Yesterday after church my girls, Dan and I sat around the table eating chili and talking with my oldest daughter about her future. She was telling us about some dreams she’d had, and we were trying to instruct her as best any parents could.
Without thinking much about what I was saying I responded to her, “Let me give you a piece of advice that I wish someone would have told me regarding the destiny on your life. Don’t fight it. The earlier you accept what God is doing, hook into it, the more He can do through you and the less you’ll be miserable in the process.” I remember that while I probably fought the call of God on my life less than most, I had some moments that I really wasted time fighting. People may want to argue this point with me. Didn’t God give us free will? What are we just pawns on his big game board?
My answer to that is both yes and no. God did give us free will but he created us for purpose. If we’re not hooked into that purpose it affects our life and those around us. Fight against what God has already given us the grace and ability to do get frustrating. It’s like you’re a puzzle piece constantly trying to fit where you just were never meant to fit. (Jer 29:11)
Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Honestly he is one of my hero’s in both faith and in life. This morning I realized that he was only 39 when he was killed. For a man who was only 39, what an amazing legacy he left. His dream continues to echo for generations. I believe that His dream was God’s dream. As a minister on the earth, he did so much more than just preaching from a pulpit, but he stood up for righteousness. That pebble dropped in the water continues to ripple around the globe. Truthfully I’m sure he fought the call of God at moments in his life. I think we all have. But for accomplishing what he did in 39 short years, he couldn’t have fought long. He hooked up with God’s plan, and made history.
Wrestling with God will just cause long sleepless nights. Jacob tried to do this, and he walked with a limp the rest of his life. Grin. (Please no emails or comments arguing this point. I get it; you can look at this account in Genesis various ways.)
Whatever God has called you to do, might I give you the same advice I just gave to my daughter? Don’t fight it, embrace it. Don’t be stupid, get godly counsel and wisdom. Don’t run from it, but run to it. There just isn’t time for wasted time. Your life is a vapor. While it’s up to you how you use it, submit to God’s plans and use it wisely.
Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.
This weekend marks a milestone anniversary date in my life. I met Dan 15 years ago this Friday. I’d traveled 3 hours in the snow to spend a weekend with a different guy that I was dating. As shocking as the story is, many of you have heard it. I met Dan because he was my ex-boyfriends roommate, and that ex at the time was debatable. It was a real life version of Rick Springfield’s song, “I wish I had Jesse’s girl.” I suppose. The how’s all that came about is kind of a long story that if you haven’t heard, either ask me, or I’ll save it for another time. It’s one of those divinely orchestrated “How they met” stories that seems like something straight out of a sitcom. The picture attached was taken about a month after we met.
Earlier this week I was thinking about this pseudo anniversary date, and a conversation I’d had with my ex before we ended, was brought to my memory. He’d asked me once if I was happy and my response then was something that startled him. I pray wherever he is in his life he’s come to understand it.
“Yes, I am. I may be frustrated at circumstances in my life. But I am happy because Jesus makes me happy.” I realize that this may sound simplistic to some. We were just naïve college kids filled with hopes and dreams. We’d been discussing the frustrations of life. Responding to that question had really made me think at the time. Circumstances do not dictate my happiness.
As I was reflecting on this conversation, I’d had with him all those years ago I got to thinking how I would respond to that today. While some circumstances have changed in my life, others I am still pushing through. 15 years later: I have a husband God designed for me and I love incredibly, 2 gorgeous daughters who we are endeavoring to raise in the Lord, and a few people have read my books so that’s awesome. However similarly to where I was 15 years ago, I can still find myself frustrated that I’m not further professionally, I still get those turndowns, and I’m still endeavoring to do what I feel God has placed me to do. I can remember my grandmother telling me that with life, “Ann it’s always something.” The older I’m getting the more I realize she was right. No matter how good my life seems to be there will always be circumstances or something that I may not be thrilled with. However to answer the question am I still happy 15 years later. . .yes, I am because Jesus makes me happy.
Too many people live their lives allowing situations and circumstances to dictate to them their level of happiness, yet they wonder why they are always so miserable. While yes situations can affect happiness if you let it, deep down you have to realize that your happiness is with God. You’re success in life is not an outward appearance but an internal thing with God.
Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.
Paul learned that no matter what happened in his life that God would be with him. He learned that He could do all things through Christ who strengthens us. It didn’t matter if he was going through a trial. He just knew that He was in Christ and that was someway going to make him the victor in any situation. No matter what you are going through today, you have a choice. Choose life. Choose Happiness. The pursuit of happiness is already found through Jesus, you just need to live it.
So as Dan and I giggle at the orchestration of our 15th year together (our 14th wedding anniversary isn’t until March) I’ll remind myself of all blessings God has given me in life. While my life may not be perfect, I can without a doubt say, “Yes, I am happy.”
Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!
Last week while we were in the North, we took our dog Mojo with us. However when we headed for Canada, for a whole list of reasons, we left our little mini doxie with my parents in Ohio. My parents love dogs and leaving him with them is a no brainer. Mojo has fun with them, and I think they enjoy him too.
My parents usually have bigger dogs and haven’t had a puppy or a small dog in their house in years (unless you count the week Mojo stayed there in the summer). My mom totally forgot that she had rat poisoning behind the bed. It had been sitting there for years. In her defense what animal other than a rat would seriously fit or go back there. I would have forgotten about it too (Mojo only weights 12 lbs).
Mojo found the rat poisoning. It was an innocent dog thing that could have easily killed him. I am so grateful that my mom heard him chewing on it. I am so grateful that she thought of getting him to puke right away, and I am so grateful that though she ended up in a pet ER at midnight 45 minutes away from their house it seems that all was caught early enough that he will be okay. We have to give him Vitamin K for the rest of the month as a precaution. He’s doing well.
After I learned of this I couldn’t help fighting with a bit of sadness. I’m glad he’s okay, but Mojo has become a member of our family. We looked so hard to find the right dog for us, that I can’t imagine anything happening to him. When we got him it felt as if he was a divine gift to all of us. Call me a sappy pet parent, but he’s our buddy.
As I contemplated all of this I began to think about how many of us have things in our lives, “our homes per se” that we forget about, and has the potential to poison and kill the gifts or plans God has given us. Think about it for a moment, and it’s not even a stretch. How many of us have past hurts and regrets and we won’t do the things God told us to do because of the old voices echoing in our minds. How many of us have poisoned our own destinies with our own fears and doubts.
In the Jewish tradition they have a day were they go throughout the house cleaning it and searching for anything with yeast in it. This is part of Passover.
I believe we need to do this in our own lives regularly. I’m not talking about cleaning out your house (I mean yes, do that too) but I’m talking about your house. Your body is a temple of the Lord’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Don’t let anything that could poison what God wants to bless you with to stay. Don’t let anything poison your destiny. Seek out those things and deal with them before they cause harm to your future. What past baggage you have in your past doesn’t have to come with you for your future.
God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.