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Soaked in Blessings

As I think back to a time in my life when I was sitting in a cubical and surrounded by a mountain of paperwork, I never imagined the groundbreaking opportunities that awaited me. Like many people I was stuck in a dead end job, counting the hours before my shift ended and praying for the weekend to come quickly. After two years of enduring the call center, one of the worst environments for a creative mind, a job at Cairn University opened up and the blessings have not stopped.

Many art shows and classes later, I found myself sitting across the table at Panera Bread with the owner of White Stone Gallery. We had met through a mutual friend and fellow artist, Bryn Gillette, who greatly honored me by affirming my artwork and introducing us through email. Now, years later, we were having dinner as friends. Toward the end of the conversation and after showing her some of my photos, she offered me a solo show at the gallery. I was completely shocked and humbled. Even for an accomplished artist to have an audience with a gallery owner, let alone be offered a solo show, was next to impossible considering the competition in the art world. Here I was, a no-name artist presented with a possibility I could only dream of. I was speechless. “But, I wasn’t asking for a show,” was all I could reply. “I know. That’s how you know it’s God,” she responded.

I was asked how I find these opportunities. Each opportunity and experience has only affirmed the Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) promise, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Too often, especially during the dry times, we tend to construct our own plan based on our understanding of the situation, forgetting that God is in the relationship too. I think sometimes when we experience lag time in God’s direction we feel the need to take charge and plow forward, but no healthy relationship works that way.

Thanking God when He blesses me has been a necessary part of the journey. I’ve learned that in any relationship, when you give to someone who is grateful, it compels you to give more because the gift is appreciated. It is the same with God. If I complain or neglect to thank God for His gifts it would be like giving pearls to swine.

I often think if I could go back in time and talk to my younger self in the cubicle and share the things that are yet to come, I would have seen my situation differently. There would be no cause to worry. While blessings continue to flow, the thing I value most is considering God in every step of the journey. It has tilled the soil of trust and life-changing faith while pursuing impossible dreams. It is here I find myself soaked in blessings.

-Jo Cooney


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