Flips are God’s specialty

I was disappointed. I had to cancel lunch with two of my lifelong friends, our once-a-summer get-together, because of an emergency trip out of town.

Things didn’t go the way I’d wanted on the trip. Issues weren’t resolved. Two weeks later, I had to return again to hopefully find a more lasting resolution.

I was stressed. I wasn’t sleeping well away from home. I was terribly uncomfortable about the boundaries I was having to set there.

Being a grown-up can be tiring work.

Then I remembered. One of those two best friends I’d canceled lunch with two weeks earlier lived near where I was now. I’d send her a text to see if we could meet.

And she was available. We scheduled for the following day in an in-between town.

Seeing my childhood friend walk through the door of Newk’s made me almost want to cry. I warned her upfront I was emotional, but she already knew because she’s been my friend forever and because she’s a grown-up, too. She has been detoured and jostled on a few trips of her own.

We ate and talked and laughed. She gave me advice and encouragement and most importantly, love.

I was ready to be brave again by the time we had to part ways.

So the lunch I’d cancelled two weeks earlier? God had handed it back to me double-fold. If I’d kept the original date, I might not have reached out to the friend to meet a second time, at this time when I needed it the most.

God had flipped it all to my advantage. And to a greater good.

Because that’s God. While he remains constant himself, he does make change for us and in us. He doesn’t smooth out all our bumps in the road, but he does ride along with us and guide us. And he arranges for other people who love us to hop in and out of the car for legs of the journey as needed.

God knows how to turn a flip:

  • tears into laughter
  • exhaustion into rest
  • disappointments into possibilities
  • death into life

Flips are one of his specialties.

Watch for a flip yourself this week. You never know how God may show out with one.

God doesn't smooth out all the bumps in the road

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When has God turned something around for you? Please share.

47 thoughts on “Flips are God’s specialty

  1. Dana Butler

    Oh, Lisa… I am in the midst of the greatest flip right now, possibly of my whole life. It is painful and utterly exhausting… but His hand apparent in the midst of it is not lost on me. It’s good to hear your own “flip story” – a sweet reminder of His faithfulness even when we can’t fully see what He’s up to. Bless you, friend. (Stopped by from Kelli’s place this morning.)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Sending up a prayer for you right now, Dana. Flips can be so draining, especially big ones. We may even get disoriented for a bit, but we know he will right everything in perfect time. Keep hanging in there. I’m encouraged when I hear people still find God’s hand evident even in the midst of trying times.

  2. Beth

    I love this, Lisa! I’m going to look for God’s “flips” today, because, well … Mondays desperately need God’s spatula of grace to flip these hotcake “hurdles” high and often! 😛 Maybe I took that metaphor a bit too far! I’m so glad God gave you that double blessing of a childhood friend. God knew you needed her!

  3. TC Avey

    Thanks for sharing this. God really is awesome. Sometimes it can seem like life is “unfair” but when we trust God He can work it all out. He’s proven that so many times in my life. Inconveniences really are just opportunities for Him to work and really wow me with something totally unexpected!

  4. Janet

    Hi Lisa, your post reminded me of a time soon after I was reborn. I was walking up the aisle in our church with my daughter and husband and some family friends from my years-before walked through the door. I burst into tears – big ol’ sobby gasping tears when they came to give me a hug. Turns out, we were in the church they had been members of before our family had ever known them. Small world. Definitely a flip – and they were gracious about the tears and we got to visit and catch-up. It was wonderful!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Aw, this is a sweet story, Janet. Must have been such a nice surprise to have that part of your world circle back around. God is so intricate in the details! Thanks for sharing this here. It makes me smile at what God can do.

  5. Sharon

    It occurs to me that God not only rides along with us, but He’s more than willing to steer!! (Oh, if I could just yield the wheel to Him. And stop being such a backseat driver!)

    So glad that you had this chance to visit with your friend. I have three friends that I had to “leave behind” when we moved away two years ago. Our visits are few and far between. But, this week I am planning (Lord willing) to meet with two of them. I am looking forward to the time very much. There is something so very comforting in the faces (and hugs) of friends who know you – especially when times are tough.

    May God continue to work in my heart as I so desire for Him to *flip* my fretting into peace.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I do hope that meeting gets to happen for you, Sharon! I know it will be a huge blessing for all of you to get together again. Times like that are so special.

      Joining you in that prayer for him to flip my fretting into peace too.

  6. Jerralea

    It’s just like God to arrange something like this for you! It never gets old – hearing how God shares in our lives in the most incredible ways. We’d like Him to snap His fingers and our struggles be immediately taken care of, yet He prefers to walk us through it, step by step. Thanks for sharing!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I think he is definitely walking this larger thing through step by step when I wish he’d just snap his fingers and be done. 😉 But I know the lessons will stick more this way. And in the meantime, he does do some intricate flips for me so I am grateful for those.

