Providence.

on August 26, 2008 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 13 comments by

My friend Jonathan doesn’t believe in luck. In fact, in college, when we led a cell group together, I remember wishing him luck for some reason. He responded with, “Not good luck. Good providence.” I quickly adopted the phrase, more in jest, or was it?

Providence. “The protective care of God”. Isn’t that beautiful?

I spent the weekend in San Antonio relaxed in the arms of providence.

I take very little in life seriously. As you can probably tell. [For Pete’s sake, I raced myself last week.] But one thing on a short list of “this is super important and don’t you mess with it” is having mentors. I believe strongly that it is difficult, dare I say impossible, to do this life successfully if you don’t have anyone to model after. So I seek them out. I love me some mentors.

Which is one of the main reasons I went to San Antonio. As I’ve mentioned before, Melanie and Sophie have both, with their approval or not, stepped into that role for me. Not as bloggy-mentors, but life mentors. I didn’t see it coming. It just happened. So it was like home to spend the entire weekend with them, spill my beans and my heart, laugh about the nothings of life and Bravo Network, eat Mexican food on the hour every hour, and survive Mel’s driving. Just to be loved for being Annie. Something that is slow to come in Nashville (but coming, don’t you worry).

Last week God asked me to be really brave, really honest, and really vulnerable to my group of mentors. I sent an email, expressing deep things that I had decided were better to let die than speak out loud, and asking them to pray with me about these things.

You have NO IDEA how exposed I felt. Yes, these group of women (17 in all- I know, amazing, right?) were now officially as “in” as it gets with me. [Which is saying a lot being that I’m the human version of a billboard sign when it comes to my feelings and thoughts.] And that list included Mel and Sophie. Women who have discipled me for fifteen years received the same email as these friends from the start of summer.

These women, all of them, stood by me and said “Yes, we’ll pray. Yes, we believe God for you. Yes, your heart is safe with us.”

Since then, two other women have talked with me, Gulley being one of them, and ASKED me if they could pray for me. So not only am I loved by friends I met in June and friends I met in 1991, even Gulley embraces my crazy and we just met on Friday.

Tell me. How does God do that? How does He transcend time and years and allow us to connect? I don’t know the answer. But I’m the recipient of this great providence, and I’m appreciative.

Since I sent the email, peace has reigned supreme in my heart. It was never a place of fear, just a place of doubt. But that place doesn’t just belong to me anymore. I opened the door to that room in my heart, invited all my mentors in, and threw a party. And somehow, having everyone in there makes the place friendly. It used to be a dark room, an empty ballroom, with all the makings of a great party, but none of the light or life. Now. Oh now. The lights are on, the music is pumping, and I’m pretty sure that the celebration is just beginning.

Without these mentors [and you know who you are], I think I would have always walked into this room, sat criss-cross on the floor, in the dark, and despaired over the waste of such beauty. Such detail. There was a deep fear of misuse, of the empty. And unsettled quiet.

But now, with the love and prayers of these women, this place lives. God didn’t ask me to expose my crazy to the world, just to the ones who have already chosen to love me. These women agreed to attend this party, even if it starts too early, I play the wrong music, or forget to order the dessert.

[Ok. You’re right. I’d never forget to order dessert.]

When I used to wonder if God knew this room existed, I now know the truth- it has always been under the protective care of God.

Providence.

This is a post for Brody Harper’s Positive Post Tuesday. Go here to read more.

Obviously, Mama is my Numero Uno Mentor, but I already blogged about that.

13 comments

  1. candace
    posted on Aug 26, 2008 at 8:19 PM  |  reply

    Good Providence.

  2. posted on Aug 26, 2008 at 8:49 PM  |  reply

    Rock that. God is stinkin awesome, isn’t he. Some amazing, crazy, off da hook, stuff has happened to me in the last few days, too. Total providence. And divine intervention. It’s amazing. A. Ma. Zing.

  3. posted on Aug 26, 2008 at 9:49 PM  |  reply

    What a beautiful story and a perfect example of how we are to let go and let God. Thanks, Annie.

  4. posted on Aug 26, 2008 at 10:07 PM  |  reply

    I
    Love
    Annie Downs.
    And I don’t believe in luck either. =)

  5. posted on Aug 26, 2008 at 11:48 PM  |  reply

    Providence. SUCH a good word/concept/truth.

    Hey speaking of ordering dessert, remember how we bonded? Over root beer cheesecake? Yeah, that was weird.

    THANK YOU for a wonderful lunch break today, and for your friendship, and for your HILARIOUS stories, and for your honesty about all-things-Annie-Downs. You are valued.

  6. Southern Gal
    posted on Aug 27, 2008 at 6:34 AM  |  reply

    No such thing as luck. Never thought of using providence in the place of luck though. (I love the Anne of Green Gables movies and they mention Providence over and over.)

    I see you as a mentor even now. The way you write gives us insight into your inner workings. You are just as much a mentor to some as those ladies are to you.

    You are capable. God made you that way in Him and don’t you forget it! 😉
    Renee

  7. posted on Aug 27, 2008 at 8:09 AM  |  reply

    Good word.

    But now I can’t get Smitty out of my head:

    Providence, providence
    See it laying down the cornerstone
    The hand of providence, it’s evident
    For we could never make it on our own
    Apportioning the power
    Weighing all that it entails
    Giving us the fulcrum
    And a balance to the scales

    Oh, the hand of providence
    Is guiding us through choices that we make
    Oh, the hand of providence
    Is reaching out to help us on our way

    Providence, ever since
    Any thesis ever entered man
    The hand of providence
    Has been our best defense
    Tho’ his ways are sometimes hard to understand
    From the dying of a hearbeat
    To another soul reborn
    From in between and circling
    Our thoughts of love and war

  8. posted on Aug 27, 2008 at 8:56 AM  |  reply

    You don’t know how blessed I am to have you in my life. Seriously. Love me some Providence.

  9. posted on Aug 27, 2008 at 10:03 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I’ve been a silent reader of your blog for awhile now. I have to say thank you for writing this.

    God’s providence is awesome. Thank you for speaking to my heart this morning!

    May God do amazing things in your life this week!

    Kelly

  10. posted on Aug 27, 2008 at 10:42 AM  |  reply

    I laughed at your first statement because I havea friend who wishes me “providence” all the time.
    I love how open you are and I love that you are willing to bare your soul to women who you know will speak Truth over you and to you. Whatever your concerns, God knows them and enlisting Godly prayer warriors is exactly what HE intends for you (all of us) to do – we are not stuck here on earth alone – Praise the Lord. I have a feeling that He is preparing you to be a mentor to someone for His glory. How awesome that He led you to these ladies! God IS good like that!

  11. posted on Aug 27, 2008 at 6:03 PM  |  reply

    When you feel safe, you can just be you. So glad He gave you some sweet friends.

  12. posted on Aug 27, 2008 at 10:39 PM  |  reply

    You…with your providence and your mentors and your God rooms…I’m happy to now know you.
    Thanks for this post. You are quite the influential person in my life, as has already been made clear. (: I’m so glad God is about peace in your life. He’s up to something!

    So that’s all.

  13. posted on Aug 28, 2008 at 7:42 AM  |  reply

    That Providence definition really grab at me! My daughter and I have been trying to come up with a new name for Sunday school and so I msn’d her and said what about Providence Kids! In this day and age when kids are battling so much in ‘the world’ isn’t it nice to be reminded that they are under the ‘protective care of God’….daughter thought it was a great idea! Lets pray the ministry board does too!

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.