The Desires of Our Hearts…

“How God Gives Us the Desires of Our Hearts” by Paula Nilsen.
“My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15).

I was eight when my dad announced his burden for the Norwegian people. It wasn’t the kind of burden where he’d disappear into a prayer closet and pour his heart out to God—oh no!—it was the kind of burden that included selling most of our belongings and moving to the country of Norway. I didn’t want to go. You see, I didn’t want to leave my best friend who also happened to be my cousin. Eventually I acquiesced.
I arrived in Norway to this next bit of information: We couldn’t afford the American school. My siblings and I would have to go to Norwegian school. How would I manage? I didn’t even speak the language.

The first day of school brought many challenges. (1) I couldn’t communicate with my classmates. (2) The food was bland—boiled fish, boiled potatoes, and steamed vegetables; eventually, I would bring my preferred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. (3) My teacher, Frøken, didn’t like me. (I now surmise it was due to the fact I corrected her English during English instruction classes.)

God Replaces Sorrow with Joy

But the above details aren’t the ones I’d like you to home in on. Instead I’d like you to know a cool God moment—one where God replaced sorrow with joy and gave me the desires of my heart.

On the first day of Norwegian school, Aina befriended me. One day while we were hanging out, my dad noticed a reindeer decal on her hoodie and asked if she was from Lapland, which is in northern Norway. She said her father was a Laplander. My father’s family was also from that area of Norway and emigrated to America in the early 1900s, bringing reindeer to Alaska.

With my dad’s interest piqued, he went to visit her father. From their conversation, Aina and I learned that our families shared the same family name and had relatives in common: we were indeed related.

Find Comfort in God’s Timing

Pause a moment. Let this story sink in: God had given me a new best friend who also happened to be my cousin, far from my own homeland where my known relatives lived.

If you don’t see the silver lining in your story right now, remember God is working behind the scenes to give you what’s best for you. Best for me, turned out to be the desires of my heart.

Today’s ensuing disaster just might lead to tomorrow’s divine miracle.

Paula Nilsen has two grown sons and one daughter-in-love. She loves hanging out with her nine nieces and nephews who teach her all about pop culture, what to say and what not to say. She works at Pentecostal Publishing House as an editorial assistant. To read more by Paula Nilsen, have a look at Hello New Life. A version of this content originally appeared on Pentecostal Publishing House’s blog.
(Info from: Pure Ministry – UPCI Ladies Ministries –

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