As a lover of all things creative and a pursuer of a life towards spontaneity, I have always preferred a loose realm of routine. When you look at me you might see a quiet and reserved person; one who enjoys behind the scenes rather than the spotlight. I have learned many life-lessons in my short 24 years, but some of the most significant are the ones I’ve learned in the most recent chapters of my life.
Through each chapter, at some point I fooled myself into thinking I was stronger than I really was. I allowed myself to be deceived and directed, by my perception of how things “ought to be.”
From my family moving across the world, to three family weddings within six months, to my own move cross-country, I’ve had a roller coaster of emotions constantly flooding through me. I’ve always thought I was strong. Convinced I could handle anything…well, at least that’s what I thought. I’m not exactly sure when, but I know there were several points in my life when that lack of reality hit me square in the face.
Maybe it was that final hug from my dad when I thought my heart might just shatter waiting at the airport security border. Or maybe it was when the speed of my life ran at 100 mph…I was a full-time college student and working three jobs as three car accidents crossed my path. Maybe it was the moment when I realized my mom was a million miles away (maybe not a million, but Africa…well, it might as well of been) and she wouldn’t be there to help me pick out my wedding dress and rhapsodize over wedding plans.
Through each of these events in my life, I could feel my emotions suffocating me. I slowly began to see that I wore a veil of deception. I deceived myself into believing I could go through each of these life-changing events unmarked. I was a fraud. I put on my strong face to show everyone that I was okay. I told people that I was strong and that my family moving across the world didn’t affect me that much. I would never let my emotions cloud my rational judgment. But I was keeping a little secret; I was broken and crumbling inside.
I’ve always said, “It’s easier to leave than be left.” Not in the romantic break-up term, but in life in general. The one who is doing the leaving has a new journey ahead of them. They have new people and new sights to look forward to. But the one who is being left has the same surroundings as before, and there is now a huge void gazing back at them. That was me. I felt disoriented and drifting like a lost ship.
Me? The one who could handle anything? I realized that I was broken. I was crumbling. It was through each of these events where I realized my relationship with Christ was failing and I was drifting farther away each day. I began to search the heart of Christ and separate time solely intended for Him. I began to see that on my own it wasn’t going to work. So, daily I put my life in his hands.
This is not to say I don’t struggle still. I do. Each day brings a new set of obstacles for me to overcome. But my eyes have been opened to the beauty of living in the center of God’s hands.
[blockquote cite=”Isaiah 55:8-9″ type=”center”]“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [/blockquote]
Looking back I tell myself that I should have known and trusted that God had my best interest in mind. Looking back I think I should have foreseen all of the amazing blessings and surprises that God had in store for me. Hindsight is always 20/20. In the midst of things, we tend to get lost and think short-termed. We forget that God can see the whole picture. God brings us through these difficulties in life to challenge us, change us, and show us his grace.
[blockquote cite=”Ephesians 3:20″ type=”center”]“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…” [/blockquote]
Life continues to change. I have recently moved to Virginia with my new husband, Anthony. It’s been wonderful watching how God provides all of our needs and many of our wants. After a short visit, my parents and youngest sister returned to Zambia. The goodbyes don’t get any easier. My heart still aches and some days I’m okay with being a puddle. But the understanding and the grace to handle the goodbyes come with each passing day.
I have sacrificed my parents for the cause of Christ. My parents have sacrificed their children for the cause of Christ. No—not in the Abraham and Isaac way. But in the terms of time. Holidays and life’s mile markers are spent apart. Christmas looks a little different each year. The first few holidays the lights didn’t sparkle as much and the snow didn’t glisten…until I am reminded of that thing I am so often forgetting. It is all worth it. Why? Because of the cause of Christ. I’m learning to let go of what isn’t mine. Because we, and all that we have, is his.
[blockquote cite=”Jeremiah 33:3″ type=”center”]“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” [/blockquote]
What challenge you are facing today? What storm do you feel like you are in? Do you think there is a light at the end of the tunnel or do you feel that you are drowning without a life boat? Remember—Christ can see the end. He does have a plan and he can bring you through it. Your faith will be strengthened even more when you learn to trust during the struggle. Your story is hand crafted by the Creator. Don’t grip too tightly onto things and people and plans. You are His masterpiece. Let Him hold your life.
[blockquote cite=”Martin Luther” type=”center”]I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess. [/blockquote]
[custom_headline type=”right” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]It will be worth it all, Olivia[/custom_headline]
Feature photo attribution: flickr photo by Sebastian Appelt http://flickr.com/photos/125697765@N07/19670294261 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
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