The tighter we hang onto the rope someone is trying to tug from our hands, the worse our wounds are and the longer it will take them to heal. If we are always holding on, our hands will never be empty for God’s next plans for us.
A friend of mine said this at our women’s Bible study last night, and I was surprised at how relevant it is to me right now. While I have let go of most of the offenses I feel I have encountered in the past year or so, I know that there are things I am holding on to.
Like any young woman my age and in my shoes (you know, 25, with a degree, and seeking a career), I have goals. Desires. Dreams. For someone who just received her master’s, I have a pretty solid idea of what I want to do with my life, and I have since I started graduate school. But how do I know it’s a desire from God, and not something I have been hanging on to as a desire I have created? This is a question I have struggled with for some time.
In a meeting my husband and I had with our pastors to discuss this season we are in, I began to cry at the thought of getting, or even not getting, this job I so desperately want. Our pastor told me it is okay that I have this much emotion tied into this goal because it shows that God has placed this calling on my heart. And I have felt this calling for years now. But he also told me to be aware of why I have this excitement, and to really think about what God is saying to me,
I am excited by the possibility of moving again, and I know things will work out if we do. This is not out of pride, or out of a “I know what I’m doing” idea. I know it will work because in the past 6 years my husband and I have been together, we have moved states a total of 3 times. Each time, God has proved his faithfulness—we got jobs, we got places to live, we succeeded. Then, when I graduated and, for once, we stayed in the same city, my husband got a promotion and we got a great apartment all on the same day. A month later, I got an offer to teach 3 courses for my university. Each time we have gone through a season of change, God has showed us He is faithful. I have no reason to doubt Him, to doubt that He will not provide us with what we need.
Our pastor also delivered a message one Sunday on being faithful in your season. Of planting, of sowing, of believing. If we are not content with where we are, God will not advance us. We have to learn to be happy, to be thankful, with what He has provided us before He will allow us more.
All of these messages seem to tell me the same thing: stop worrying. Do what you are doing, and it will come. Sow, plow, believe, have faith. And over the past few weeks, I have experienced something I have not experienced since this whole season began: peace.
I am still pursing what God has called me to do with my career, but I am at peace knowing that I am also at a great place in my life. I can honestly say I enjoy teaching. I love my students, and I love watching them grow throughout the course of a semester. I have a faithful and amazing husband who has a good job, who does all he can to support and provide for his family, who will always tell me “let’s pray about it” before we jump to conclusions. I have a family who supports my dreams. I have mentors who respect me and guide me and help me to be the best I can be. I have a church I love and pastors who love and support their leaders, believers, and community in a way I have not experienced before. I have friends who know what my goals are, who know my personal struggles, but who support me none-the-less and know how to ground me.
I’ve gripped my rope of worry, of “I want!”, of my own desires and ambitions so tightly, I do have burns. But, you know something? When I stopped fighting and said “alright, you can have it,” when I asked God if this is from Him, He has done wonderful things. I am ready to have my hands empty so I can receive what God has in store for me next.