This post is part of the Salt and Light Link-Up here! Tons of other great Christian bloggers are there as well – go check it out!
What happens when God takes your plans
and turns them upside down?
If you’re like me, this phase lasts roughly a year. You KNOW the plan is changing, you KNOW you’re being pulled in a new direction, and you KNOW you’re going to drag your feet the entire way.
I’m a real joy to be around when the idea isn’t mine.
To everything, its season
Thankfully, I wasn’t jarred into a [what felt like] a drastic life change because of some catastrophic event. It was simply discussing with my husband how we should proceed in the foreseeable future. We’re in this wonderful period of raising young children. While that is precious and short, it brings with it different responsibilities and priorities.
Our decision as a couple has been, from the get-go, that I would be the primary parent at home, at least during our children’s formative years. We believe this is a Biblical position, and it also suits each of our bents. I love being at home (sometimes verging on hermit-like behavior), and I love spending the majority of my time with our kids.
Now that they’re both older and our family schedule has a little more going on (a couple of extracurriculars, church plant involvement, and time with extended family), it was time to reevaluate what was working and what wasn’t. I wish I could say that I approached it with that level of detached logic. But, as my husband would attest, I HATE CHANGE. And that’s still only part of the issue.
Who am I following, myself or God?
I can’t speak for other fields, but if you’re a dancer, you probably tend to derive at least a little of your identity from your work as an artist. I’ve talked about this before…This can lead to a sense of crisis when your ballet career (which has a notoriously short lifespan) comes to an end. Not an ideal situation. Not a God-honoring mentality, either.
To be sure, it’s a beautiful thing when God has gifted someone with a skill and passion, and it is used to glorify Him and benefit others. I was a happy participant in that arrangement my whole life. It feels easy, and natural, and COMFORTABLE. That’s the key word, right there.
Trusting God when He changes your plans
But what is our response when it becomes clear that God has other plans in mind?
Turns out, it means some deeper change has to take place. I have to find out just how serious I am when I ask Him to use me in this world. Do I really mean that? Am I really willing to sacrifice my limited, temporary desires for His bigger goals?
Do I REALLY TRUST that He knows me better than I do?
These are questions I’m still answering, because I’m an imperfect and sinful human being. But, finally, the answers are becoming “yes” more and more. The funny thing is, I’m being reminded almost constantly of loves and skills I had all but forgotten about from my varied interests as a kid.
For example, I LOVED to write when I was younger, and LOVED to paint. They just happened to be lesser than my desire to dance at the time, so they took a major backseat.
Not just the “what”, but the WHY
The further along I get on this thing, the more I think a creative is a creative is a creative. We, all of us, have that unquenchable desire to produce something, to express. I’m also coming to believe that many of us (absolutely including myself) are not made to do just this one “thing” in life.
A better choice is to look around at what gifts I’ve been given—both those honed and developed over time and those still somewhat raw—and lay them out before God. Then to ask, “Ok, what do you want to do with this one right now? Anything?”
Sometimes the answer is to USE it and use it big. That’s exciting, to know I’m using what I’ve got for its intended purpose.
Sometimes the answer is that it’s simply not the focus at this time. That’s ok too. The stuff of this world doesn’t last, except in its use for eternal agendas.
Our respective gifts are merely tools, to be picked up and set down as needed. As wonderful a feeling as it is to use them, and use them well, they are not to become the ultimate source of fulfillment.
What’s your experience in this area?
Have you been interrupted by God’s re-routing?
How did you respond?
Let me know in the comments!