Friday, August 2, 2013


When I was younger, I hated reading.
Reading for fun was never something I thought I would enjoy.
But, the older I get, the more I love a good book.

I was talking to a couple of 'self-proclaimed nerd' friends this past week at dinner about a few book series that I have read recently and when I hesitantly confessed my secret love for dystopian books and even have crossed into the sci-fi realm, I was informed that I had officially achieved nerd status.

So there's that.
I'm a nerd.
A nerd who really, really loves a good story.

What I've found is that a good story, fiction or non-fiction, can bring clarity and a deeper understanding to topics that are hard, or messy, or just plain weird.  A good story is one that is not easily forgotten and often, for me, causes me to self-evaluate and gives a different perspective.

My heart was heavy this morning as I was praying for Miles.  He has an all day evaluation on Monday that we pray will give clarity and direction.  As I started to feel a little overwhelmed, God brought a story to my mind that I read years ago.  It is a story that was written by Emily Perl Kingsley in the late eighties that I sure most of you have read or heard.

In the simple and beautiful story, "Welcome to Holland", Mrs. Kingsley did an outstanding job at describing the hurt and disappointment we feel when our dreams or plans are completely derailed.

by:  Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans.
The Coliseum.  The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.
You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands.  The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say.
"What do you mean Holland??  I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan.  They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.  The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.

It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books.  And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place.

It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills.... and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go.  That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things... about Holland.

Is there an area of your life that has been derailed or taken an unexpected detour?
Are you mourning the loss of a dream?

Give it to the Lord.
Ask Him for His perspective.
You might be surprised what He will show you.

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord.
"And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts."
{Isaiah 55:8-9}

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