This was a tough one. Letting go of certain hopes and dreams in exchange for God’s best.
Why would this be hard? Because I’m human.
Isn’t God’s best, THE BEST? Of course it is!
So why is it so hard? Because I’m human.
We can do this whole cyclical conversation for hours but it’s probably easiest if I just cut to the down right truth in my life.
I’m a list maker. Period.
I’ve had a list for every single goal in my life! EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
I am a by-the-book (we’ll chat about which book I was following in a later post), rule following, making-a-list-and-checking-it-THRICE kinda gal.
I make lists and like to check off boxes to feel accomplished. Not just for daily things like chores and work tasks but for life goals.
When I was in college I would make a list of the grades that I wanted to make at the beginning of each semester and would check them off as I achieved those goals.
When I became a teacher I would make lists for daily tasks like grading, lesson planning, written correspondence with parents, advisory meetings, etc.
As I grew older I found myself making mental checklists of things that would ultimately fulfill me.
My list included (but was not limited to):
Earn a Graduate Degree…CHECK.
Run a marathon…CHECK.
Compete in a figure competition…CHECK (you get my point)
Because MY LIST was MY FOCUS, I let so many things that GOD had placed in my heart just fall by the wayside.
Here, my loves, is where I continued to go soooooo very wrong. I placed my will and desires above the desire to please God.
How did I know that I was going sooooooo very wrong? (Well, I am so glad you asked!)
I was repeatedly “unfulfilled” after checking tasks off of my list. I had earned a graduate degree, but it was an easy way out…I knew God was urging me to move towards another career but I was faaaaaaar too afraid to step out in faith in that way. I was married, yes. But there wasn’t real peace in my marriage. I’d run SEVERAL marathons, but those medals were only a temporary confidence boost. (You catching what I’m throwing here?)
There was always something that I needed to move toward or work toward in order to feel as though I had a purpose.
Please don’t misunderstand. Going in God’s purpose requires forward movement, but with that forward movement comes confirmation; a level of peace and understanding that will not leave you feeling empty.
Me moving toward MY goals and the things on MY list, left me hollow inside. Feeling like I needed to do more and be more but afraid of what that “more” would cost me.
As MY marriage was failing, I was seriously distraught. I don’t come from a divorced home. My parents have been together since they were in the 10th grade. I didn’t believe in getting a divorce…I wasn’t leaving MY marriage. If MY marriage failed, what does that say about ME? What about MY list?
I was committed to MY LIST doggone it!
At first I was angry and hurt. MY marriage meant so much to ME, I wore MY rings like a badge of honor! How could he abandon MY plan? I was angry with him. So. Very. Angry.
But then, I was angry with myself, angry because I just HAD TO HAVE WHAT I WANTED and this WAS NOT in MY PLAN. I was hurt that God didn’t change my ex husband’s heart the way I wanted Him to. I wanted God to put His stamp of approval on MY MESS! In my heart I was a three year old toddler having a serious tantrum.
A full on pouting, foot stamping, kicking, screaming, tantrum. (You know the kind that brings concerned stares from strangers in the department store kind of tantrum.)
What was I supposed to do now??? These were my hopes and dreams. My oh-so-precious plans from my oh-so-precious list.
The truth was I had left God out of all of MY PLANS!
I know, what was I thinking???? Who does that??
As I started to seek the kingdom of God first, God revealed to me the things that I needed to do to get peace and the first thing on the list was to surrender that doggone list and cling to The Word. God sets the new agenda for my life and while it will not always be roses and rainbows; there is ALWAYS peace if I walk in obedience.
And THAT is priceless.
There are a few things I have gained already as God has helped me release the need to have MY way…
I see God’s hand in my life
God’s peace surrounds me (even when I get rattled)
God’s love, grace, and mercy remind me to forgive others OVER and OVER and OVER again
God opens doors and regulates my mind in a way that NO ONE else could ever do
Anyone else a list maker? Do you run YOUR list by God? or do you pray for guidance and let God lead the list making process?
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB
#LetItGo #TeamPeace #TeamNoAnger #NoBitterBettys #NoAngryAngies #NoMadMatts #NoGossipyGuss #Forgive #BeKind #Erryday #DailyDevotional #HashtagMinistry #PraiseGod #TeamJesus