“If this is how my story is going to go, so be it.”
I wrote that in my journal about two weeks ago, and I’ve both said it aloud and thought it to myself many times since. Sometimes I have a resentful tone, sometimes simple resignation, sometimes restful.
I don’t know really know what I’m doing. Recently I haven’t felt like a 26-year-old woman. Definitely more like a nineteen-year-old girl having an identity crisis. Wondering if I made the right decision in not finishing college, wishing people thought I was cool, doubting whether I have the “right” job, and constantly craving the next stage of life.
I cannot go back and change the decisions I made as a young person. Whether they were right or wrong, they are long since past and have shaped me into who I am today. Like it or not, I am who I am, yes because of the grace of God, but also because of the choices I’ve made.
I moaned to my husband, “Why did I quit college? I feel like I would have so many more opportunities if I had a degree – any degree!” To which he replied, as he has in the past, “You not going to college is part of what has made you who you are. You may have more opportunities, but you would also probably have more debt, and less me!”
After I corrected him because “more debt” implies I already had debt, I had to admit that he was right. The same goes for when I think about mistakes in past relationships, starting or quitting different jobs, and other decisions I’ve made over the past ten or more years. I can look back and see God at work even when I may have made a dumb choice or a hasty decision. If I hadn’t quit college, I may not have spent half a year in a foreign country. I may not have broken up with the guy I was dating. I may not have worked at the Wilds which was my dream job, and of course – I may never have met my husband. (Or at least, he probably wouldn’t have liked the person I ended up being. I might’ve been legalistic or worse – still listening to country music!)
Obviously I do not endorse making bad decisions on purpose. But each step in my life – good, bad, or stupid – has brought me here. God has written the story of my life thus far, and, deep down, even if I could change the past, I wouldn’t. He has been so good, and I love looking back at my life – dark moments, lightbulb moments, curl up into the fetal position because I’m so happy moments – and seeing His blessings every step of the way.
What does that mean for me now? It means two very important things.
First, “’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far.”
Second, “and grace will lead me home.”
Jesus has not abandoned me once, has not left me to my own devices, has not said, “Alright fine, if that’s what you want, you’re on your own.” And He never will. He has proven Himself faithful time and time again. He remains faithful when I am not!
In spite of my disappointment, frustrations, anxiety, and of course that pesky discontentment, God continues to work in my life and provide for my every need. In spite of my plans and my timeline not happening, I have to trust that God still holds every moment of my life in His hands.
My pastor said this morning that when we are on a plane, we can be one of two ways. We can be panicked and hyperventilating and freaking out because we aren’t the ones controlling the plane, or we can rest, calmly listen to music or read, and trust that the pilot knows what he’s doing. The fact of the matter is, we will arrive at our destination regardless. But we can decide what kind of attitude we have on the way.
I don’t want to live a restless, panicked life full of disappointment because my expectations aren’t being met. I want to live a restful, trusting life full of contentment and gratitude because all I expect is for God to take care of me and fulfill His promises.
This is my story. Good decisions, bad decisions, disappointments, celebrations, delayed answers to prayer, clear provision from the Lord…this may not be the story I would have chosen, but now I choose to trust the Author.
LOST AND CONFUSED, LORD WHICH WAY DO I TURN
I’M RUNNING TO YOU
YOU SAID “FEAR NOT” BUT HERE I AM IN A PLACE
WHERE I DO
I’M CLINGING TO YOUR PROMISES
YOU SAID YOU’LL NEVER LEAVE ME
AND EVEN IF THE WAY IS DARK, I KNOW YOU WILL HELP ME SEE
THIS IS NOT WHAT I WOULD CHOOSE“Trust You” by BRR
BUT NOW I CHOOSE TO TRUST YOU