Melissa Frey

Fiction Writer, Freelancer for Hire, and Paleo Enthusiast

Month: April 2015

Under Construction

There’s this saying in Michigan: “There are two seasons: winter and construction.”

Truth.

The interstate by my home is completely torn up – half of a bridge has completely vanished. Getting around is…challenging. (My husband can’t even stop for Starbucks – gasp!)

And all this construction made me remember a revelation I had a while ago. I was looking out our patio door and saw a construction cone. An ugly, orange monstrosity that scarred the otherwise peaceful landscape, standing staunchly in the middle of a hole in the pavement.

Then a thought occurred to me, something I hadn’t considered before: that cone was there to protect me.

Normally, I see construction cones as an annoyance, a delay, something to slow me down, mess up my plans, and get in my way. But that day, I realized that it was there to protect those around it from something that would cause them harm.

Something I hated was there to protect me.

I’ve always hated boundaries. I know in my head that most are there for my good – I’m sure construction workers greatly appreciate the construction cones keeping cars from barreling into them – but I’m very stubborn, and much enjoy challenging the status quo. It’s a good character trait – most of the time – but when I challenge the boundaries God lays out for me, I can fall right into a pothole.

So what’s your construction cone? It might be your past. God can use the mistakes in your past – as much as you hate them – to make sure you know not to go there again. Or maybe it’s a decision in the present, one that you’re making or one that’s out of your control. God can use those circumstances to show you where He wants you to go.

Because if we go where we want to go, and only hope to bring Him along, we will mess it up. Guaranteed.

But if we go where He leads us, and pay attention to the orange cones He’s placed along our path, maybe, just maybe, we’ll discover the will of God. What could be more important than that?

I want to know God’s will. I want to go exactly where He wants me to go, be exactly where He wants me to be, and do exactly what He wants me to do.

I just have to learn to recognize the construction cones along the way.

The Rainbow Without Rain

So this past week I went on a walk. The weather is FINALLY starting to get nice around here, and I was enjoying the (semi-) good weather! (At least it was sunny, if still a little chilly. What do I expect – I live in the frigid North!)

After a few times around the neighborhood with my husband, he went back inside and I kept walking. And kept walking. I had a lot of things on my mind and the thought was that I’d think, pray… I’m not really sure what the thought was, really; I just knew I needed to keep walking. Clear my head maybe.

It took a full time around before I could even start praying. I’m not sure why. I tried, I really did, but no words came. I just knew I needed to keep walking, almost as if God was telling me to.

By the start of the second time around, I was finally starting to pray. But it was far from perfect. I love words, you know, so sometimes I feel an obligation to have the right ones at the right time. I know prayer doesn’t work that way, but still…

So I just started talking, silently. Truthfully, I wasn’t even sure what my problem was. I’m sure you never have days like that.

And I started walking faster. And faster. Almost…angrily. (How does one walk angrily? Try it; you’ll know.) That’s when it hit me; I was angry.

I thought I was insecure, or fearful, as the things going on in my head were related to pursuing my calling, but turns out I was angry. Why? I was (and am!) so blessed: a wonderful husband, a warm place to sleep, food to eat, money for bills, a definite calling… so why was I angry? And I was supposed to be figuring out why I wasn’t pursuing my calling – why would anger even come into play? I LOVE what I’ve been called to do (write!); no reason to be angry.

But I was. Angry – at the world, at society, at my health issues…even at God, for allowing certain things to happen. Angry at myself for causing certain things to happen. And angry at the world, at life in general for certain things that happened that were completely out of my control.

But here’s the thing – my life is great! For all the blessings listed above and so much more, I have no reason to be angry, or depressed, or even just sad. But things have just felt…off…lately, and I haven’t known why.

Then I rounded the corner, nearly home.

And that’s when I saw it.

The Rainbow Without Rain 041715

It may have been a little hard to see, so much so that I had to look more than once, but the remnants of a rainbow were right there, staring me in the face. And we hadn’t had rain for days, nor was any predicted.

That’s when God hit this stubborn girl over the head again.

You know how rainbows signify God’s promises? They usually come after a storm, or perhaps during it, but rarely do they show up with no storm in sight. (I’m no meteorologist; they could be more common than I think, but the thought’s still good.)

There it was, emblazoned in the sky, the promise from God that He would take care of me, that His promises are true – that He is FAITHFUL – even when there’s no storm. Even though my world seems to be okay at the moment, God still keeps his promises.

Such truth, such freedom in that.

And the cool not-so-much-an-ending-as-a-beginning to that story? I’ve been able to take steps in the days following this revelation toward my calling. And they’ve paid off, in small ways – but those small ways are still much bigger than I imagined.

The take-away? The same take-away I’ve had from Day 1 of this journey:

God is trustworthy. God is faithful.

In the storm, and in the sun.

The Easter Question

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?” Luke 24:5 NLT

Happy Easter!

So I read the verse above this morning and it hit me: this is my favorite Easter verse.

Okay, weird, I know. It should be the following verse: “He is not here! He is risen from the dead!” And yes, while that verse makes me want to stand up and shout, the previous verse really speaks to me.

If you read my first blog post, you know I have a lot of trust issues. (Ha!) And these words, spoken by “two men…clothed in dazzling robes,” show me that I’m not the only one. I mean, those women at the tomb did, too!

Not to say they didn’t believe in Jesus, or even believe that He would rise again…but they were actually looking for a live person in a graveyard. Really.

Are we so different?

We could all say that we would have believed Jesus’ words when he told everyone he would rise again. On the third day. I mean, we can count to three, right?

But we have the benefit of hindsight, which we all know is 20/20.

So maybe those women wanted to believe, wanted to hope, that their Savior was no longer dead. Maybe they wanted to believe all the promises He’d made were true. But maybe they just needed to see it for themselves.

Without faith, we cannot please God – I know that. But I also know God gives us grace for those moments when we need to see it for ourselves.

I’ve heard it said that it’s hard to trust someone that we haven’t seen to be trustworthy. So let’s all ask God together to show us He can be trusted.

He will ALWAYS show us how trustworthy He really is.

Easter proves that.

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