Looking for Lilly

As a token of appreciation for donating to one of the brothel raids carried out by The Exodus Road, I received a “Freedom Rock,” with the name “Lilly” on it.  Lilly was one of the girls who had been rescued. Her name was hand-painted on the rock by an artist, and on the back of the rock was the date and location of her rescue.

When I got my rock, I was confused.  I was looking for Lilly  but only saw strange characters that looked like teardrops, surrounded by dark ink.  I assumed it was a foreign language, one particular to South East Asia, where most of The Exodus Road’s work occurs.  I left it at that, glad to have received the rock and aware of its significance, yet not making the name connection.

Looking for Lilly

A week or two went by.  I reread the thank-you card that came with the rock.  I would remember to pray for Lilly, but I still couldn’t see her name.  They did say Lilly, right?   Maybe they made a mistake, I thought.

One day, after almost giving up, I turned my head at a slightly different angle and squinted at the rock.  For a nanosecond, Lilly showed up!  I had to be seeing things!  I looked again.  Nothing but weird squiggles.  But I had had that flash of recognition, that split second when the name jumped out at me from that smooth rock.

Now, I look at my rock and see Lilly clearly.  The focus that had eluded me was replaced by a pellucid rendering of the name.

Of course, this got me to thinking about the “Lillies” that elude us daily.

I think of the opportunities that have slipped by me, relationships that I didn’t perceive as beneficial because my myopia kept me from discerning their true value.

I remember offers that at first blush seemed ever so tempting and worthy of pursuit, only to realize farther down the road that they weren’t worth my time and energy.  My vision was blurry, and I avoided trouble by the very skin of my teeth.

I recall decisions that I took with great certainty, trusting in my own wisdom and not inquiring of the Lord.  My heart, mind, and eyes needed a course correction.  I missed the unmistakable writing on the wall.

What are you expecting to show up in a particular form, but so far it hasn’t?  What if that relationship, that job prospect, that financial blessing were to show up in a totally unexpected way?  Would you discern it?

Do you need to approach a new venture, idea, or process from a different angle to get the results you anticipate?

What if the opportunity you seek so desperately is right under your nose, but your tunnel vision of how it should look is blocking a clear shot at that grand prize?  

Are we too busy, distracted, and fragmented to see what’s hidden in plain sight?


  1. Oh my goodness! That’s amazing! That is an awesome token of appreciation and way to keep in your memory such a thing! You are so right as usual about unexpected things in our lives and wanting things or going for things that weren’t in the plan. I believe prayer is always key. I have also discovered contentment is as well. Being anxious for anything makes your judgment cloudy. No wonder Jesus said not to be :).

    • Brittnei, the anxiety factor is a biggie. So often we lose sight of what we need to focus on because our hearts and minds are off kilter due to anxiety. You’re right that contentment also acts as a regulator of our mind and our emotions!
      Alison recently posted..For all these thingsMy Profile

  2. I think we often are! Your posts always make me think! Thank you for the reminder!
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  3. That rock is so beautiful. I love the way you took the difficulty seeing “Lilly” and made it a life lesson. I will remember this for a long time. -Lisa
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  4. In the past things I asked/begged for came to me in the “wrong” wrapping and I didn’t appreciate it it’s made me more present in things and less reactive.
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  5. Beautiful post! And I saw “Lilly” right away and now I can’t NOT see it. This happens to me a lot – the obvious that I cannot see, at first.
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  6. Possibly! Almost missed an opportunity like this recently. I’m so grateful I wised up in time. Very though provoking post Alison!
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  7. I have probably missed a lot by being “too busy”. But I am able to discern when something isn’t right or for me – that I am thankful for! I can’t Lilly 🙁 Seem like I saw a flicker of it when I looked up midway then I lost it.
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    • You see my initial dilemma, Kenya! I couldn’t see the name for the life of me. LOL Glad that your discernment is clear enough that you know when stuff isn’t right for you. It’s a blessing, really.
      Alison recently posted..For all these thingsMy Profile

  8. This is a beautiful token of appreciation, Ali. I didn’t see Lilly at first, either. But now I look and can see it, bold and as plain as day!

    You are so spot on with the “lilly” metaphor. Many times in life I have either avoided a situation or went diving head first into a situation, not being able to tell if I were making a good decision or not. Unfortunately, I believe I have missed out on some great opportunities and gotten hurt a few times because of this. I ask God to help me with discernment now, because I was foolish then to think I could make major decisions then without his counsel.

    Thanks for sharing this lesson with us, Alison! Great post 🙂
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    • Thanks, Drea! I’m with you re: the discernment challenges. I think with age, we get better at it, and as we trust God and bring the challenge before Him, He sheds proper light so that we can either go ahead (green light) or halt (red light).
      Alison recently posted..For all these thingsMy Profile

  9. Its about expectations…we expect things to be and look a certain way and when they arent or don’t we get lost. Thanks for this reminder to be open to the gift…even when it comes in an unrecognizable package.

  10. You know I had to click over to this post — it had a Lilly in it! 🙂

    Love what you shared here, and I find myself more and more these days praying the simple prayer, “Lord, give me eyes to see. May I see my day today through your perspective.” If only we could get a pair of God glasses to correct our myopia, right? I guess that’s why it’s important to be in the Word daily — it’s the only cure for my stubborn, persistent blind spots.
    Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life recently posted..Hope OverflowingMy Profile

  11. Lyli, I love it: “a pair of God glasses”!! Wouldn’t that help solve the missing link between our faith and our actions? The Word does help us put those glasses on and help us fend off the attacks of the enemy. So grateful for it!
    Alison recently posted..A father’s loveMy Profile

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