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God’s Plan: Lilly’s Story

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Lilly’s father had died of cancer when she was just a wee girl, perhaps 4 or 5. Too young to ever know him well. Her mother, the family always commented, was a ‘bit strange’. Lilly was taken away and all contact with her father’s side of the family, forbidden. Year stretched by- prayers of supplication regarding a reunion with their granddaughter, cousin and niece were offered, but Lilly’s mother staunchly kept to her vow to dissociate herself and her daughter from all relatives on her dad’s side. Any attempt the family made to be reunited with Lilly was rebuked. It seemed hopeless.

Lilly grew into a beautiful young woman. With the passing of years, her curiosity surrounding her father and his family grew too. Who were these relatives that she had been denied access to? What were they really like? Wasn’t it time she made a judgement for herself?

An entire part of Lilly’s life had been locked away and her mother had held the key closely. Until now. Sue and Lilly had become estranged, and Lilly had been set free. Free to discover a portion of her life that had died with her father when she was a little girl. And free to discover the father she never really knew. No more secrets. No more arguments. Whatever Sue had kept from Lilly, it was time to unravel it for herself. Time to know the truth.

Lilly reopened the small hand painted box that belonged to her mother. She carefully lifted out the letters that lay inside, some for over 40 years. Lilly located the particular one that altered the course of her life – a 21st birthday card and letter from her Aunt Ruth Watkins. Lilly refolded the letter, carefully placing it back in the handwritten envelope. The envelope that was addressed to her mother 23 years ago but had never been placed into Lilly’s hands. In fact, the box was full of cards that had never reached Lilly. Every one of them was from her father’s side of the family. They had been sent to her mother’s address, in the hope that Lilly might enjoy them. She never did. Until now.

Lilly’s hand hovered over the send button. She hesitated. What if the woman was not her aunt? But then again, what if she was? Fear and anticipation mingled together. Determined, she sent the email. Now the dreaded wait for a response.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.

God knew that they would meet. That the entire family would be reunited. That Lilly would find a loving family again. And that we would lay eyes upon each other for the first time in over 50 years at my father’s funeral. Can a sad day, when we farewell a loved family member, also bring so much joy when we look into the face of a long lost loved one and welcome them as part of our family? God knew. He had it all planned from the beginning. And it was a beautiful plan all to His glory!

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing in prayer.

When we feel that something beautiful in our lives has died and become lost forever, know that there is another story that God is writing underneath. There is still life ruminating inside waiting for God to reveal at His appointed time. Hope has not gone. We have not been forgotten. God is at work, despite what we feel, despite what we see.

Is there a relationship in your life that needs resurrecting? Or perhaps a loved one that has been lost and forgotten? Can we reach out to God with hope that what is lying dormant will come forth to bring new life?

God does not forget the prayers of those who faithfully pray for years for the situations that appear hopeless.

Heavenly Father, fill me with hope rather than despondency. Grant me the peace to know that You are working all things together for our good and for Your glory. Calm the raging torrent of my heart and give me the courage to patiently wait for Your goodness to be revealed. Thank You that Your love will perfect all that concerns me. Amen.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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  1. Jennifer,
    This story touched my heart and soul. God always has a plan even way down the line-always a reason where God is in control and knows. Beautiful story, this will remain in my heart long after I’ve read it.
    God Bless~

  2. I was truly blessed from reading your article. I have had some things happen that have killed my dreams. But maybe I should have gone into the writing long before I did, because God gave me the gift of writing and is truly using it to bless others.

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