I’m back.  Again.

I apologize that it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  Sometimes, life just gets ahead of me and my discipline falters.  I wish I could say that, while I was away, I had been diligent about working through this devotional and only remiss in not typing it up or sharing it.  But, I have not.  I have been studying though, don’t get me wrong; but, I have been working on getting in touch with who I am – in the Lord – again.  I had lost sight of that over the course of the last few years.  God has allowed our family to get into a place where our absolute faith in Him is essential to doing this walk right.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  It ought to be absolutely essential, regardless.  However, we – my husband and I – had been going along for quite a while thinking we were certain we knew what God’s plan was and WE were making it work.  We had consulted with Him, and decided that He had, in fact, signed off on our plan, that He was on board with it, so we took off.

Then, life went sideways.  Or, rather, we were obedient to God, told Him “Your Will be done,” and it was, and it did not look like we had planned.  That was fine.  He only changed one part of it.  There were certain parts of it that I was sure He had not changed.  I could feel it.  However, instead of turning to Him solely for direction, I kept turning to friends whose lives seemed to have worked out just fine.  That’s when things starting getting difficult.  Funny, isn’t it, how we go to God for the plan but then, when it doesn’t work out the way we think, we start looking for folks with skin on so that we can work a more familiar plan?!

The problem was:  I had made a vow to God to do this life the way that He wanted me to.  And only God knows how that is supposed to look.  God has prepared good works for me to do, and is preparing me for those good works.  Yet, I kept turning to people to see if I could figure out that plan.  I could tell them everything that was on my mind, but only God knows the real song of my heart.  So, whenever I would start to try to lead, I would feel frustrated.  Whenever I would get upset that I couldn’t explain my situtaion with any words other than “God just won’t allow me to do that” and I would get a blank stare, I would get frustrated.  

Finally, I just got tired of trying to please God and man.  So, I threw up my hands, and cried out to God:  “I will not do this anymore!  I will not continue to spin my gears trying to make people understand something that I cannot understand myself.  All I have is the truth of my situation:  that You have tied my hands.  That answer is not enough for all the people I keep giving it to.  I cannot help that.  I know it to be true but I have a choice here:  I can keep trying to please man, or I can please You and let man shake out where he will.  One way has always gotten me to where I supposed to be and in perfect peace; the other way has always left me frustrated because I cannot please everyone all the time, regardless of how much I want to.  One way offers me all the space I need to be exactly who You have created me to be; the other way insists that I bottle up a part of myself because ALL OF ME is not quite safe enough for this particular person.  One way has the Creator of the entire Universe in complete control; the other way has one part of creation (me) constantly trying to snag part of that control out of the Creator’s hands thinking she could do things better.”

When I come to the end of my life, and I stand before the throne, all I am going to have to offer is my yes or no answer to whether or not I did the will of God in my life.  Any turning to the side, and I will have to say no.  There have been plenty of those times.  But never in my past, have I ever arrested control of my life back from God and had it turn out well.  

This time, I tried.  Several times.  And every time, God said NO!  My mother has always said that I am extremely teachable.  But I just kept getting denied.  For 2 years.  It might not be the complete truth to say that I tried everything I could think of to change my situation.  But everything I did try came back as a flop.  And  when I would share my feelings about what was happening – “I’ve tried many different things and, everytime, it’s like God has smacked my hand and told me ‘I’ve got this.'” –  I would get blank stares, or questions like “What does that mean?”, coupled with statements about how odd my situation is and what they would or would not do in my situation, or what they felt I ought to be doing, since I – apparently – wasn’t doing anything.  Tell me:  what’s a girl to do when she finds out that doing the will of God is not good enough?  Eventually she starts to question EVERYTHING.  I talked to everyone I know about the situation.  The majority of people told me: do something.  A few people told me:  you obeyed God and this is where it got you; He will continue to get you through it.  Do what you think He’s telling you and the rest of us have to get on board.

So, instead of continually spinning my wheels, I decided to ACTUALLY let God drive.  He has been doing a fine job.  I would like to say that my situation looks different than it did before.  In some aspects, it does but, in most, it does not.  Even so, I have a sense of peace now that I haven’t had in about 4 years.  As the saying goes, I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.  I know that the God I serve is already there, preparing the way for me.  Everything I encounter there I will be suited for because of everything I have already gone through, and because I let God work IN ME in the meanwhile.  I don’t know how the future is going to look, and my peace does not hang on knowing.  God’s got this, and I will trust Him to carry me through it.
Leter today, Day Sixty-Eight:  Thirsting for Justice.

Love, Patty

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