A week ago I had a depressing epiphany that lead to a promising one: my life is not going according to plan. I’ve never been the girl that had a detailed answer to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” but I’ve always been one who exuded confidence in wherever my future looked like. Well, I’ve hit that 5 year mark a few times now and this is far from the future I was so confident in.
First, let me say that I truly do have a great life. Not to be braggadocios, but any complaint I have is superficial and small. However, it’s only a temporary balm to the fact that I’m overwhelmingly underwhelmed. Naturally, I found myself turning to God to point fingers. “This?! A 26 year old, single receptionist living back with my mom? I think we need to upgrade a few things.”
I was so disappointed in what was ‘supposed to be’ that it started to evolve into apathy. My prayers were small because my faith was fading and that’s why I think God wanted me to lose it. Not to inconvenience or embarrass me, but to get me to the place where engaged these feelings of disenchantment and disillusion because even though I didn’t see it, they were deeply affecting me and hindering my relationship with him.
Here’s the short version:
- My Heart – Had I postponed that fit any longer (because it was going to happen by will or by force), He couldn’t have shown me how calloused I’d become. I didn’t hate the world, but I’d become so jaded. My excitement would come in fits and starts, but I didn’t have true joy and I never stopped to let myself realize it. I was discouraged and I wouldn’t let myself be ok with that. I’d always combat it saying I had no basis to be so, but I never worked through those thoughts with God. Instead I let all the little defeats build up like plaque on my heart. I was only able to live in the moment, but God also wanted to give me hope for the future.
- My Expectations – I never learned how to handle my wants and desires well within the scope of my will and God’s will (I still don’t really know ow, but I’m more proactive about learning now). I’ve always tried to talk myself out of the gray desires, the blessings I weren’t automatic (marriage, a comfy life, paid bills, etc). In reality “talk myself out of” is really more like “shame myself out of” and I can tell you firsthand that that doesn’t work. I didn’t know how to walk thru wanting the things I didn’t have while also being fully satisfied in God. I knew there is a way, but what did it look like? I know this is a little graphic, but I tried to brutally murder the good desires God placed in my heart over and over again thinking they couldn’t coexist with a healthy walk. I thought wanting something I didn’t have would inevitably lead me away from God. Turns out that when properly surrendered, they actually bring me closer to him. Still, thinking about how I treated myself so bad thinking I was doing something good breaks my heart.
- My Faith in Him – Lo and behold, these desires didn’t die. They came back as zombies, the undead, following me around all day, eating away at my brain (thoughts) which directly ate away at my heart (drive). Since these things would never stay dead, and God wouldn’t give them life, something had to die and it seems my faith in Him was it. You can’t live a life of authentic faith and relationship with God assuming that He can do great things but just won’t do them with you. That is literally non-biblical according to Hebrews 11: 6. God is good. He’s good now as he will be and has been for all eternity. My circumstances may not look to point to that, but somehow they always do. If praying that I make it to work safely is the biggest prayer I have for myself, there’s something wrong.
A week later, I try to stay consistent in an honest prayer to get to know God better, which will lead to greater faith, asking that God renew and realign my heart with his, and to reveal the brokenness and sin that hinders the intimate relationship we both desire. I can sincerely say that I have no recollection of ever being so aware of God’s mercy and grace in my entire life. I consider experiencing them to be vital to a full life in Christ, so I’ll say the progress has already been immense.
Just another day unlike any other day 🙂