I’m not a control freak.
Truly I’m not.
I teeter between formal and unschooling methods. I don’t meal plan consistently. My calendar is not filled with activities and plans for weeks in advance. While I do like to eat healthy and use the best products on the market, I don’t have specific laundry days and I just wore the same dress every day for a month.
But I do have issues with letting go.
I recently shared my word to live by in 2018 on social media and then decided to share it here on this space. Simply because I wanted to share with my readers the benefits of choosing a word to live by.
I’ve only been doing this for a few years. If you’re interested, you can read about my 2016 word and 2017 word as well. But I’ve noticed that when I choose a word for the year, it’s very different than just setting goals or things I hope to accomplish. Choosing a word affects how I live and who I want to become, more so than what I want to do.
I’ve written quite a bit in this space about the challenges of life in the last few years. I’ve shared what we desire our next steps to be. And yet, I’ve been quiet about them for quite a few months now. Partly because there was nothing to update. Partly because I wanted to be in a season of hiddenness. But mostly, mostly because it’s hard to write about things that are unknown and I have no control over.
People ask all the time about our next steps. When are we leaving? Have we found jobs yet? How long will we wait?
I have the same questions. And no answers.
It’s a hard place to be.
Hard enough that I needed to sit with God for awhile before I could share. I’ve been asking God for more than a year now to strip me of things that aren’t of Him. To create a clean heart and renew a right spirit. To break my heart for the world and to give me His eyes to see others around me. To take away my desire for “stuff” and give me a desire for Him. Part of this process was because my word for last year was pursue. I wanted to pursue God above all things which means I needed to value the things of Him over the things of the world.
If I’m being honest, it’s a painful process. I don’t always like what He shows me. But the thing is when we ask God these kinds of things, He’ll show us. Boy, does He show us.
And He’s still showing me. In this process, I’ve seen how many things I’m holding onto. I can’t have my heart broken for others when I haven’t let go of hurt. I can’t desire Him above all else when I’m worried about finances. I can’t share the Christ in me as the hope of Glory when I still want control over how and when He moves in my life.
And even though I know that odd balance between being able to make my own choices but also recognizing that my life is not my own and I belong to Him, I still try to control all the details of my life. I’m in my head constantly trying to figure things out.
But why would I want to be in control of my life and circumstances when I serve the God of the impossible?! The God who both created the universe and created me. Who both split and calmed the sea. The God who sent Jesus as a baby, who turned loaves and fishes into more than enough, who raised the dead and restored sight to the blind.
Do I really want control when God can do infinitely more than I could ask or imagine?
Sometimes I find myself praying and then laughing to myself because I know God already knows. I can spend a lot of wasted time telling Him the same old thing because I’m not getting the answer in the time that I want. As if I just tell Him one more time, maybe something will finally happen.
But I recognize that I cannot have the things that I’m asking for above without my whole heart being fully His. And so my word for the year is surrender.
There’s specific things that I feel like He’s promised and spoken to me over the past few years. I find myself on the cusp of much of it, still clinging to the ways that I think it should be working out and how it should be happening. But I find myself asking myself all the time: why would I want it to work out in my sad little shortcomings of an imagination?
Don’t I want my Creator, who is infinite in his love and sees my life from beginning to end with all the resources in the world, to answer those promises as He sees fit?
Yes to it all.
And so, I’m done. I’m done with myself.
No, it won’t happen overnight as I hit publish on this post. Surrender is a constant process. But it will happen.
I find myself standing at the beginning of 2018 full of hope. Expecting Him to move, yes. Expecting Him to keep His promises, yes. But faithful to wait for Him. His ways, His time. Arms wide, hands open, face upward, eyes fixed on Jesus.
What about you? Do you have a word to live by in 2018? I’d love to hear what it is! If not, I created a quick and easy resource you can use to create your word for the year. It’s never to late to start!