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  • Melinda K. Bowens

Ummmmmm God...This isn't what I ordered

Ummmmm, God…This isn’t what I ordered

“Everything will be all right in the end. If it is not yet all right, it is not yet the end.”

Now, I know some great philosopher probably spent his/her entire existence trying to reach ultimate peace in life before he/she uttered that amazing phrase. Or it was John Lennon. Or it was a quote from this movie called “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (thanks Google). And then I heard it secondhand from some guy on Twitter. But that’s neither here nor there. The research is fuzzy, but the quote is clear.

When I originally read that quote, it all its tweetable glory, I’m pretty sure I was somewhere contemplating dropping out of grad school for the 1239348th time (which takes care of any time between 2010 to 2012). But in true student fashion, I needed a glimmer of hope and it appeared on my timeline in 140 characters or less. Also in true student fashion, I was on Twitter instead of studying, so that may have been part of my problem (that’s another blog post for another day). But, I took my “confirmation” not to drop out and kept going. Because other people had graduated before me and clearly it was at least possible.


The awesome thing about school is that if we just keep going, we know exactly what’s coming in the end; a degree! But many of us have come across life circumstances where things weren’t so direct. We signed up for one thing and something totally different was delivered to us. Leaving us to look at God with a slight side-eye saying, “this is not what I ordered, I mean prayed for.”

  • Some of us were handed what we thought were lasting relationships, but then they ended poorly.

  • Some of us prayed for a loved one to be healed, but they still lost passed away.

  • Some of us have worked towards are biggest dreams, but never saw any progress.

And there’s no bow to put on any of that; it sucks majorly (sorry if you were waiting on something cute, I figured the truth would work better). But just like there are times where God’s adjustments in our plans hurt, there are even more times where God’s adjustments were literally life savers.

  • Those times when not-so-great relationships ended and we were saved from more pain (and we are grateful for it *insert praise hands emoji*)

  • Those times when God gave us and our hurting family peace in times of lost

  • Those times when our dreams were derailed and something even more amazing opened up immediately


I say all that to say this: We tend to be okay with God and His adjustments when we can see the “better” that He’s bringing immediately; but we are ready to jump ship when there’s even a little bit of waiting in that pain place. And that makes sense. Like, who actually wants to wait in place called pain.

*Looks out into the crowd to see no hands raised*

But that place we don’t want to be in (and your place may be called pain, hurt, missed opportunity, etc…) is exactly where our faith will grow the most. Because to believe that there is better, without actually seeing better, is the working definition of faith (Hebrews 11:1).

The question are have to ask ourselves is: Do we want to experience what God ordered for us? Or do we want to settle for what we ordered for ourselves? (Hint: Sometimes we don’t order the healthiest things; not in life or restaurants)

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