I will walk by faith even when I cannot see
Life has not always been easy, fair or just. In the midst of all of it, God has been my anchor.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ rest upon me.”
2 Cor. 12:8-9
Life can be hard at times. As believers, we know trials and tribulations are imminent. God doesn’t promise us a life free of struggle, but he does promise not to leave us or forsake us in our time of need. I like to think of myself as a “recovering perfectionist.” For the majority of my life, I aspired for perfection. I desperately attempted to control all areas of my life. Anticipation was the name of game. Always thinking about “what could happen” so I could avert, control or dominate. I was left feeling exhausted, empty and joyless.
It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I begin to realize I was missing out on something huge. I was missing out on the refinement. God tells us, that it is in our struggle where he is preparing, teaching and molding us. His power is made perfect in our weakness. I know it is hard to see when we are knee-deep in our tears. Seasons of hardship are blinding, but surrendering to God, resting on his promises and his faithfulness will bring you through. God works ALL things for his good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Even when we can’t understand, know that he is working in you and your life. He never leaves our side. We just need to seek him first. Let go of control. Place your worry in him. Surrender, fully. Remind yourself that his grace is sufficient for you. He is your solution. Allow God to work in you. Hand over the reins and let go of control. God will never give you more than you can handle. Remember, he can move mountains and nothing is beyond his power, his reach. When life strikes, instead of running, worrying or hiding, lean into him. Never forgetting that it is in your weakness that God is making you stronger, braver, and wiser.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God. Not a result of works, so that no one may boast”. Eph. 2:8-9
Being busy doesn’t make me worthy or loved. Wow! That is a hard statement for me to say. I have always been the type of person who jams packs the calendar, carries around a to-do list, and is thinking about what to do next. For most of my life, I connected my personal worth to my productivity. I can trace this back to my teenage years; I worked, played sports, participated in extracurriculars, and had good grades.
This lifestyle of “crazy busy” continued into my thirties. The busyness had taken a toll on my health- mentally, spiritually and physically. I wasn’t showing up as the wife and mother I had wanted to be. I was a busy woman, with an overwhelmed schedule and an underwhelmed soul. In search of something more, I joined a small group, and it was there that I felt God speak to my heart. I was already loved, I didn’t need to earn it. I just needed to lay down my planner and surrender fully to God. Just as Paul reminds us in Ephesians; God’s love for us is unconditional, which means he loves us, not because of what we do, but because of who he is. How amazing is that?! There is so much freedom in knowing that God's love is unconditional, not dependent on our works or productivity. If this speaks to you, I would encourage you to reevaluate your checklist-mindset. How do your choices affect you- spiritually, mentally, and financially? Do your choices glorify God or something else? I know in the beginning it’s not easy, but the blessings from your obedience will follow. My schedule is a lot lighter, but my heart is so full. Friends, my hope is that you too will know that you are loved unconditionally by the Father. You do not have to prove yourself, or your worthiness. God’s love for you is perfect, faithful, unconditional, and forgiving. The only thing you need to do is slow down and receive it.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Philippians 4:11-12
Today, more than ever, we are bombarded with images, videos, and advertisements. Social media distorts our view of reality and often leaves us longing for more. I am guilty of discovering an unknown “want” after browsing my feed for a few minutes. It’s so easy to get trapped into comparing my life against somebody else’s; often times it is somebody I don’t even know. How ridiculous is that?! One minute I can be bumping along just fine and the next I am trying to figure out how I can buy something (I don’t need), book my next getaway, or update my home/wardrobe. It is in this place we lose sight of what is important. We become focused on “what’s next” and we attach our happiness to it. We go from one thing to another, seeking fulfillment and happiness, only to be disappointed that the feeling doesn’t last. The truth is, our current circumstance is irrelevant.
Our happiness is not dependent on objects or people. God has told us that we already have the power within us to be content. We don’t need material objects, possessions, or people to experience contentedness. All we need to do is focus on Him and rejoice. Where our focus goes, so does our energy. I love this scripture because it is a reminder, from Paul, that we need to be content in all seasons of life. We have the power within us, we just need to call upon it. I love the word “rejoice” because I believe there is power in praising God. Practicing gratitude, every day, keeps us grounded and focused on above. It encourages us to lean into God, during the good times and bad. Contentment doesn’t come from what we have, but rather who we know. He alone is our answer to a life of contentment.