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I noticed the clocks first, even before I walked inside the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.

There’s a clock on the outside of the building that I could see from far away as I walked along the banks of the Seine. There’s a gorgeous gilded clock inside the lobby. And there’s a gigantic clock on the fifth floor of the museum that looms over the tourists who stand under it.

The building was originally a railway station before it became a museum filled with art, so I’m sure keeping track of the time is pretty important when you’re waiting to catch a train.

But when you’re waiting for the monumental events of life to arrive and time keeps marching on, it’s hard to ignore the sound of minutes ticking away on the clock of your life.

Most women my age are sending children off to college, keeping an eye on their retirement accounts, or shopping for mother-of-the-bride gowns. When I left college a few decades ago, single but sure I had plenty of time for relationships, I climbed the career ladder until I finally landed a job in my field. I turned my attention to building a house, volunteering, and pursuing hobbies. As the years added up, I closed down my heart and settled for the status quo.

When you’re heading toward middle age, you think maybe middle-of-the-road is a good enough place to be.

But to God, the middle is just halfway to a new beginning.

I felt Him asking if I’d be willing to open my heart to the very things I wanted to avoid. I spent years carefully eluding disappointment and rejection, but it seemed as if it were time for me to follow Him in a new direction.

A journey to awaken the heart takes time. God has a frustratingly different angle of time than we do. He’s not limited by what our finite minds can envision. But the landscape of our lives changes when we look at it from His viewpoint.

  • What if, instead of time ticking down, each day clocks a new opportunity to know God differently?
  • What if the time we think is lost has been kept by God to reveal our courage, wisdom, and perseverance from weathering life’s seasons?
  • What if the time we’re sure is wasted was preserved by God to help us experience Him more richly?
  • What if we aren’t really off-track at all, but instead on the course designed uniquely for us by God?

When I opened my heart to God, I ran right into the heartache and disappointment I’d feared. But in those very places, I also found hope that didn’t make sense, peace that was puzzling, and joy that was mystifying.

I discovered that God had gone ahead of me to carve out the time for me to know Him more deeply.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. {Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV}

In the Musee d’Orsay, I climbed the stairs to the fifth floor where I stood behind one of the enormous clocks. Looking through its monumental hands I could see in the distance the beautiful church of Sacre Coeur, whose name means the sacred heart of Jesus.

God holds all time in His hands. He holds our hearts too. His exquisite work in our lives is never over. His plans and purpose for us continue forever, where time never runs out.

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  • Pamela

    Raw, vulnerable, beautiful. Thank you.

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Hi Pamela,
      Thank you so much for reading! Grateful for your encouragement!

  • Brittany

    This is such a great perspective! Your words paint a lovely picture of looking through the other side of the clock, thank you for my morning inspiration!

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Brittany,
      Thank you for this lovely encouragement! Looking through a new angle helps me notice what I haven’t seen before and that is so hopeful!

  • Wendy Munsell

    “A journey to awaken the heart takes time.” Amen! But, thankfully, God has the time and thinks we’re worth the awakening. Beautiful post… thank-you.

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Wendy,
      Grateful for your kind words and oh yes, he does think we’re worth it — love that perspective!

  • heather marshall

    This–> His exquisite work in our lives is never over. His plans and purpose for us continue forever, where time never runs out…. ♥ Good reminder for anyone who thinks their ship has sailed on any sea- relationships, children, career… In God’s estimation, it’s never too late.

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Heather,
      Reflecting on your beautiful thought — it’s never too late for God to set you sailing on a ship that you thought had long ago left the harbor. Thankful for you, friend!

  • Rebecca Tellez

    Our God always amazes me. This morning as I lay in bed pondering my life, I was asking God who had He made me to be. What dreams had He planted in my heart that years of abuse and closing myself off from feeling had I missed. I am 69 and feel that who I was meant to be, have long passed me by, but God…. gave to us this day wisdom from inexcusable our sisters, Valerie, ad with that wisdom is new hope

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Rebecca,
      Sharing in that new hope right along with you! God has a way of bringing to life those dreams he’s planted in our hearts in ways that surprise us. Praying that you’ll feel especially surrounded by his love!

