Way back, when hubs and I first got married (way, WAY back), we had really big plans. What new couple doesn't, right? We knew exactly where we were headed in the future, we felt God's calling on us and we were headed down that path, full steam ahead. Confident in God's will and our willing hearts.
We knew God had called us to be missionaries, and we knew He was going to use us in a big way.
We did everything right: schooling, experience, training. All of it. We had confirmation after confirmation of God's will in our lives. We dotted all the i's and crossed every t. It was only a matter of time.
And yet we found ourselves, 12 years later, a stay at home mom to four little girls and a retail manager.
What happened? Where did we go wrong? Did we misunderstand God's will?
This was the question I asked over and over and over again for years. As each door slammed in our faces and we slipped further still from our supposed "calling". I harbored bitterness and anger. Jealous of ones who fulfilled their dreams in front of our eyes, while we toiled away, in the in between time. I felt abandoned, forgotten by God. I struggled with the day to day reality of our life - each inconvenience created by hubs' decidedly secular job deepened the chasm that was growing between us. I was being selfish, but I didn't see it that way. I wanted what I wanted for our lives. What I thought God wanted.
I was headed down a path of distrust and despair...
Until the day we received the biggest blow to our remaining thread of hope. I love how God works that way. Waiting until there is no hope, so that He can be our only hope. Looking back on this moment, I know that if it had occurred at any other time, it would have been too easy to point to other things as the reason for my breakthrough. My logic, or hubs' determination, or our sheer will to survive. Anything could have claimed that glory. But God waited to move until we had nothing left. Because when there is no hope and yet you still have peace that passes understanding, you know where that came from.
It was that day, with wounds still fresh and stinging that God spoke to me clearly.
"What if this is it?"
"What if this is what I have planned for you?"
You mean this life? The one we're currently slaves to?
"Yes. What if this is it? Could you be content in that? In ME?"
But what about our calling? We were so sure...
"Can you be content?"
But what about hubs? He's worked so hard, poured years of his life into this calling...
"Will you be content?"
Will I be content?
Anyone CAN be content. That's an ability each and every person on this earth possesses. But, the choice, the WILL to be content, that's a different story.
I realized in that blinding moment that I was missing out on God's greatest gift in my life: my life.
I had been so busy, certain of our path and frustrated at the detours, that I failed to see God's hand in the twisting road. I was missing opportunities to fulfill God's calling in our life that very day, so determined to fit God into the little box I had created for our lives. I was creating a pseudo-contentment in my life (and failing miserably), rather than turning to the One who could bring true, fulfilled contentment.
My life was changed in that instant.
When I was growing up, seeking God's will for your life was a hot topic. Especially in college, when many life-altering decisions are made. Should I date this guy? Is it God's will? Should I go on this mission trip? Is it God's will? Should I change my major? Is it God's will?
On the whole, I don't think it's a bad question to ask. However, without realizing it, I allowed that question to be the Main Thing. Searching for God's elusive will in my life. And when hubs and I
"found it", because I had searched for it in that way, like it was a thing to be obtained, I mentally left very little wiggle room for God to do His work.
I had unknowingly reduced God to the size of what my mind could imagine.
In that moment when God broke through my smallness and showed me his immeasurable greatness, I realized that it's not really about seeking God's will for my life. My life is about seeking God. Because when I step outside of my little box, and allow his fullness to infiltrate every part of my being; when I draw close to him out of love and devotion and awe rather than what He's going to do for me; when I seek Him and leave the rest; that's where true contentment lies. That's where I find the fulfillment of His will in my life. That's when I become fully useable by Him.
I am still a stay at home mom to four little girls. Hubs is still a retail manager. And we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are right where we need to be. Because we are seeking Him, not "the call" we once felt was so important. The rest will fall into place. Maybe the way we once imagined. But most likely not, because God has big plans.
What if this is it?
Bring it on.