In Others’ Words: Unexpected Happiness

Happiness Door quote Barrymore Today’s photo makes me smile.

Yeah, I look like a bit of a goof … but I’m an extremely happy goof. Those two women wrapping me in a hug? Not only are they tremendous blessings in my life — they are both huge surprises.

It all goes back to my belief that God’s best is often behind the doors marked ‘Never.’  One of the “never” doors he’s walked me through is the one I marked “I will never write fiction.” When I walked through that door, I met Susie May Warren and Rachel Hauck.

At first they were merely best-selling, award-winning authors of books I loved to read.

Then they became writing teachers — mentors — as I realized I had a lot to learn about this thing called “writing craft.”

And then they became friends — real, true friends.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

I know God walks us through those never-ever-ever doors to change us. To challenge us. To conform us to His image. But I also know that He knows there’s happiness waiting for us behind those doors too.

In Your Words: What unexpected happiness awaited you behind a door you marked “Never”?  

The Unexpectedness of Happiness Click to Tweet

God’s Best is Often Behind the Doors Marked Never Click to Tweet

What Unexpected Happiness Did You Find Behind a Door Marked Never? Click to Tweet

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  1. October 23, 2013, 6:00 am   /  Reply

    Thursday night, October 12th, in the lobby of the Hyatt in Indianapolis.

    I looked across from me and there you were. I pointed like an idiot and lost the ability to speak.
    Then I cried. And cried.
    I never thought I’d get to ACFW.
    I never thought I’d have a mentor like you.
    I never thought you and I would be friends.
    If you hadn’t taken me under your wing, God would have sent someone else.
    But, I’m glad He sent YOU.

    YOU are an unexpected happiness, wrapped in kindness, tied up with wisdom, with a bow of friendship on top.

    • October 23, 2013, 2:34 pm   /  Reply

      Love you right back, JZM!

  2. October 23, 2013, 6:55 am   /  Reply

    Honestly? I NEVER thought I would be a writer, crafting fictional stories. Yet, God gave me a character’s name and the vehicle to move her through a story. I got all excited and uber nervous. Then I told a certain friend about this story, and you told me I should write it. Three years later, here I am just finished with my second book and much richer in spirit and friendships. I’ve met so many amazing people. I’ve learned the joy of seeing a character walk onto the page. And I have learned so much about depending on the Lord regarding my identity and in how He views me.

    So glad I had you to help me push open this door to a dream I never thought I’d live out.

    • October 23, 2013, 2:33 pm   /  Reply

      Jeanne: I didn’t have to push open this door for you. I just held it open and ushered it through.

  3. October 23, 2013, 7:28 am   /  Reply

    UM so many. In fact, I believe I’ve written a blog post for this site before on the things that we were waiting for me behind doors marked never…like studying abroad, working at a small-town newspaper, moving to a bigger town. Yep, pretty much every time I say I’m never going to do something, it happens. Which goes to prove once again that God has an awesome sense of humor…and that I should probably stop saying “never.” 🙂

    • October 23, 2013, 2:33 pm   /  Reply

      No, no, no … keep saying “Never,” Melissa! 🙂 Let’s see where God leads!

  4. October 23, 2013, 8:19 am   /  Reply

    I love Jennifer’s comment … love it, and I can relate. Thanks for being one of God’s wonderful surprises.

    • October 23, 2013, 2:32 pm   /  Reply

      And you have been a delightful surprise from God for me too, Kim! Another “What, you too?” moment, brought to us by God. 😉

  5. October 23, 2013, 9:07 am   /  Reply

    The Christian writing community. I didn’t expect to find such kindness, love, compassion, and joy among “competitors.” But then, I discovered we aren’t really competitors, because God has a path for each one of us. We can’t look at the path anyone else is on, just our own — although I am certainly filled with joy that so many of our paths intersect. Don’t know what I’d do without all of those friends, including you, Beth!

    • October 23, 2013, 2:30 pm   /  Reply

      Lindsay: It is so true! The Christian writing community is overwhelming in its support. I have been so encouraged by the mentoring I have received.

  6. Susan Tuttle
    October 23, 2013, 11:24 am   /  Reply

    Well the hubby and I once said we’d never marry each other…:)

    • October 23, 2013, 2:26 pm   /  Reply

      And yes, I do want to hear the rest of the story!

      • Susan Tuttle
        October 26, 2013, 4:11 pm   /  Reply

        LOL! Well….it’s a long one, but suffice it to say, God’s plans were much bigger and better, and I often sing Taylor Swift’s “We are Never Getting Back Together” to my hubby:)

  7. Bernadette DesChamps
    October 23, 2013, 3:00 pm   /  Reply

    I once said I’d never sing in front of others. Can you say F.E.A.R? Heart-pounding, I can’t breath, “where’s the bathroom?” fear.

    Today I lead worship. Such a blessing! It’s been quite a battle, but fear is no match for obedience. “Resist the devil and he will flee.”

    Now I say F.A.I.T.H.

    • October 23, 2013, 9:20 pm   /  Reply

      Love this, Bernadette! Fear to Faith!

  8. October 23, 2013, 7:21 pm   /  Reply

    I learned a long time ago to never say never. lol. As soon as I do, God puts me in that situation I said never to. And I’ve always been blessed…after a while.

    • October 23, 2013, 9:21 pm   /  Reply

      It’s true, Pat, the blessings sometimes come later.

  9. October 23, 2013, 10:26 pm   /  Reply

    I’ll take a different tack – I never thought that at this point in life I’d have a life-threatening illness, have lost my career, faced financial disaster, and have seen most of my old ‘friends’ turn away…

    …and still be happy.

  10. October 23, 2013, 11:23 pm   /  Reply

    Ah, Andrew … your perspective, once again, gives me pause.

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