Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Throwing Out My Sharpies

Sometimes it's nice to look back on my walk with God so far and realize how far we've come.  (It's a nice change of pace from the times I keep doing the same stupid thing for the thousandth time and wonder if I will ever get to the place of spiritual maturity.)

The older I get, and the more I learn of God and His faithfulness, the less I tend to worry.  It's quite a shock to my system, this not worrying thing, because I am a classic worrier.  I grew up being a people pleaser and a worrier about everything.  I always felt the pressure of having to have all things under control and would hold myself to incredibly high standards.  (Basically, I had no idea what grace was, and that had a lot to do with things).

God has proved himself over and over in my life.  Isn't that such a wild thing, that God proves himself to us?  He doesn't have to.  But because He is a personal God, He does.  I have learned to trust Him.  I know--know in a heart level and not just in my head type of way--that all things do work together for good like Romans 8:28 tells me.  That all of the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful and it is His desire to bless us.  His timing is perfection.  His intentions towards us are rooted in the deepest, wildest kind of love.  He has it together way more than me.

I've learned, and am still learning, this, and it has had a profound effect on my tendency to worry.  Now, don't get me wrong, I still frequently feel that tug in my heart to start doubting His goodness or to start freaking out about one thing or another.  But, I have learned to recognize that pull towards worry and to immediately repent of it.  And you know what?  I have so much time on my hands from not worrying, that sometimes I don't even know what to do with myself.  I'm learning to fill those gaps with praise and thankfulness or anything else that occupies the parts of my mind that worry used to monopolize.  It's amazing how much space in our head can be consumed with doubt and worry and fear.

I've learned too the value of trusting God with my plans.  I dream hard and dream big, but sometimes, God's plan isn't the same as the plan I am envisioning for myself.  And that's OK.  I'm learning to dream in pencil and leave the erasing and editing to God's discretion.  I think in my 20's I had such a hard time because I was writing plans and dreaming dreams in Sharpie.  My type A, control freak self wanted things planned out in writing, and man, I had a hard time when those Sharpie plans did not work out.  I made a mess of things because I kept trying to push.  To be honest, I was Eve in the garden.  I was listening to the enemy tell me that God wasn't worth trusting; that He was trying to hold something good from me.

Oh, how I want people to know how good God is!  So many people sit in our churches and in our small groups and love Jesus and walk with Him but don't really know the depths of His goodness. 

I love making plans for my life.  I love envisioning the future with my husband.  Often my prayers lately have been for God to "be in our minds".  Meaning, I want Him to put in our minds what He wants for us; the vision for our life.  I love dreaming and planning.  I also love the surrender of those dreams to God.  I'm learning to embrace the editing; those times when God erases the pencil dreams and pens in something greater.  Even if I can't see it yet.  It's like watching someone paint.  You can't tell what it's going to be yet but time does by and you wait a little and then wow, a masterpiece was being made right in front of you and you didn't even realize it until it was all done.  That's life with God I think.  And I'm learning to trust and embrace the process.

So here's to throwing out Sharpies and living in pencil.  What is God up to in your life right now that you can't even see?  A whole heck of a lot if you're willing to let Him.  I hope it's a beautiful journey for you.

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