|Interruptions stop us...|
We’re all familiar with interruptions.
They may be small interruptions: a phone call or text message or visitor at our door while we're trying to write. A friend who wants our attention when we’re busy. Someone who interjects their own opinions while we’re speaking. These interruptions can detract us from the focus/task at hand.
Interruptions may be of intermediate seriousness. This summer I was mentally drained from taking writing courses with their demands of weekly assignments, longer essays, and lots of reading. So from May to August I couldn’t write. The ideas didn’t come. Sometimes I felt I had lost four months of writing time.
However, major, life-changing interruptions out of our control can rock our world —and shatter our daily life, our hopes, and dreams.
Last year Tracy Krauss spent time in the hospital with continuing health issues, and over the year she was forced to scale back her responsibilities. “Limitations are my new realities,” she wrote.
Nina Faye Morey’s life was interrupted last year when her husband passed away. “Unfortunately, it washed away all those familiar roads in my life, leaving me to tread a lonely and solitary path through the wilderness,” she wrote.
Katie Gerke, one of our occasional bloggers, has written how MS has robbed her of most of her mobility and dreams for the future. And now in the last two months, she has been in and out of the hospital, including in ICU, dealing with various health issues (but not Covid so far). Over her years with MS, she has dealt with debilitating pain and weariness, isolation, and sometimes overwhelming sadness.
When we are interrupted, we may at first be disoriented. Bewildered. Angry. What we thought were our next plans have been halted; something or someone we love is lost with nothing to replace it, nowhere to go.
“The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions,” wrote Martin Luther King. “The door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed. Or that lovely poem that didn’t get written because someone knocked on the door.”
Yet often these are God's interruptions that come from His love. They come for a purpose and plan. “My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I discovered the interruptions were my work,” Henri Nouwen wrote near the end of his life.
During this time God may bring us to a place of complete dependency on Himself, a place where he shows us his tenderness. He speaks comfort, promise of his presence and rest. "I will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope", He says (Hosea 2:15)
I learned this summer that “to everything there is a season” (Eccl 3:1). What appeared to be an interruption to my writing was an intervention. God knew I needed time to rest, to turn my attention to other things…beside writing…working in my yard and garden, taking long walks (the outdoors always rejuvenates me), catching up on visiting family and friends when Covid restrictions eased, and relaxing with God in the early morning. Finally as August progressed, I felt writing sparks began to flicker.
Tracy discovered a door of hope as she wrote: “As God continues to give me clarity about what I am to be doing right now in this stage of my life, I cannot continue to look back and long for how it used to be.” But she adds that God still has a plan and purpose for her, “I have more books to write, grandchildren to snuggle, people to encourage, and interceding to do, but perhaps not at the same pace.”
Nina absorbed meaningful quotes on grief and thoughts from scriptures, which she shared with us. To restore some semblance of normalcy, she began to write again, also knowing that “creative activities are positive ways to cope with negative feelings and emotions.” She also looks forward to being reunited with her husband and meeting Jesus one day.
Katie finds God’s hidden treasures as she lives with MS. She wrote that especially in her darkest days, “God shows Himself in light, so brilliant and breathtaking that I will take it and tuck it in my heart so I can use it ‘as a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’” Psalm 119:105.
“Interruptions (are) God's appointments." Debbie Macomber
And now it’s your opportunity.
How has God shown Himself to you in these interruptions?
Has your interruption turned into an opportunity—if so, how?