There it was. God had allowed me to catch a glimpse of what our relationship actually looked like. I had spent so much time and had worked so hard on it. I wanted to love Him more…to worship Him more… to please Him more. I wanted more.
And there it was: God loved me dearly and I loved what He could do for me. He longed to spend time with me and I longed to benefit from His generosity. He treasured me and I treasured His thoughtful gifts. I was not after God’s heart; I was after His hands.
Despite all this, He loved me unconditionally.
There was no condemnation. He hadn’t shown me that I wasn’t after His heart to hurt me, but to move me forward. To help me realize that having good intentions did not prevent me from being deceived. God knew my heart more than I did; He alone prevented me from being deceived.
He took me back to when I decided to surrender my life to Him. I came to Him because I had finally experienced Him in a tangible way. This made me not only believe but hope in His promises. Who else had paid the price for my sins to offer me eternal life? Who else could take away my burdens and give meaning to pain? Who else could give me guidance, joy, peace, and love? He was the only way, so I clung to Him. I decided that it would be His way and not mine.
But God showed me that I had unknowingly come up with my own plan. Yes, I may have been flexible on certain matters, but others were non-negotiable. Not only were they non-negotiable, but I had decided that they were part of His plan for my life. I had written my own story and had Bible verses to support it. That’s how I ended up pursuing God so that He would bring my plan to pass… for His glory of course… but my plan nonetheless.
Here’s the thing: He did not need me to come up with my own godly scenario. He already had His plan for how I was to glorify Him, and He had designed me for that plan. He had buried talents and interests in me, some that I didn’t even know I had, for that plan. My fulfillment would come from loving God and walking in His plan. Not my own… no matter how “godly” it sounded.
That’s when I began to realize that my life with God might not necessarily look like what I had envisioned. Although I was excited to find out where He would lead me, there was a step that I couldn’t avoid: surrendering.
I had to let go of my own plans. My expectations. My desires. My idols. The degrees I wanted. The job I envisioned. The peaceful lifestyle I craved. The spouse that scriptures may or may not have promised. The kids I had already named. And yes, the ministry that I could see myself flourishing in… I was Christian after all.
Even though I knew that they were not losses, I couldn’t help but deeply mourn some of them. Still, there was no condemnation… just overwhelming love and acceptance as God revealed what I had grown to feel entitled to. It didn’t mean that they weren’t part of His plan. They may very well be, but letting go allowed me to be present with God. To learn what He was teaching me in various seasons without being distracted by the fact that His plan did not seem to match mine.
As I surrendered, my desires began to change. Visions began to appear… dreams that I would have never considered had I been busy chasing the desires of my own deceitful heart. It dawned on me that God was unraveling my foundation and taking His rightful place in my life. All I could do was stand in awe and worship.
Thank God for God.