Monday, January 19, 2009

Two Pieces of the Same Puzzle

I love when unexpected pieces of a puzzles snap into place. Especially when it is God’s puzzle.

Three years ago we moved to a new community, an hour away from the city we had lived in for almost 60 years.
For the first time in my life, I started over. New home, new community, new shopping, and new church!

We joined a bible study/care group shortly after we found our new church home, because that is the quickest way to feel connected.
Like the other small groups we were assigned a church-supported missionary to pray for.
We listened to our missionaries being talked about and we prayed for them, but they seemed like strangers to us.

Then yesterday when we were visiting my parents, my Mom gave me a newspaper page covering the story of a girl I knew well. Karen, who had been one of my girls in the Pioneer Girls Club that I taught, was my daughter’s friend growing up. My daughter and Karen went to the same church, same elementary school and we knew her parents as well, since they lived not far from us.

As I was reading her inspiring story which can be found here I began to suspect what I found too incredulous to believe.
But, it was true.. Karen and her husband were our small group’s missionaries !!

Karen had moved to the USA for her higher education and had married there. I would ask about her occasionally and did know that she was a missionary, but when I would ask about her , I would use her maiden name and so her married name never rang a bell !

Sometimes, ‘co-incidences’ catch us completely by surprise .. but I don’t believe they are co-incidences .. I believe they are God-orchestrated for His purposes ! Each piece of God’s puzzle needs to fit the piece that it is meant to fit beside so that when it is all finished the picture is complete.

Of course.. I immediately e-mailed Karen … and I can’t wait to tell our group that Karen Sanchez, our missionary , is MY Karen !!

Rom 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “


Vicki said...

What a wonderful story! As I was reading this, I started humming a song from long ago called "The Pieces Fit" by Considering Lily. The lyrics that popped in my head go something like this:

"I was like a story without an ending, a mystery with no clue;
A maze where each direction is deceiving, with no one to lead you.
I was confused till His answers reached me. Unaware till He came to teach me. It was a match made in heaven from the moment we connected..."

The song goes on to talk about how the pieces fit - I just imagine us as pieces of a world-sized jigsaw puzzle, where we can't see the connection sometimes, but God brings it all together for us. He is the Master Planner, Designer, Weaver...Problem Solver!

Elsie said...

That is such a great story, Julie! I love it when the puzzle pieces snap into place for us to see the picture of what God has been putting together. It just so happens that our church is getting involved in the Sanchez' missionary work too! I sat across the table from Ricky and Karen and chatted with them at a fundraising dinner in December. What a wonderful couple, and what amazing work they are doing with Thai orphans. Now that the missing puzzle piece has been revealed, you will be able to relate and pray for them more personally!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Sweet treat for all of you!

Anonymous said...

I looked at your blog today becuz I recognized the picture of the Sanchez family....our church supports them too and it was great to visit with Ricky at a church luncheon. Such a wonderful ministry they have - and a wonderful story! Thanks for featuring your connection

Anneliese said...

I also have a coicidental story about Karen. A few years ago, when I was talking to my soon to be daughter-in law, about preparing the missionary house for a family from Thailand, she told me that she had a cousin there. Well, in talking further, we found out that we were talking about the same family! So, Karen is my daughter-in-law's cousin.

Betty said...

That is so great! In which country do they serve?

Trish said...

What an amazing story Julie!

Lovella said...

I just love how God gives little treats to remind us that he is the one who is making the beautiful tapestry. .though so often we only see the back of it. . .now and then we get a glimpse of how fantastic the finished piece of art will be. . .in this case, the body of Christ. I love this Julie. . .thank you, it is such an encouragment.

Judy said...

What a neat story! As I clicked open the post...I immediately recognized the Sanchez family. Our church also supports them...and we so enjoyed their visit about a month ago. I have thought about Ricky's talk many times since then...and the persecution that Christians in 'his world' face. Our pastor is leaving tomorrow for Thailand...and will meet with the Sanchez's while he is there. It truly is a small world!

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful story! Lovella had commented on the tapestry of God, how we look up at the mess, or pieces of life we don't understand or seem confusing to us, and He looks down at the beauty He is creating from all things as they come together. This was an illustration from Max Lucado or Rick Warren. Such a marvelous picture of how creative God is in bringing all things together in our lives. In reading the other comments, how blessed these folks are to have such a prayer support behind their ministry. I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God. Kathy

Demara said...

haha oh this is so strange, but I saw the picture and thought, that guy looks so familiar then I read the name "Ricky". I've shook his hand, and he is friends with Jeff. They are Poker buddies!! haha so fun!

Demara said...

actually I got confused. after I talked to Jeff I realized that Ricky was in fact the MC at Reg and Faa Wall's wedding.

Jeff and Ricky attended Reg's Bachelor Party. They are not poker buddies.

Gwendolyn said...

How very exciting to see another example of how God intertwines our lives with others, bringing us together at strategic points in our lives! It is no doubt an encouragement to you to see this dear sister in Christ following the Lord in ministry after having known her in younger years! Praise the Lord for your faithfulness to be used of Him in Karen's earlier years and that she is now in missionary service! It makes missions come alive when you are more involved on a personal level!