My life is a patchwork of experiences put together by my God, who showed me the way and opened possibilities.
Published on: 06-28-2021
When I look back at my life, I realize that much of what I have done and experienced was because God opened doors for me to pass through. At my birth He gave me a big “parcel“ filled with gifts. No, these gifts were not packed in colorful paper and decorated with a bow, but rather placed within my heart and soul. When I gave my life to God, He started unpacking these gifts one by one. He had prepared them for me to fulfill my dreams even before I knew that I had them. God opened doors, inviting me to serve in ways I had never thought possible, encouraging me to take up the gifts He had given me. He helped me to develop my talents and face challenges.
My life is a patchwork of experiences put together by my God, who showed me the way and opened possibilities. He invited me to serve and minister in many ways, with one experience leading to the next, as He placed the right challenges and people in my life at just the right time. The squares in my life’s patchwork are a multifaceted and colorful testimony to what God can do with us if we allow Him to use us. He gave me a family to care for and invited us to serve as missionaries in Africa, broadening my horizon. God gave me a burden to help other pastors’ wives. He then gave me a vision for women’s ministries and opened the door to speaking and teaching. Another door He opened was serving as a church elder. Many patches are experiences made during our many evangelistic seminars in Ukraine. God even led me through the doors of a TV studio to tape a series of morning devotionals. When I finally started writing books, He sent me just the help I needed before I even asked. It was as though God was saying to me, “Go ahead; I am with you. Write!”
There are so many things God has done for me, and I am grateful for all these experiences. He has given me the courage and an undaunted spirit that is willing to tackle anything He asks me to do. Sometimes I have wondered why I find it so hard to say “No,” but I have realized that with God nothing is impossible, and He will give me the strength and inspiration needed. Knowing that God is there, taking care of me, is like wrapping myself up in the patchwork quilt of God’s loving leading, secure in the knowledge that each experience will make my life richer and happier, even if some of the patches are dark. God has opened many doors, saying to me, “Whether you turn to the right or the left, you will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’ ” (Isa. 30:21, NIV).
Hannele Ottschofski is a native of Finland and has spent most of her life in Germany married to a pastor. She has served the church as a writer, educator, editor, conference speaker, church elder, and translator.