ideas over and over to expose any wrong thoughts or motives I may not even know I have.

I create silence on purpose for this purpose of asking Him the unknown and waiting. Resting. Believing that He will answer in His time and in His way, and that I will be able to have a better view of His plan if I keep my thoughts open to His control.

Inviting God into my unknowns has been the biggest game changer because it creates risk where there didn’t feel like any before. Letting the questions in my mind rest in His hands feels like sacrifice. It feels a lot like surrender.

But it also feels a lot like faith, trust, and rest.

I have had a lot of unknowns come into my life over the past 2 weeks that have tested this lesson.

  • Floors that didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.
  • Broken washer with our (only) sheets held hostage inside.
  • No internet access for the blogger, and I haven’t found a provider that services our area.
  • Carpet costs higher than I anticipated.

At the end of each of these individual issues is the question: What are we doing to do? How will things work out? How can I fix, prepare, provide?

The last two lessons have lead me to this unknown place. Setbacks and lots of alone time have shown me there are a lot of things I cannot figure out on my own.

The unknowns have made me again feel just like my 6-year-old, my sweet son with all his questions. He is so eager to learn. His eyes are always open wide, taking in the view the best that he can. Looking to me for help and answers to shape his thoughts and guide his mind.

Humbled, I am no different. I want to be a learner. I need to be. But I’m finding out that the only way to accomplish this high goal is to stay low.

To choose to be teachable. To ask questions of the only One who knows all the answers and then wait for His reply.

These unknowns have created space for God to fill my thoughts in new and greater ways. I’m trusting that He will make all things (my heart, the floors, the puzzle that is this life) beautiful in His time.

Upstream Field Guide

2 thoughts on “Unknowns: 1 Lesson from This Week

  1. Oh! I can so relate to ALL of this. I never use the hospital t.v. either. I love to sit and think and never find enough time to do that. Sometimes I sneak off on a ‘walk’ to do this, okay, like almost everyday. I love what you said about staying low and teachable.


    • Thinking time is definitely an important priority. For me, it makes getting up before my kids every morning an essential. I should probably fit in a daily walk too, for a healthy body and healthy mind.


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