  • http://www.lindastoll.net Linda Stoll

    Yay-Hey, Valerie … to see that {in}courage has chosen you to come and share your creative work? I couldn’t be happier that a whole new group of readers get to share in the rich feast you always place on the table!

    And those 4 huge questions right smack dab in the middle of it all? So wise, so brilliant.

    Your presence here has made my day. My weekend!

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Linda,
      You know how to make a girl’s heart swoon! :) So grateful for your encouragement and friendship! xo

  • https://crippledatyourtable.wordpress.com Julia

    Valerie,

    “I also found hope that didn’t make sense, peace that was puzzling, and joy that was mystifying.”

    I’m finding this joy even with confusion and longing for God to explain this desire he’s put in my heart. Even though i know he doesn’t have to. I really needed the reminder he holds me and time in his hands. Thank you.

    I remember you from five minute Friday, congrats on the guest post for incourage! ❤️

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Julia,
      Isn’t it a mystery when we find joy in the middle of our uncertainty? And I’m amazed when God does give us a glimpse of his perspective on our lives and I’m praying this for you! Appreciate your sweet encouragement!

      • https://crippledatyourtable.wordpress.com Julia

        Valerie,
        Yes, it really is a mystery in the midst of all the waiting, there are these nights where I’m just wide awake with hope and this joy I’ve never felt before. And I kinda feel a little crazy, but God keeps telling me about joy and restoration coming and I’m trying hard to take it in and hold on at the same time.

        Thank you for the prayer ☺️

  • Beth Williams

    Valerie,
    Great insightful post on time!!
    What if the time we think is lost has been kept by God to reveal our courage, wisdom, and perseverance from weathering life’s seasons? I know for certain that time lost by not working-has been used by God to show me the wisdom and perseverance I have in caring for my aging dad.
    What if we aren’t really off-track at all, but instead on the course designed uniquely for us by God? I know God has plans for each of us. It may be different at different points in our lives.
    I’m at middle age and was contemplating my “lost time” of not working–but now I see that It is all a part of God’s beautifully crafted plan for my life!

    Blessings :)

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Beth,
      Our idea of a timeframe is not always the same as God’s, isn’t it? Oh, I can relate to lost time, but God uses it all as only he can, to fashion something beautiful in each of us. The time with your dad has been noticed by the one who holds all of time in his hands!

  • Nancy

    Well said. Thank you. Very prayer-provoking.
    I have been to the Musee d’Orsay, but I didn’t notice the clocks. Funny but I guess it points to God has each of us looking at what is important for us at the time. I remember a wonderful painting. I think it was called Resurrection and it pictured a first century man running toward you, his face, fearful, but hoping.

    • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

      Hi Nancy,
      Oh that painting sounds amazing but I don’t remember it {like you and the clocks!} but love that thought about God directing our attention to what we need at the time!

      • nancy

        I looked the painting up online. Oh, the resources available–amazing! It is by Burnand and it is called Resurrection. My memory didn’t get it totally right. There are two men running, John and Peter, and you see their faces more in profile as they run to the tomb. I think the artist may be asking you, as if you are standing on the road watching, “Don’t you want to come too?”

        • http://www.gracewithsilk.com/ Valerie Sisco

          Nancy,
          I looked it up too! Once I saw it, I remembered that it’s the book cover to Beth Moore’s “Beloved Disciple” book and I’ve looked at it often sitting on my book shelf! I just love it too!

  • http://joleneunderwood.com/ Jolene Underwood

    Valerie this is so beautiful. I’m choked up with the hard truth shared here. This phrase, “A journey to awaken the heart takes time,” is sticking with me. I’ve found this to be so beautifully & painfully true. God’s ways are so often upside-down from what we think they should be. The more I come to Him, the more I’m awed. Even so, I’m continually challenged to wait & trust His timing.

    I loved reading your honest story Valerie. Keep writing & keep sharing His truths. Thank you.