"When things don't go as you like, accept the situation immediately. Remember that I am sovereign over your circumstances, and humble yourself under My mighty hand. Rejoice in what I am doing in your life, even though it is beyond your understanding." - Jesus Calling
"So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor."
-1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
There are many things in my life that I don't understand; the debilitating physical limitations that have plagued me for the past several years, the fact that I am still a stay-at-home mom with a kindergartener well into my 50's, the financial struggle that my husband and I are STILL in......the list goes on. My LIFE has not gone as I like for many YEARS. It has not just been a day here and there where some THING has not gone the way I wanted it to. Every aspect of my life for the past seven years has not been going the way I wanted it to. It has been an epidemic of "not going the way I like".
The past seven years, I have run the gamut between steadfastly declaring my trust in God and coming within a breath of denouncing my faith. I have been angry, sad, confused, and frustrated like never before in my life. Rejoice in what He was doing?!! I was barely speaking to Him at one point. I knew truths about God and what was happening in my head, but it wasn't trickling down into my heart. All I seemed to know was that He ripped away people and things that were very dear to me. He picked me up off the path that I was happily skipping down and turned me in a completely different direction. My response was similar to that of a two-year old having his favorite toy taken away. Quite pathetic in retrospect, but I didn't see it that way then. I saw that the loving Heavenly Father I had been following and trusting for many years, had hurt me. Not only did he re-direct my path, taking me away from people I loved and happiness that had been hard to come by, but he plopped me down in one of the last places on earth I wanted to be. I was NOT happy with Him. The icing on top was the fact that all this happened while I was in the throes of menopause and heading toward an empty nest. Fun, fun!! NOT! My little temper tantrum and the black cloud that accompanied it lasted six years! How's that for childish and selfish? Can you imagine? Understand though, there were bright moments when my heart truly believed that God had my best interests at heart and everything would be okay. Those bright moments usually lasted a day or two here and there. It amazed me how fleeting and transient those bright moments were and how quickly I could dive back under the black cloud. God was trying to teach me something and I was fighting Him almost every step of the way. I wanted back what He had taken away. I could not seem to humble myself under His mighty hand and remember that He was sovereign over my circumstances. I tried, believe me, I told myself over and over again that His plans for me are good and He would work something good out of all this. I repeated Bible verses like a Catholic doing penance, but my angry heart wasn't hearing it. My heart was listening to the lies of the enemy; "God has forgotten you.", "You misunderstood when you thought you heard His calling on your life and He didn't really give you the gifts you thought He did.", "He brought you here to die.". It was horrible. Some of the darkest days of my life were when I believed that God was through with me. I have never cried so much in my life as I did those first few years on my new path.
Its hard to see ugly truths about yourself. Spiritual rock-bottom is a dark and scary place. Seeing the depth of my arrogance, selfishness, and overall lack of trust was gut-wrenching. I THOUGHT I was trusting God and being a wonderful Christian, but I was wrong. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." -1 Corinthians 10:12 I was thinking a little too highly of myself and I needed to take some heed. I've learned a lot in the past six years and eight months. I've learned that one lie that the enemy told me wasn't such a lie after all. God DID bring me here to die - die to myself. He brought me to the desert and a time of testing and crucifying of my flesh so that He could take me to the next level of my relationship with Him.
There are still so many things I don't understand, still so much I need to learn about God and who He made me to be. I am still uncertain about my future, and am still asking "What do you want me to do here?". For right now, we're rebuilding trust. I have learned that God is indeed sovereign over my circumstances and that I CAN trust Him truly with my every day AND my future, but these truths need deeper roots. They're still trickling down to my heart. I am amazed by my Heavenly Father's patience with me and yet, I have been just as patient with my own children and their fits, how much more so would God be? There is still much too much pride, arrogance, and selfishness in me. The difference now is that I am so much more aware of it. This awareness allows me to finally humble myself under His mighty hand like I never have before because I realize how pathetic I really am and how amazing He really is. I think I would be lying if I said I have successfully completed this trial and I am fully out the other side. I still struggle now and then with a tinge of holding on to the past and not fully accepting this situation that did not go my way. I am, however, almost completely out from under the black cloud. My relationship with God is improving daily. Every day I feel a little closer to Him and a little more trusting of Him. A strange thing for someone who has been a devoted Christian for seventeen years. Just like my marriage though, my relationship with God has had hills and valleys. It is a constant process that needs constant attention. My relationship with God needs as much care and attention as my relationship with my husband. In both cases, there needs to be forgiveness and understanding. I had to forgive God (as crazy as that sounds) for the hurt I perceived and come to really understand His sovereignty. I had to understand that I will not always understand, but that God truly does have my best interests at heart and I simply need to trust Him - really trust Him.......with everything. He knows what He's doing. He really does and I can see a lot of good that has come from his re-direction of my life. I am extremely grateful that He did not give in to my fit and let me have my way because I see now that it would not have been for the best. I have learned to trust Him, no matter what the circumstances look like, and give it time. Some things need time to heal and some things need time before they can be revealed. His timing is also trustworthy. That was another tough lesson to learn. I'm learning, one day at at a time, to take His hand and just walk through that day. No preconceived ideas, relinquishing my agenda to Him, trusting Him to lead the way. It's not easy for us control-freak, prideful humans to relinquish control, but when I do it the result is a peaceful day no matter what happens. I just have to stay connected to the one who is sovereign over all my circumstances and rejoice over all He is doing in my life whether I completely understand or not. It's a choice to trust and it's the path of peace.