This is a hot topic in the season of getting married, moving somewhere and making new life decisions. My entire life has been about looking forward to the next season and creating a picture in my mind of what that looks like. Training your mind to be present in the moment, I’ve learned, is tougher than it sounds. After a recent conversation with someone, I realized that the reason I find myself becoming frustrated or easily shaken is due to the reality that I am not in control. I cannot control another person, I cannot change them. And my mentality has been to change what I don’t like about myself, my decisions, or where I’m currently at. I have been accustomed to that way of thinking and the Lord really helped me to see that I cannot be in control yet be totally surrendered to him. It doesn’t work. Romans 6:13 says, “Surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes.”
When I feel that expectations (impossible to meet by man) are not met, I resort to placing expectations on myself. I guess there’s a hope that I have in myself to get something done or make it happen. When circumstances don’t go my way, I quickly realize that my hope is being placed in the wrong thing. I cannot control, or expect impossible things from anyone, including myself. Psalm 118:8 (NIV) says,”It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” And Proverbs 28:26 (NIV) says, “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” Talk about a punch to the heart.
I was making homemade dairy and refined sugar-free eggnog yesterday and I noticed that the syrup I got was not maple syrup but table syrup (with a bunch of sugar and other preservatives). Why do those words have to look so similar in a small font on a low grocery shelf? Needless to say, I didn’t have the necessary ingredients to make a new batch so table syrup it was. I should’ve laughed it off but instead, I chose to get upset with myself for not realizing the mistake I had made sooner. And you probably know the rest of the story. Started listening to thoughts of not good enough, healthy enough, etc. Honestly, I probably would’ve been more attentive to what I was doing if I wasn’t trying to be superwoman and rush to get groceries before life group. Looking back I can laugh and I am learning more about grace every day.
This morning while I was spending time with the Lord, I poured out my heart and instead of continuing to rehearse the moment of silliness I wanted to reflect and allow God to show me what was going on under the surface when that happened. Romans 8:28 was evident. God uses everything for our good, even the moments we wish we could erase. Seems like those are his specialty.
A few months back, I filmed a vlog explaining something that happened during our engagement that was very unexpected. And I mentioned how expectations are not bad if placed in the right person. Philippians 3:20-21 says, But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that we will be like his glorious body. I also mentioned Romans 8:28, well earlier in that same passage, Romans 8:22-25 (MSG) it says, All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
I wanted to be open and vulnerable in hopes that someone would feel encouraged to know they are not alone. That hope is still very much in my heart for you. I pray that through these fun, practical or vulnerable posts that you would know, you are not alone. It may feel like it but the fact that you’re reading this is not an accident. And I hope that you are encouraged and assured that he has everything under control and he is well able to take care of you. What area of your life are you holding back from God? What does practicing surrender look like practically to you? Think about those things over the next week and ask God to show you creative ways to surrender. Remember he wants to help you.
P.S. Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy spending time with your family, celebrating Jesus and reflecting on his faithfulness today!
The Vlog I mentioned