“…if it becomes too much noise, I simply give it all to Him to hang on to and lean on Him for help in taking care of it all one item at a time.”
(Fred St. Laurent, excerpt from All I Need)
I spoke last time about how I’d been feeling like a failure when our family adventure dragged on longer than I’d hoped. I knew God doesn’t cause people to feel that way, so I was allowing “stinkin’ thinkin’” into my life. I still believed God was in control, I still believed He loved our family and would provide in His time, but I was letting doubt creep in and it was creating a downward spiral that wasn’t healthy or productive.
It took a lot of conversations with God and then bouncing things off trusted friends, but I realized there were too many “I’s” in my statements. “I wasn’t working…I wasn’t providing for my family…I wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain.” And that’s all true – I wasn’t doing those things but that wasn’t what God called me to do. Starting during the first leg of our journey, I told God I wanted His will for my life and for Him to have complete control, yet when things were looking bleak, I stopped believing my own words. I went from trusting God with everything to thinking He wanted my works to get things done.
Not only was I insulting God by trying to take control back, but I was inflicting wounds on Him every time I believed the lie that I was a failure and worthless because of the loss of a job! I am much more than the career path I take. I am made up of many more parts – woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend…and then employee and possibly, maybe someday employer (who knows what God has planned?)
It wasn’t until a friend was sharing with me the valley her family is walking through and the possible loss of income they were facing that it fully hit me. I didn’t blame him for that or think less of him because of what was happening. He didn’t have a plan B and I didn’t think he needed one. I was beating myself up because I wasn’t prepared before January 5th when I found out I was losing my job when in actuality God had been preparing me since 2010, so I was walking in the path He had chosen. If I’d tried to go out and get another job while I was carrying the responsibilities of two jobs and a writing career, I’m thinking God would have considered that overkill, not good planning. How would that response have shown God I trust Him?
All He wants is for me to follow Him – when He gives me a command, follow it. When He plants a desire in my heart, to step out in faith (sometimes while shaking in my shoes) and claim it. He doesn’t want me running ahead, falling behind, or taking back control because I think He’s doing it wrong. And He certainly doesn’t want me condemning myself if I find myself in a holding pattern – even if that holding pattern lasts for longer than I’d like.
My friends…I don’t know exactly what you’re going through in life. Maybe you’re experiencing a job change, an illness, some kind of “exciting adventure” of your own. What I do know is this: God knows. And when we let Him drive (without continually taking over), we will get to His destination for our lives faster (and more peacefully) than if we try and get there on our own. And, Satan’s best tool for distraction from our destiny is doubt. Doubt in our abilities, doubt that God is still working when He feels so silent, doubt that we are worth His time and attention.
When we say “I am a failure” it’s so much more than four little words. It’s letting Satan take from us the victory that God is waiting for us to claim. It’s keeping the focus on ourselves and keeping us from looking up and seeing how we can use this adventure to bless others. It’s telling God He made a mistake and He doesn’t make mistakes. Regardless of how we feel, we can know that God’s timing is perfect. When this adventure is finally finished, I will look back and realize it didn’t take nearly as long as it felt while we were walking through the desert.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015