Have you ever been asked a question that has changed your life?
I was getting to know my future sister-in-law. We were casually talking as we strolled through Target one Sunday afternoon. We got to the toy aisle to pick out something for our nephew, when she turned to me and said:
“So, do you want to be a daycare teacher forever?”
She didn’t think anything of it, but it literally stopped me in my tracks. I quickly said, “No.” But when she asked what I wanted to do, I had no answer except that, forever, all I’ve wanted was be a wife and a mother. Once that happened, I would be set!
The conversation ended, but the thoughts stuck with me. Is this all I want from my life? Is it enough? Just waiting for my husband to arrive so then I can really start to live? What if I’m single forever? Then what do I do?
Those were really hard questions for me to process, so I do what I often do when I need to talk through a problem. I called my friend Noelle.
The wisdom Noelle gave me was this, “… let’s do a bible study on faith!”
I was pretty confused. How was “faith” going to help me figure out what God wants me to do with my life if I’m single forever?! Also, the question itself was still freaking me out: WHAT IF I AM SINGLE FOREVER!?
But I agreed and started a study on faith. Couldn’t hurt, right?
Noelle meant what she said. We followed through and met at our favorite coffee shop in Old Town Camarillo. As we sat across from each other and talked, I realized that I have a little issue with giving God control over my future. A future that I thought I had figured out quite nicely! Husband + Kids = happiness. (Like how I’m putting just a little pressure on one thing to bring me complete happiness and fulfillment? No big deal!) My expectations for my future meant I was constantly disappointed with my life or mad at God for not making it happen the way I wanted.
Turns out when you study faith, God makes you walk it out! Shocker, huh?
I didn’t fully realize this about myself before, but giving control to God was terrifying. What if God’s plan doesn’t include a husband? Or Kids? I felt God asking me over and over, “Am I still good if you never get married? Will you still choose me?”
These questions still blow my mind. Because I want to say, “Of course He is still good!” And obviously, I will choose to follow Him. But… what about when I feel 100% alone watching all my friends and family get married and start families? Will I be able to truthfully say He is good? Will I feel like he has abandoned me?
My heart breaks at this, I know that He is still good and has done far more for me than I could ever do in return, but I couldn’t imagine a life where I wasn’t someday married and a mother.
I told God, “I don’t know how to give you my husband forever, but I can give Him to you today.”
“I choose to believe that you are a good God and your plans for me are great, even when I don’t feel it. I will choose to believe that you have already given me a future and a hope!”
I did this every day. I woke up and gave Him my future. Some days were easy. Other days were horrible. Because it had to be more than just words. My actions and my way of thinking also had to change.
For me, when I chose to give God my future, that meant a season of choosing to not think about it. I couldn’t wonder if I would meet my husband at certain events or even do silly things like look at wedding boards on Pinterest or talk about baby names that I like with friends. Jesus was challenging me to stop planning and just walk with Him. To know that he was a far better planner than I could ever be. To give my plans to Him.
So that’s what I did. Every day for a few years.
I can I tell you that was the single hardest thing I have ever done.
But He also never let me down.
Every day that I gave Him my future, He reminded me that:
He is Faithful.
He is Trustworthy.
He does what He says.
God began to show me things about myself that were unused because they weren’t needed in “my plan” but were incredibly necessary and vital to His plan.
This is a concept that changed my life, but I still need to be reminded of pretty regularly. So, while writing this, I recently called Noelle to ask why she suggested we study faith in the first place. Her answer was brilliant and simple. “Because when we are in the word it is easier to hear God’s voice, and harder to be swayed by the voice of Satan.”When we are in the word it is easier to hear God’s voice, and harder to be swayed by the voice of Satan. Click To Tweet
Fast forward to now. I look back at that time, and I see the amazing things that came from choosing God over my control. He has opened door after door that I could never have imagined! I am still single and, to be honest, it’s awful sometimes. I still desire that relationship so much, but I am very aware that if I had settled for my version of my future, I wouldn’t have moved from California to Nashville, I wouldn’t have this amazing job, I wouldn’t be talking to you in this blog post or on the Nonexclusive Podcast. I would have missed out on some truly incredible things that are vital to His plan.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT