Thursday, January 15, 2015

Relinquishing Control

Jeremiah 29:11-13
  "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." 

     Do you struggle with control?  I found myself recently saying I do not struggle with it, but then shortly after, laughing at that statement and correcting it.  I do struggle with control, but not over others. I do not want to control others by any means. I struggle with trying to control my own life's path. When I have a goal in sight, I want to obtain it and I want to control the outcome.  And when I cannot, or when it goes a different way than I set out for it to happen, I become quite frustrated. It's out of my control.
   The Lord brought to mind the above verse. I have always known this verse, but there are times certain Bible verses are more applicable to life. For me, lately, remembering that God knows the plans He has for me has been a verse that has had to knock me over the head and say "Wake up and have faith! It's not all about your timing, Rachael." 
       I have lately been striving for new goals. I have had my heart and my dreams set on a few different things, and all of those things seemed to have come to a stopping point- or at least a point of reevaluation- all within the last week.  Being a goal-setter is a beautiful part about who I am. It drives me. It gives me passion. It pushes me to new heights. Most days, I love about myself that I am a goal setter. But when the goal's outcome is looking to take a turn, that creates  much frustration within me, sometimes even anxiety, as the thoughts get raveled up in my mind over how I can make it work, and I have to be forced to stop. I love when God gives me a verse that can speak directly to my heart and the issues which I face.
  Jeremiah 29:11-13. These verses have held different perspectives to me over the course of time. But during this particular season, the verses are breaths of fresh air as much as they are reminders to obey and quit trying to control the destiny.
    for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.
      - I am a planner. It's my nature. Being a planner is not bad. But sometimes, my plan is not God's plan. Every time this occurs in my life, I wrestle with God for days over it, trying to tell Him I know better. But ultimately, He is God. He knows best. And when He is showing me that my plan may not be His plan.... I need to stop and listen and evaluate. Relinquish control. He knows the plans He has for me. Whatever is not working out in my timeframe doesn't mean it won't work out. There may be something better on the horizon. Or maybe what I want, just a different timing.
   They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
      -The plans that God has for me are good. Maybe His plans stem from a dream and goal of mine, maybe not. Regardless, He will win out and the outcome will be good, because God is good. All the time. Some moments of not getting what I want feel like a disaster. But it isn't. It's simply a detour to take the path He has laid out for me, instead of my own path. He has an amazing future planned for me. If I look back 5 years, some of those moments felt absolutely abysmal. But guess what? God had a plan for my future...and sitting here today, I can see where He was leading. His plans never would have been mine, but I am so glad I am in His plan! So right now, amidst my frustrations, I have to trust that His plan is better for my future. I don't know what the future holds, but He does.
   In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
     - Prayer. What a key component to every goal and dream I have that sometimes I leave out. Or, I may do, but then expect the answer to be my answer and not a different one. God does answer. Every time. And sometimes, that answer is no. or Not yet. Or He's telling me, this is for a good reason. You are not ready. Wait. I have something better....  He listens. All the time.
     -The biggest piece of this verse not to be left out is to look for Him wholeheartedly. Then we find Him. I cannot ask Him to do something, to look for Him, with only part of me. I have to look with open eyes and seek Him with my entire heart. If He's speaking to me, i can't ignore that little voice and then expect answers in the way I want. I must look for Him with my whole heart. Then I will find Him. Every part of me, dedicated to Him and finding the answers He's so wanting to hand me. He is good. All the time.

  Control. A difficult thing to relinquish, no matter how you look at it. It could be control over  a relationship, self control over decisions to be healthier, self control to say no to bad decisions, or control over your own destiny. No one likes to not be in control, quite honestly. But I have learned, often times the very hard way, that His plans are far better for me than my own plans. I just have to seek Him wholeheartedly. And I look forward to what His plan is for me as it unfolds. This doesn't mean I give up on my dreams. On the contrary. However, I may go back to the drawing board full of prayer wholeheartedly, asking God to guide. He knows better than I do.  He always does.


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