Surrender & Leaving Discontentment Behind
For so long, I've tried to force my own plans into action and hoped that God would reaffirm them. Of course, I cannot move the hand of God so He, needless to say, closed the door on many of my life's plans in order to make more clear the plan that He had for my life. This has been the most frustrating part of my adulthood to date. Having a plan for my life and the Lord saying no. It's not that my life's plans were bad or unrealistic, it's just that they weren't what the Lord had in mind for me. How many of you have been there too? I know it's not uncommon and I'm not the first or only person to have dealt with this but for some reason, it feels so personal. Your whole life, to a certain extent, has been mapped out for you and then as you got older, you started making decisions for yourself. Whether it was a college or career, moving to a new place, the people you have in your life, etc, you began to have more of a say in what goes on in your life and who all is involved in it. Yet for some reason, when we have a plan and it gets altered or completely changed, it feels like an attack on us personally, doesn't it? It's hard because you know it's nothing to do with you personally it's just that things may not work out and you get disappointed. Now apply that feeling to when the Lord cancels our plans. Something about it feels a bit deeper, doesn't it? You ask questions like: "But Lord, that was a really cool idea! Why did You say no?" or "How come you closed that door for me but kept it open for them?" and "Well if that's not where you want me to go, where am I going?" With these questions and thoughts, if left unnoticed, discontentment and even resentment can find its way in to your heart and it adds an additional heaviness to your situation. So what do we do in times like these?
Fairly recently (literally 2 days ago), I finally decided to surrender my plans in order to pick up the ones He is laying out for me. Of course, He hasn't just told me every step of where I need to go and what I need to be doing. But He is making very clear the reason why I'm still in South Carolina when I wanted to be somewhere else, traveling and writing about my adventures. There is a ministry here that I'm apart of and God is moving in big ways with this group and I'm happy and excited to be apart of it. But I am definitely having to reconcile what I wanted in life with where He has me and it is a process. There's no shame in being honest with the Lord about what you want and the disappointment you may feel when things don't go the way you wanted. He care about us, from the tiny details to the big ones, our Father cares. It can be hard to really believe that some days, if I'm honest, but we gotta keep being honest with ourselves and Him and He will bring peace to where it's needed and discernment when it comes time to make a decision.
Now the question remains: what does this mean for me practically? You may also be wondering: how did you surrender and how are you moving forward? To answer your first question, this means I need to establish some roots here in Charleston and get myself ready for what He's bringing with this ministry. I believe the next step for me is to move to a new area in Charleston so that I can be closer to where I need to be for this ministry. Also, it looks like me, professionally speaking, working completely remote so that I am able to work anywhere and set my own schedule to fit my needs where I'm at now. To answer your second question, in order to surrender, I simply got alone with Him and His word and prayed. A lot. I talked with Him and told Him how I felt and what all went on in my head and heart. I asked Him to help me want what He wants. I asked for Him to allow me some clarity and discernment. He led me to the Gospel of John chapters 20 and 21 and it brought me to tears. In these chapters, we see Mary Magdalene discover the empty tomb, Jesus reveals Himself to her, Jesus goes to His disciples, Thomas sees and believes, Jesus has breakfast by the sea with a few of His disciples, and we are encouraged by His sacrifice and life (Super short chapter summaries). I know this sounds cliche, but to just to read about the Gospel moves me and makes me emotional. But then even more, it reminded me of why I'm involved with ministry in the first place: to share Him with the world.
As for my blog, hee hee hee!! (I promise I won't do that again lol) I am brainstorming some really fun ideas and I can't wait to share them with you in the future. But in the meantime, I hope you stay on this journey with me and continue to follow my blog because some exciting changes and additions are coming and I don't want you to miss out on it! I truly believe that I have more to offer. Not just my words on the journey I'm taking to fulfill my calling but to also share with you what I've learned throughout my walk with Jesus! Lessons, encouragement, etc, all of that will soon be coming to the blog and I am so ready to start working on those things soon.
I know that the Lord is faithful and has me here for a reason. To partner with the Lord in furthering His kingdom is the best thing and I can't wait to see what He does. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have questions or didn't wonder what the process will look like. What I can say is this: I'm getting ready to take even deeper steps outside of my comfort zone and I have no fear.
Jeremiah 29: 11-13
"11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."
Peace, love, & light friends!