Posted by: Lisa | October 28, 2014

Holy Mistakes

“Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also called Apostles:. . . .” including “Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
(Luke 6:12-16)

Jesus spent the whole night in prayer before choosing His Apostles, yet He still seemingly made a “mistake” in choosing Judas Iscariot, His betrayer. This, of course, was no mistake; it was part of God’s plan for the death and resurrection of Jesus, for the welfare of the world.  That death and resurrection had to be accomplished somehow!

We often wonder how we could have made terrible mistakes – even after spending much time in prayer before making important decisions.

For example, I prayed intensely for many months before following what I believed was a genuine call to enter a hermitage (religious community) in 2007. Yet, the place turned out to be a nightmare of emotional and sexual abuse for me. Was it a mistake? It sure seemed that way at the time. But looking back at the experience now, there are many small and large lessons I’ve taken from my time there. These lessons have been helpful to me – and through me, have been and will be helpful to others.  Some of them are:

** I learned to cure my bouts of Raynaud’s syndrome by holding my inner wrists under hot running water for ten seconds. This instantly solves an uncomfortable problem that normally takes twenty minutes to resolve on its own. I’ve even shared this “tip” with other women on a few occasions.
** Since I was “ordered” to create Christmas and Easter flower arrangements for the chapel out of huge bouquets of fresh flowers, I learned that I have a talent for flower arranging. This was something I’d never considered. Now, I use this talent to decorate our dining room table at home. It’s amazing how uplifting something so simple but beautiful can be.
** I learned that people who profess to be religious and God-fearing can sometimes be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Yes, my innocence was shattered – but it needed to be shattered. I needed to see the world as it really is, not as I assumed it was.  Not everyone can be trusted.  That’s a fact.  My experiences in this area can be used to help others see the hidden facets in human nature.

I believe all of this was part of God’s plan for me, for my good.  (“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11)  My “mistake” gave me experiences which made me stronger, more whole.  Since I am now studying to possibly work with seekers in Spiritual Direction, my holy mistakes have become part of who I am in relation to others – enabling me to meet people from a place of understanding and compassion.

What are your experiences with “holy mistakes”?

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