You don’t see it now, but God is supernaturally guiding you through the most seemingly natural circumstances to bring you to greater purposes. Right now, it just looks like work. Right now it just looks like problems. Right now it just looks like a mess. But you’re looking at the back side of a work in progress.

It’s the back side.

I’m currently trying to step into my role as Granny P. I have a 1 year old grandson who has rocked my whole world, showing me a new level of living. I’m trying to do the things grandmas do. Example: I’m currently making Maverick his Christmas stocking. But, it’s not just any old stocking. No, it has to live up to the standard of our family stockings. My husband’s grandmother, Nannaw, made the most intricate, elaborate, detailed stockings for each member of our family. These stockings have 3 dimensional reindeer popping out of them covered in sequins and beads. She passed away 2 months ago, so I now know it’s up to me to make the Christmas stockings.

Y’all, this stocking is a hot mess. There are threads in every color going from here to there. Knots and loose ends. It looks like one big mistake … on the back side. But you flip that baby over and it’s a total work of art coming together! It’s nearly Nannaw level. Hundreds of messy stitches on the back are creating perfectly placed sequins on the front.

Right now, you may be overwhelmed with life because you’re looking at the back side. You’re working. You’re stitching away trying to make things come together. You’re tying loose ends in knots. You’re changing colors and directions. And maybe sometimes you wonder how in the world this is all going to come together. You’re struggling with wanting to quit because you don’t see progress. You’re frustrated with your pace because you feel stuck.

You’re on the back side.

God is doing miraculous work on the other side.

But here’s the thing God asked me to show you today … you can’t expect him to do miraculous work on the other side if you’re not doing the daily work on the back side. You want the sequins … girl, you make the stitches.

I bet there are certain areas of your life that have already come together. Things have already worked out in ways you couldn’t have possibly imagined. You’re literally waking up in answered prayers today … but it’s so easy to miss that.

You know why it’s so easy to miss? Because it didn’t all just happen in a big, profound moment. God didn’t snap his fingers and plop full grown miracles in your lap. No, instead he supernaturally guided your steps on the back side, creating something beautiful on the other side in the process. He was always working. You just didn’t always see it.

Take a moment today to look back and see his work in your life. How did he do that?

Yesterday, I found my first ever written goals. A little planner the size of a checkbook that held the handwritting of a new mama in her 20’s. Flipping through the pages of my old life goals, I was absolutely blown away. It was like flipping your entire life over for the first time and seeing what God had been doing on the other side with all your uncertain stitches and messy knots.

All of these goals from over 20 years ago reflecting the things that were important to me. All the things I was working so hard for.

Goals to grow our business. Back then, we had a mortgage company, and yes, that business grew. We stepped into tremendous success. Then we gave it all up to follow the purpose God revealed to us in the process.

Goals to make more money in a year than my parents had made in their entire lifetime. And we did. We were happy. But somehow we always seemed to want or need more to continue to be happy. So, eventually, it would all come crashing down and in the heap of remains we found our happiness, free of money.

Goals to buy our dream home and fill it with beautiful furniture. And we did. Then we sold it all and gave the rest away.

Goals to get fit, get healthy, run a marathon. Did it. But what I wasn’t expecting was for that marathon to change my future. I wasn’t expecting to come back as a mentor the next year, helping others run their first marathon. I wasn’t expecting to become the spokesperson for the program. It looked like a messy stitch on the backside. But God was perfectly placing monumental things on the other side.

But, the goal that absolutely slayed me was on page 4, titled “Family”. This new mama in her 20s had written as her number 1 family goal that year to “be on the floor with Logan daily.” He was 3. I wrote that goal because I had been told how fast it would all go. I wrote that goal because I didn’t want to miss it while I had it. That little boy is all grown up now, but over 20 years ago, this mama was just trying to be on the floor with him every day.

On that same page is another family goal that reads, “get pregnant by October.” That was my plan. My next step. I wanted more babies and I wanted one to be on the way by that Fall. What’s totally bizarre is to think of the time frame of this goal. I didn’t know it then, because I was making messy stitches on the back side, but there were 2 beautiful little sisters going through hell 630 miles away in Mexico. They were just toddlers, but they were searching for food and trying to protect each other.

By that fall, God had moved our family to the border of Mexico where we would soon encounter the girls. I never got pregnant again, but I now have 3 children!

I couldn’t see it then, but God was supernaturally guiding me through the most seemingly natural circumstances to bring me to greater purposes. Then, it just looked like work. Then, it just looked like problems. Then, it just looked like a massive mess of money problems, legal issues, a struggling business, and complete exhaustion. But God always knew exactly what he was doing. He always knew how this mess was a work in progress and eventually he would flip it all over for me to see.

Matthew 6: 25-27, “Do not worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

My sister, why are you so worried about this? Don’t you know God is working on the other side? Don’t you know he is working in ways you cannot currently see or understand to bring you to the place he has destined for your life. And in case you’re worried about it, that place is a good place. It’s a place he has already gone to prepare for you. You can trust him.

He is a good, good father. Jesus says in Matthew 7:11, “So if you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

God is supernaturally guiding you now. He is working through seemingly natural circumstances to bring you to greater purposes. Sometimes he lets you have everything you thought you wanted, just so you see that’s not the answer. Sometimes he protects you from everything you think you have to have, so that you’re not destroyed in the process. Sometimes he hears your requests, and answers with something even better than you could have ever asked for. And eventually, he lets you flip it over and see what he’s been creating this entire time on the other side for you.

You see how it all came together. You see how every messy stitch on the backside had a purpose on the other side. You see how God wasted nothing, everything was used for his good plan.

Every day that I worried about it in the process was a total waste. Every time I grew frustrated and felt God wasn’t listening, I was so wrong. Every time I was sure another important thing had fallen apart come crashing down, I now understand more important things were being built from that crash. And the same is true for you. How do I know? Because we have the same good, good Father who cares for us, watches over us, and works all things together for good. He’s doing it for you just the way he’s doing it for me. Flip it over and see!

Every Christmas I’ve hung these beautiful stockings in our home, admiring Nannaw’s work in making them for each of us. So perfect. So special. But yesterday, for the first time, I flipped it wrong side out to see the back side. And you know what … it was a freaking mess! As good as she was, there were stitches and knots everywhere! I had just never seen the backside of the work.

It’s easy to look at someone else’s beautiful life and wonder why yours is such a mess. They have a back side too. God brought them through a process, and I promise that process was messy.

Your back side may be a hot mess, but Sis, God is doing his greatest work on the other side. Just keep stitching away. Keep making those knots. Keep working, because God is working too!

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