  7. Natalie

    Oh, yes. Being a grown up is hard, exhausting work. I love this story of a redemptive flip. God does these amazing things and then He gives us the chance to see them. What a blessing that you recognized His hand, rejoiced in it, and used it to remind us of this important truth. In this moment I can’t come up with a flip–they’re there, just out of reach in the fringes of memory. This will be a useful image when I feel stomach getting queasy from being upside down in a flip next time.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You remind me of how I do tend toward motion sickness. Hmm…maybe that explains some of my worries. ha. But yes, I do want to stay aware of his flipping things around so I can be grateful. Thanks, Natalie.

  8. Sherrey Meyer

    Your story made me think of God as the master organizer of lives, and He is. His biggest problem is getting our attention. So God flips — one circumstance for another. All in His good timing, just like he did for you.

    Our flip came in the form of a house sale. We had sold our house, put earnest money on another, thereby encouraging those homeowners to put up earnest money on an acreage, a large acreage. Just days before closing our buyer backed, and you know what happened. All the dominoes fell! The flip? Well, of course we had to restart our house-hunting weekends, and we found just what we’d been looking for in the first place but had chosen to forego if it meant selling our former home! God flipped for us. We’ve been here now 31 years and love it more than ever.

  9. ~ linda

    I love this for I can see…I mean SEE. The imagery is so good and will stay with me as I look at one circumstance and find how God is flipping it.
    I hold you in prayer for the trial you are in.
    I am so glad we were near neighbors @ SDG cuz I came here tonight.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad we were neighbors, too, Linda. It’s impossible to visit everyone, but I do love seeing those familiar faces like yours pop up nearby. Thanks for praying for me–I’ve been feeling more peace this week for sure.

  10. Mary

    OK, friend…I love this post (and you!) for more reason than I can enumerate in a blog comment. The big thing is: He DOES know more about what goes on and what we need than WE do!
    Also, I’ve been praying about your hard thing….we need to talk.

    Hugs to you~~

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I hope so, Jennifer. I need to get together with my friend more often when I go to Auburn–I just don’t always think about it! So glad God brought the option to mind last week.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly, Melissa. I can think of several things immediately (um, old boyfriends for instance) that I thought were best for me, but SO grateful that God had better plans in store for me. 🙂

  11. Beverley

    I like this idea of a flip! You see i am sitting on my hands waiting for something to happen that i feel i have been in the middle of forever, but i can’t walk away. Every time i try God brings me right back. So i am waiting for the flip. It will come in His time, when the other person involved gets fed up of holding on by his nails or as the courage to let go and let God catch him.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, that’s the hardest–waiting on someone else to change. 🙁 That’s partially what has been very hard for me in this circumstance. I had to eventually set different boundaries because the change still hasn’t come.

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        I’m glad God turned it into good, Jen! Those situations can make me so tense though in the meantime when we’re unsure. I need more faith….

        Praying for peace for you and for prepared hearts for those who will end up with your book in their hands very soon!

  12. Amber @ Beautiful Rubbish

    I love how naming this – a “flip” – makes the it possible for us to see things pop out in our lives, in the past or in this week or with eyes scanning attentive in the coming days, maybe to understand them differently. I love this story, and I appreciate how the richness of it could have been overlooked had you not had the eyes to see this way that God moves. Thanks for sharing and encouraging our sight, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Sometimes it’s all in the seeing, right? I know God does things around me all the time that I am blind to. But when I do have clear vision, wow! Thanks, Amber, for the way you encourage us to learn to see.

  13. Dawn Paoletta (@breathoffaith)

    Ha! I was not so sure where this was going and then: FLIPS! I so agree, God is so good at flipping. Especially when I don’t flip out in the meantime. Lisa, you always bring a smile and a bit of sunshine to my day. Thanks for that. And for getting me focused on His flips, not my flip outs! I also have to write a piece for Writer’s Group (local in real life) this week. And the theme is similar…when a bad decision made a good story…I can just see a story with a flip coming! 🙂

  14. Dave Arnold

    I like this Lisa – God most certainly does know how to turn on a flip. I often think He’s taking me one way, and then come discover it’s a completely different way. Keeps us guessing, right?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly. And if it was anybody but God, I’d probably get mad at some of the switcheroos (well, not that I don’t get mad at him sometimes anyway). 🙂 I’m glad he knows what he’s doing more than I do.

  15. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! What a gift God has given you in your friends. I am sorry that your trip didn’t work out as you wanted. I know you had been feeling stressed lately…and so God gave you a bonus! A friend who knows you so well that you can truly be yourself. Warts and all.
    Those people are few and far between. And they are the shining stars in our day. So glad God ‘flipped’ it all for you. He is so good 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, those kind of friends are a treasure to be cherished! I’ve been blessed to have those in my life and I never want to take them for granted. Gifts from God to be sure.

  16. Crystal Twaddell

    Lisa, I love this perspective, and I even think we should pray for flips….what a faith builder as we watch Him work for His glory! You brought to mind several instances for me to think about that maybe I just took for granted. Dropping by from #TellHisStory, and so glad I did!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think it’s sometimes easier for me NOT to notice these flips than to notice them, but yes, when we pay attention, they are great faith builders in what our awesome God can and will do for us! Thanks, Crystal.

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