This verse really hits home for me, and when I came across this verse the other day, it immediately made me emotional. There have been so many times in my life when I didn’t understand what was going on or how I would make it through. Looking back on some of the more difficult times in my life, I can see that God was carrying me through even when it didn’t feel like it.
We all make decisions on a daily basis, some, life altering, some, menial-and some we make out of habit. I can’t count how many times in my life I’ve made impulse decisions on things that should have required more time and thought. But I believe God allowed me to make some of those decisions on impulse because I would have otherwise talked myself out of it. I don’t know if it’s the traumatic events I’ve been through in my life, but I can openly admit to not being a very good decision maker. I have gotten better and have become more aware of the affects my decisions can have, but it’s a daily choice I have to make.
At the times in my life I acted on impulse, God was always there to pick up the pieces. There have been many times that I’ve felt like He was constantly behind me, ready to fix whatever I was about to do. And perhaps that’s just what He does because we’re all imperfect, but I have beaten myself up over it countless times because I feel like I’ve failed Him yet again. When I was going through my divorce and I knew I had screwed things up big time, all I felt was shame. Granted, the reasons I went through with it were honorable, I knew I hadn’t been perfect and I felt like my world was crashing down around me. I spent 2 months away from my kids and only saw them on weekends. It was such a heartbreaking time for me and I cried, literally, every single day. I didn’t understand why God allowed me to go through what I did at the time, but I see it so clearly now. It was a life-changing time for me and really allowed me to see the error of my ways and repent. I don’t think I’ve ever been so humbled than I was then. It’s changed the way I view motherhood, the way I view marriage, helped me understand gratitude and grace, and most importantly, made me a better person overall. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is when God chooses something for me, and when He allows it. Some people aren’t aware of the difference, or possibly believe there isn’t one-let me assure you, there is!
I can’t think of another time in my life that has impacted me on such a deep level of personal growth and awareness of my decision making. I’ve always loved the saying, “you reap what you sow”, because I always looked forward to the fruit of the positive choices in my life. I never realized the negatives would produce such tremendous results and last so long. It’s been almost 5 years since that time in my life and I am, for once, proud of who I am and who I’m becoming. It’s taken a lot of work and obedience, and I wish I had done things differently. But you can’t change the past and wallowing in self-pity won’t better your future. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “what-ifs” and “if only’s”, but those thoughts will only hinder your spiritual development and keep you stagnant. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I do know, however, that through the trials and pain I have grown in ways I wouldn’t have expected, and I trust that no matter what my life looks like, God’s plan always prevails, even when I don’t understand what He’s doing.
When I was pregnant with my now 7-year-old, I was asked if I prayed about her name. I don’t know why I hadn’t ever done that before, so it gave me a little thrill that if I asked, God would provide the name He desired. I’d already decided on Emma, but I surrendered that in case He had something else in mind. One day while I was driving home and praying for God to reveal to me what her name should be, a song called Let My Words Be Few came on and the name Emily Grace came to my mind. I could never have guessed how He would use her to reveal His love for me in something as simple as a name. I’ve come to see how God gave me that name for her to be an extension of His grace made visible in my life and I am so humbled to be given such a precious gift.
When we choose to trust Him despite being in the midst of our struggles and feeling like a failure, we can be assured that He will provide for us. We may not always understand what He’s doing and feel like everything is falling apart, but if we plant our faith in Him and trust that He only wants what’s best for us, we’ll be able to look back and see His miraculous hand at work.
A choice I make on a daily basis is to surrender my life to Him because I know His ways aren’t my own and I’ve seen the mess I can make when I try to do things without His guidance. When I choose to let Him lead me, I’m always amazed at what He does and how He reveals Himself to me. Walking with God isn’t always easy and there are times I’m hesitant to share my faith in fear of being ridiculed. I have to remind myself that I may not know whose life I could be impacting, and that is far more important to me than worrying if people are judging me. One step, one day at a time.