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Moving Forward

>> Friday, September 20, 2013

"It doesn't have to be all or nothing. All or nothing often cripples us." -Jon Acuff during an interview with Dave Ramsey
I have had that sentence saved as a blog draft for over a year (January 2012, to be exact). This is probably why I'm so scattered in actually writing blog posts. But this is totally my personality. When faced with a situation or a difficult decision, I like to have a plan. I like to know all of my options. I like to go through all the possible outcomes to make sure that I'm prepared for anything that might come up.  (And might I add that it drives my husband absolutely crazy?!)  I try to be flexible in the little things, and having kids has certainly thrown a wrench in my ability to make and execute a plan (<-- this might be a little bit of an understatement!). 

But if I'm totally honest here, sometimes I feel like I am drowning. I am overwhelmed, exhausted and feel like I am going nowhere.  And I don't have a clue what my plan should entail...let alone options or possible outcomes to review. 

But I realized something at a women's Bible study this morning. When I put pressure on myself like that, it puts the focus on ME and not on God. When it becomes all about ME, God is pushed farther out of my life. And I am not able to rescue myself.

Life is challenging. Life is not easy. Life does not go the way I planned.  I will certainly face trials, death, disease, difficult decisions, etc. But I cannot let that cripple me.  And I don't have to face life alone.  
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord , your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ~Isaiah 43:2-3
I have seen this in my own life. And I know it to be true. The challenge comes in to remember this when I am faced with something.  I can trust what the Bible says and that God knows what is best in each situation, even if I can't see that myself.
For the word of the Lord  holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord  fills the earth. The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. ~Psalm 33:4-7
Since High School, my motto has been, "Write your plans in pencil and give God the eraser." But I still am not good at actually handing off control to anyone...God included. I've always heard the saying, "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." But I heard a new one today right at the end of our study..."A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor" and that hit home for me. If life were calm and uneventful, what kind of life would that be and would I truly be able to live up to my potential?

Do I make mistakes and do I try to "rescue" myself from difficult situations? Yep. all.the.time. But I have to remember to get back up, trust in God, and lean on Him during the good times and the bad.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:35, 37-39,37-39.nlt

I feel like I have rambled in this post, but I feel I need to post this to serve as a public reminder to myself to put my focus on God and not myself. My life doesn't have to be "all or nothing". I just need to do my best and know that God is in control and His plans are better than anything I have planned.

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