As awful as life can be and things that happened in our past — it’s important to remember ALWAYS that nothing is wasted. From personal experience I know that statement can make you feel cynical depending on the severity of your pain or horror of your experiences but it doesn’t make it any less true. I was thinking about my ex the other day. I’ve had some dreams the past few weeks and he was there. And at first I chalked it completely up to Satan trying to pick at wounds to see if they still hurt. I haven’t cried. I haven’t thought about it long after I’ve woken up. These are all good things. Signs of recovery even. Signs that pain has healed. I might not be 100% immune to that past sadness but I’m close.
Anyway I was thinking about it again just this morning after another dream, and it made me remember that I let go. There were moments where I questioned letting go even though it was a toxic situation. There were moments where I was grateful to have let go. There were moments of loneliness where I felt like having that relationship, no matter how bad, was better than nothing. There were moments where I’ve allowed the Enemy to whisper lies like no one will ever love me like he did, and really the list goes on and on. And this doesn’t have to be a relationship. I’ve learned over the past few years to let go of a lot of my expectations of what I thought my life should be. Where I should be. Who should be there with me. What I should be doing. And really you begin to realize that all of that stuff is amazing to you, but actually garbage. Sounds harsh right? But it’s true. The things I valued had a shelf life. Meaning they either ended quicker than I thought or were good and just not capable of lasting forever.
As I’m typing this the phrase “every good and perfect thing comes from above”. And it’s true. Do I still wish sometimes I would meet my husband already? Yes. Do I wish I made more money? Yes. Do I still wonder if/when my dad will ever get saved? Yes. Do I have all sorts of hopes and dreams and desires? Yes. But every day needs to be a sacrifice of what you think and want because you know God has better.
In Luke 9 (MSG) Jesus says:
23-27 Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
In Matthew 4 (MSG) Jesus says:
18-20 Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
21-22 A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father.
I love the simple fact that these men dropped what they were doing. In one story they dropped their nets in the middle of fishing, and in the other, they left their boat and father behind to follow Jesus. Granted today we are not fishermen but this applies. What if your net/what you’ve been trying to catch needs to be dropped. You don’t need to keep going on dates to find the “One”, you don’t need to send out 100 more applications for a job, you don’t need to keep seeking validation from your group of friends, or posting selfies on Instagram hoping to catch attention or praise. You need to drop those nets. You need to step out of the boat you think is going to take you somewhere–maybe it’s a job, maybe it’s a move out of state away from your church, whatever it may be. You need to get out of that boat to follow God on foot even if it seems like that’s the long way to the final destination.
I think we have a tendency to plan our lives and ultimately we risk settling for what we think is a good idea when God has a bigger picture that we can’t see.
What can you do today to leave behind the life you have planned for the one that God has waiting for you?
Photo Credit: http://www.vanessachristenson.com/2011/05/because-im-planner.html