Happy July friends! How are you doing?? Are you enjoying summer? It is hot as all get out… it’s going so fast… a variety of factors that can be more negative about this season are present daily and yet I can’t hide my smile. I love summer! Virginia we have all the seasons and you can find me in the middle of October loving all the pumpkins or through winter soaking up the cozy and then when spring comes, breathing in all the new beauty so deeply… but summer is when I just feel alive. And this summer so much has happened already, I need a newer word than alive. So this also has me examining and wondering: does all this change reflect what I set out to do for this year?
There were a variety of areas in life I sought to improve, update and enhance. Others that were problematic and I was determined to fix. Some have changed for the better… some completely dissolved…. Some have gotten harder and then others show signs of improvement. This is why I have to go back to the biggest goal I set… my mission for 2022: Thy Will.
Where I stand in life right now, I am grateful for the magnitude of the mountains I faced at the start of the year. So big, I had no earthly clue how I would manage them. I felt compelled to commit to “Thy Will”… because my will was at such a loss. I was uncertain what to even want or hope for in my mind, heart, and soul and so I actually felt myself committing to follow God’s plan, since I had lost my own. Now the ability to do that was a significantly more challenging thing than I think I truly realized.
For starters I gave it all to God after I was convinced I could not do any more…. That isn’t exactly how it is supposed to work. And I gave God so many broken pieces, deep down I was really saying “ok God they are so broken I am giving them to you, because I can’t or maybe don’t even want to try anymore.” I did not see the Lord as the Almighty, my Father, the Great Healer. I did not surrender to His Will because I knew deep down He will do all things for good, so we should always hand over our lives to Him. Rather I was defaulting to “ well, i had no luck, so you can give it a try.” And honestly, I was also tired of it all being so sad… so hard… my why was not truly rooted in that God was good and I wanted to honor Him, I was just sick of dealing with it all alone.
Luckily God is so much bigger than I. He took my heart’s desire to trust Him, even with incorrect motivation, and went to work. Even if my trust was not in the correct perspective: “God all of this life… all my plans… all my decisions … all my loves and worries and fears and hopes are yours”. He did take what meager offerings I had: “yea, I have done all the things, so you can give it a try” and he met me in my surrender.
The reality was in my heart I wanted to surrender, but in my surrender I did fear more pain. Yet even in my pain and misdirected surrender, I kept receiving signals that my fear was wrong. True faith – and thus true surrender- is about a Father who loves me, not about proving what I can withstand. So I started seeking how to live with the perspective of truly trusting that He loved me beyond measure and would take care of me. And the beautiful thing was, God knew this would be hard for me and it would take time. So it seemed he kept sending me the opportunities to ask these question: Do I know God is good and loves me? Did I trust He will heal me? Do I believe His Will is better than my own? Can I really find peace in Him? And the answer was always the same: I am on the journey to figure it out.
What did I find? The more I handed my life over to Him, the more things started happening that I literally said “well God won’t ever let that happen…”. Or I was making choices that “I will never do this” and somehow those seemed like the choice I was called by God to make. My head and heart and lips (heck even my wrist) were saying “Thy Will”…. But deep down my spirit was pretty sure this philosophy meant I was losing everything and God was testing my loyalty. (Spoiler alert: I wasn’t and He doesn’t).
By his grace, I did not give up. I knew “Thy Will” was the right approach in this season, but I also knew my perspective had to be off or perhaps just getting too human in my understanding of it. I could not fully trust. I was not healed. There was no peace. And I could not stop pleading withGod to heal my world by using the exact blueprints of what I wanted done instead of His own. Yet I never stopped seeking Him through all different exposures to Faith. Slowly the time spent would add up and I learned more about Him, while also learning that I wasn’t truly trusting Thy Will because I had never stopped living in fear. This holding back trust also meant I was holding off living life, stuck in fear. So I doubled down and tweaked how I spent time, what I exposed myself to, changed jobs, settled more into my life here, expanded our family, and stopped anything that was rooted in striving for perfection. God was not in control of many aspects of my life…. and yet I wanted Him to be in control of fixing it. I had to give more…
Seeking surrender…led to learning more about Him…. Meant I started to stop living in fear…. And realizing that I needed God to guide more areas of my life. All of sudden it all was making sense: the journey had to go a specific way…. Had to take a specific amount of time… to show me surrendering is because of who God is and not because of who I am not. My life was reflecting him more and more all from this goal of learning to truly live under “Thy Will” and the truth was I had surrender to Him… even more… in an effort to understand it.
God’s Will was influencing even more areas of my life. It was never about getting it perfectly right, it was about living it to the best of my ability. And now through this winding path of lack of trust, struggle, pain, fear, learning and being open to more exposure to faith I was living: “Thy Will” .
A few weekends ago we were at the pool. It was a sunny day and Shannon and I were enjoying the summer weather, excellent food, and awesome company. As our trip started to wind down, Shannon wanted some time in the big pool with her mom. I got in and feared the crisp water… a baby climbing and clinging and crawling all over me…. And most if all I wondered if it was worth the effort of getting in? In five minutes she was bound to want to do something else or play with other kids. But that’s not what happened. As I glided through the water carrying her she just beamed. Her dimples were so deeply engrained in her little chubby cheeks, her hand held on it right, only releasing when she was so happy a clap was necessary. She just keep giggling and snuggling in more and more. I was melting into a huge pile of Mommy love. Adding in a few hugs and love yous and this incredible peace hit me. We were thrilled just to be…. I was overwhelmed at how special she was just by the little person she is. And it hit me: this intense love and delight in just being, in her total trust found in my arms- it is a fraction of what God’s love feels for me and how confident I can be in who He is. Next I was reminded by the years of crying out and literal tears I shed begging God to be a mom. How incredibly perfect his timing has been by gifting me with this exact little girl and when I needed her most. I chuckled at how everything I thought I was missing about motherhood were not even close to my favorite parts of parenting l. And maybe most important to the here and now: God had complete control of this part of my life and it has been incredible, despite being completely different than my plan. Trusting in Thy Will can be really good.
So how am I doing with 2022’s Thy Will…. Work in progress and I am grateful for the journey.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!