I remember the thought of my graduation being right around the corner, I remember the excitement, the wonder, and yes, even fear at coming to this large milestone in my life. Many of the girls I knew who were graduating had plans on what they were going to do, what college they were going to, what business they were going to have, and all that stuff. I didn’t really. I knew I wasn’t going to college, I had an interest in boarding dogs, and I was going to stay home, help around the house, and learn my “home-keeping” skills. There’s nothing wrong with that is there?
Well, let’s be honest for a minute, what is really the first thing you think about happening after you graduate? Honestly. With myself, and the majority of the girls I’ve talked to, it’s been graduate, get married, and have a family. Even though I didn’t think about it as my goal, and even though I was committed to “waiting” for my prince charming, I unconsciously let myself slip into expecting this to happen. I graduated, and just four months later found myself sinking into discontentment, discouragement, and despair. I finally had to sit down, pray, and ask myself what went wrong.
Through the beginning of this time, I read something in a book that asked what the thing I thought about most was. That was pretty easy to answer, since I was “waiting” for marriage, my thoughts often turned in that direction. I often looked at young men that I knew and figured out in my mind why he would or wouldn’t make a good husband, or would just let my imagination run wild for a few minutes and get into thoughts that were, to put it plainly, sinful.
The book said that if God was not foremost in my mind, I had to check and see if I was putting anything before God. I had to think about that. Yes, I did think about young men and movies more than I though about God, but I didn’t think I was putting them before God. I thought back over the past few months and asked myself, did God have complete control over my life?
Well, for the last few months I had been full of anger, selfishness, and pride. I was always not feeling good, I always had a headache and never felt completely healthy. Now, I didn’t know what not feeling good had to do with the other, but when I looked back, this was what I saw with all the rest of the stuff.
I also had to get to the blunt question, where was God in all this? How was my relationship with Him? After a minute of thought, I had a whole list of things. I was not letting the Lord lead my life. I had my ideas, my plans, and my expectations. Yes, I was praying for God to help me in these areas, and give me wisdom in this, and bless my efforts in that, but I was unconsciously putting God in a box and telling Him where in my life He could work, instead of opening my heart and making myself available for whatever and wherever He wanted to work.
Let me tell you, I felt terrible after all the true dirt and grime had been exposed. I sat there with tears streaming down my cheeks. I asked myself “Why am I living? What is my purpose in life?” I knew what the answer should be, but I knew what it really was. I saw a book setting on my sister’s small table called “Quest for the High Places” by Natalie Nyquist. I picked it up and started reading. It was exactly what I needed. It really put the horrid truth in an understandable light, but also put a solution in its place.
The first thing I did was to pray and give God all the young men in my life. There were two in particular, but I gave up every one that I had thought of. Then after a while of praying, reading scripture, and thinking, I committed the next two years of my life to the Lord. I had heard of people doing that, but I never thought I would be one. Oh, and when I committed the next two years to the Lord, I meant my main focus during the next two years was going to be on my relationship to the Lord.
I wish I had time to tell you all the lessons I have been learning, but it would take a book to hold it all. I did gain a victory over impure thoughts, and stopped thinking about young men. But each time I get a victory, I find another fall just around the corner along with another big lesson to learn.
A friend told me the other day, “Do you realize your two years is almost up?” I cringed inwardly. Has it already been two years? When I looked over the last two years I saw innumerable falls, hurtings, despair, and many tears, bumps, and bruises. A real trying time, have I spent these two years building my relationship with the Lord? Did I stick to my commitment? It seems all that’s happened the last two years has been one fall after another. But, as I look over the last two years I not only see the sad, bad, and hurting times. I also see times of victory, healing, and learning that closeness to God is essential in order for me to even live.
Even though it seems these have been the most trying two years of my life, I would say without hesitation that these have been the best two years of my life. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I found that the anger, selfishness, pride, and not feeling good was all a result of having my mind on things that were not pleasing to the Lord. It may sound funny, but it’s true.
So, putting it plainly, I had some plans for my life. I had ideal ways I wanted to act. But I soon found out God had other plans. Please don’t do like me and put God in a box, telling Him where He can and can’t work, but open your lives and become willing vessels, ready to be molded and used however He desires.
Interesting note: This was written eight years ago!
Posts from the Past
Every Wednesday (Now Tuesday!) I post something that I have written in the past. It may have been written a long time ago, or a very, very long time ago! :-D So please forgive any mistakes!