By Laura Rennie, iBelieve.com
Do you ever think of your life as being split up into different pieces of a puzzle? You have your spouse, your kids, your job, your friends, your house, your church, etc. It’s all mapped out. It all looks good together.
But what do you do if one of those portions is missing? What if a slice of your life’s pie doesn’t exist yet? What if it never will?
I remember a mentor of mine asking me a tough question years ago about my desire to be a mom. She asked, “Will you only be happy if you get what you want? Or will you be able to find joy even if you don’t have children?” At the time, her question was simply a scenario. It was, in my mind, an unlikely one. I was MEANT to be a mom. I was CREATED to be a mom. I couldn’t imagine my life without children in it.
Sadly, my two babies were stillborn and I don’t have any living children yet. My life does not look like what I thought it would. My future, which used to excite me, is now something I often dread. Twice my “family” portion was filled up, and twice it was taken away. I also don’t have a consistent job. I work, but it doesn’t look like your typical 9-5. I freelance write and I have a spankin’ new decorating business I’m running out of my home. My “work” portion is messy and inconsistent and I often struggle with comparing it to others.
Is there a piece (or two, or three) that seems to be missing from your life? Maybe you’re single, or you don’t have many friends, or you don’t have a stable home. Maybe you’ve been searching for Christian community and you wonder if God will ever bring deep fellowship into your life. Maybe, like me, you feel a bit empty and sad. Maybe you wonder why these things that we know God says are good are not being given to us in the time frame we had set for our life.
For the past two years I’ve grown babies and lost babies. I’ve applied for several jobs and haven’t been offered any. I’ve seen the Lord give my friends healthy babies and exciting new jobs. I’ve wondered, what do you want from me, God? I thought you wanted me to be a mom. If I’m not meant to be a mom right now, may I please have a steady job? What am I supposed to be doing with my life right now? What is your purpose for me?
In her book “Anything,” Christian speaker and author Jennie Allen describes her struggles and triumphs as she made it her aim to surrender completely to God. She writes, “Scripture describes a radical, reoriented life for those who trust Christ — one full of living for the invisible and the future. It is a life fully surrendered to an invisible God whose agenda for my time here is contrary to my own, a life very different from the safe, comfortable one I was creating.”
I’ll be honest — the idea of completely surrendering to God used to electrify me and fill me with passion. I loved the image of putting blinders on and focusing ONLY on Christ. After all, we are called to set our minds on things above, not on temporary things. (Colossians 3:2). But as I’ve experienced things being taken from me, I’ve become more desperate to try and control my life. I know it’s wrong, though. I know, deep down, that what God has in store for me is better than what I could ever imagine for my life. I know God is in the business of making beautiful things out of brokenness.
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”Isaiah 55:8-9
In “Anything,” Jennie Allen poses the following thought provoking question: “What if the things I thought he wanted for me…were the very things keeping me from him? … It is too easy in this country for blessings to become rights…And before we know it, God’s gifts have replaced God himself.”
I want to daily choose to set aside what I want and what I think I need and instead trust in God’s timing and God’s provision. I want to recognize that God himself is ALL I need — everything else is simply a bonus. And when I struggle with wondering what my purpose is, I can turn to Scripture and find the answer. (It’s pretty simple: we are put here to love and obey God, and to be a reflection of His son.)
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”Micah 6:8
What do you feel is “missing” from your life? What would it look like if you were to stop focusing on what you don’t have, and instead focus on what you DO have? Even better, what if you were to put blinders on and choose to make Christ your only focus and your only source of fulfillment? I know it is hard, but I want to try. Will you join me?
“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” Psalm 16:5
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband and constantly shedding dog. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend.