If you picked any of my friends at random and told them to choose one word to describe me, they would say “planner” without blinking. Planning has always come naturally to me and in my book I attribute this inclining to countless Saturdays spent in the front seat of my dad’s Ford Expedition helping him craft a plan to complete his errands for the week.
First, we would write down everything that needed to get accomplished over the course of the next several hours. Then, we would order the tasks from what was farthest from the house to what was closest, knocking things out as we went to different parts of the city. To this day that’s still the way I plan. I often find myself reflecting on the task that would be most difficult to accomplish and then work my way backwards from it to assess the best place to get started.
I believe my ability to plan to be one of my best characteristics, but as a child of God, I’d be lying if I said that my plans always work out the way I imagine. Proverbs 16:9 says “We can make our plans but the Lord establishes our steps.”'We can make our plans but the Lord establishes our steps.' - Proverbs 16:9Click To Tweet
You see, it wasn’t a part of my plan to get pregnant.
If you’d told me this time last year that about 6 months into our marriage, we’d be expecting I would have flipped. I got irritated with people for even bringing up the topic and it’s not because I didn’t want kids. Even without being the cooing type of woman who flips even at the scent of a baby, I knew I’d want Geordan and my legacy to pass along to a whole new generation. I just wanted it to happen in my timing.
I wanted us to be able to travel and see things for the first few years, without arranging for a babysitter or feeling like we needed to rush back home. I wanted us to have the ease of moving two beings instead of three if God ever called us to a new city and to be honest I wanted to be that super young and cute married couple who did spontaneous things in the middle of the week and were always complimented about how young and in love and beautiful and obligation free they were. But God’s plans were not my own. He took all those “I wants” and changed them into “we.”
I can’t say I was completely surprised when I found out about my pregnancy. Only a month prior, the Holy Spirit convicted me to stop taking birth control [He asked me how I could pray to be released from my need to control things, while daily ingesting something that had the word control in it], so I prayed the prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane – “Father, if you would, please take this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42.
When I prayed the prayer, I meant it but silently hoped that my willingness was enough. God wouldn’t actually require us to have a baby. We’d be like Abraham and Isaac – God just wanted to see if I’d obey Him. But that wasn’t it and as I wrestled with the decision I realized my fear of the Lord outweighed my fear of losing control of things. I could not risk living God’s Plan B for me – no matter what that meant.
I’d felt just what’s described in Bethel Music’s song In Over My Head – “I have come to this place in my life. I’m full but I’m not satisfied. This longing to have more of you.” So I took action – even with legs kicking and screaming. I held to the words of our pastor – “Obedience is your job and the outcome is God’s” and I gave Him what felt like the final 1% that for so long kept me from being completely His.
The morning I took my pregnancy test the plus sign popped up so fast it was almost dizzying. There weren’t any physical symptoms leading up to it but God kept orchestrating for Geordan and I to meet young married couples with kids and I kept finding myself in the audience during sermons about obedience and surrender. We also kept getting “so when’s the baby coming” questions that, while typical for many honeymooners, were still more frequent than they had been. Top all that off with the fact that the day before I found out I was pregnant Luke 22:42 (Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsamene) was the focus scripture for my devotion.
When I handed the pregnancy results to my husband, he responded “okay” and then asked me if I felt like I needed to have a seat. Geordan is way more flexible than I am, where he saw a chance for growth and maturity, I swiftly saw my plans deteriorate before me.
Over the course of the next couple weeks, I replayed everything leading up to the moment I got pregnant and asked myself if I’d read God’s signs incorrectly. I hadn’t. I talked to God saying, if you had waited until this time next year, I would’ve been more prepared, though I knew one year still wasn’t my desired three. Then, I was swiftly reminded of Ecclesiastes 11:4, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”
I replayed everything leading up to the moment I got pregnant and asked myself if I’d read God’s signs incorrectly. I hadn’t.
All the parents I’ve talked to have said even when you wait, there’s never a perfect time to have a kid. So instead of questioning God, I started to practice Philippians 3:13b “Forgetting what is behind and looking to what lies ahead.” What happened had happened so it was time to make peace with it.'Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.' Ecclesiastes 11:4Click To Tweet
This was much easier said than done. It took a few more crying sessions and come to Jesus moments, but in a couple weeks time I came to experience this profound peace, knowing this pregnancy was a direct result of me walking in obedience to God’s calling. No matter how scary it seemed, there was joy in knowing God was with me. This child was a part of my destiny and G was always there to ask me things like “who’s to say the life you pictured is better than the life God’s already planned?”
With that in mind, I continued to remind myself that while there may be accidental parents, there are no accidental children. And I was convicted by the fact that I’m someone who has built their life’s work around purpose, so how could I insult God by suggesting that this was an accident?
You see, even as Christians, there are things we struggle with. You don’t have to look very hard to find someone who claims to be all in for Christ but is secretly holding something back from Him. Maybe it’s control like it was for me, maybe it’s their sex life or friendships, extracurricular activities or career decisions, finances, schooling or living arrangements. The sad part is we’re so good at convincing ourselves that if we hand everything else over to God and keep our “1%” then He’ll be content with what we’ve given. I’d argue that if we’re to live a life of integrity we can’t live one that’s segmented. We can’t say “Okay God, bless my career, but don’t tell me what to do with it” or “Okay God, build me a house, but don’t tell me where to live.” We sounds extremely ludicrous and ultimately, we limit God’s ability to use us to our fullest extent.
We can’t say “Okay God, bless my career, but don’t tell me what to do with it.”
Luke 9:23-24 says “And he said to them all, “If you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, take up your cross every day, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it.”
Take this from someone who at one point had no desire to live – a life that seems like nothing in your hands becomes everything in His – you need only be willing to let go of it.
A life that seems like nothing in your hands becomes everything in His.
I want 2017 to be your best year yet and while there are some things you can try to do to help that happen, giving your life to God is a fool proof plan.
A life that seems like nothing in your hands becomes everything in His.Click To Tweet
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