“One of the scariest realities in life is that if you insist, God will let you do it your way.” – Louie Giglio
I convinced God that my plan was better.
Year 2023 was finally going to be MY year. The hopes and dreams I had for myself were unlike any other year. I went into 2023 with the mindset of “This is IT! This is the year things are going to happen for ME! I can just FEEL it in my bones!”. Have you ever done the same? I’ve made a vision board for the past 5 years, and it’s one of my favorite traditions at the beginning of a new year. I sit at my computer, I pull up Pinterest, and I just GO to town. Then I get all of the photos together and I print them out, then tack them on a board (highly recommend making a girls night out of this by the way). Last year, my board was COVERED in things I believed were going to happen for me in 2023. Key words… WERE going to happen. Now for starters, I need you to know, dreams are SO good! You SHOULD have hopes and dreams. You should TOTALLY have a bucket list. Dreaming excites me for the future, but it was almost as if I knew better than God for year 2023. It was like I was making a board of all the things that I was manifesting into my own life, and God was the afterthought of all of this. Whew, even writing that takes me back.
My dreaming quickly became unhealthy. I would look at my board every day when I woke up, and just wonder when God was going to make it happen for me. My vision board was COVERED in these things I was convinced my life would look like in the next 12 months. A relationship taking the next step, traveling with certain people, moving back home, planning future things, etc. It became so unhealthy, that I started to ignore red flags that were just waving right in front of me. Like, the brightest red flags you have ever seen y’all. Things that I swept under the rug, because it didn’t align with how my year was going to go. How I had PLANNED for my year to go. So I ignored them, naturally. – Fast forward just two months into that year, and a big portion of my dreams were all of a sudden stripped from me. Not only were my dreams stripped, but so was my identity. Because along the way, I had put my entire worth in everything but Jesus. I was lost, at a dead end, and searching for any ounce of hope I could find.
For the one who has found themselves in a similar place, I want you to know, I deeply empathize with you. Asking God questions like, how could this be your plan for me? Why does it seem that for so long, I have celebrated everyone else’s dreams becoming a reality, but mine are still at a stand still? Does God even care about the desires of my heart anymore? And friend, these are all questions I actually encourage you to keep running to Jesus with. He would much rather you run to him with your doubts and anger than run further away from him. He is the safest place I know. A place where I bring all my doubts, fears, frustrations, concerns, confusion, and questions.
As I sit here today writing the honest state of the place I found myself in a year ago exactly, I wish you were sitting right in front of me, so I could tell you face to face where the goodness of God was in the midst of all my unknowns. The healing that had to take place in me, required me to unclench my hands of all the things I thought I was in control of, and let go and just look to the Father in complete desperation. That’s the place I needed to be at, that’s the place he needed to show me where I needed to look all along. The things God showed me, the ways he protected me, the days to come that would soon explain why he let certain things happen, they were only just around the corner. And friend, I believe the same is true for you.
The scary thing is, I don’t think God would’ve gotten my attention any other way. I was so completely fixated on the plans I had for myself, that I didn’t even think to ask Jesus if this was even remotely where he wanted me to go. I had to be broken so he could do the mending in me. The mending that couldn’t be done by any human being on this earth. So what mending does Jesus need to do in you? What area of your life do you need to give BACK to Jesus? What area of your life are you completely OBSESSING over?
Struggles have not been absent in my life ever since, quite the opposite actually. But in the struggles, I have this unwavering faith that He who promised is faithful. He didn’t begin a good work in you to just leave you hoping for the best… no, he who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion. To find healing, you have to be vulnerable long enough to go to the places your mind tells you to avoid. There’s something that happens within us when we invite only a trusted few into our mess. It gets messy. And I believe that’s actually how Jesus created us to live. He doesn’t promise an absence of struggles in this life when we follow him, instead, he promises that he will never leave us when we find ourselves in the deepest of them. And let me tell you something, He is who I want to be with when I find myself in the valley.
Before you go, I want you to know, He is not withholding from you. Read that again. He wants GOOD things for you, friend. Things that your mind can’t even comprehend right now, because you simply wouldn’t believe it. He’s protecting you, pruning you, and maybe for the reason so that you’ll be able to bear more fruit in the season to come. He is a GOOD good Father, and He can be trusted with the deepest longings of your heart.
Cheering you on — mads