Monday, August 12, 2013

Not My Will, But Yours

Today I am thrilled about this beautiful post, written by one of my dearest friends. I am so encouraged by her life and her passion for living for Christ. Today, she encourages us to trust the Lord's will for our lives.

Not my will, but Yours. Ever find yourself saying those words? I've said them often, fully believing I was ready for it. the last 2.5 years I've learned a LOT about what it really means. You see, I'm the type that wants to plan for everything. Before the last 2.5 years I had everything planned out exactly. If you wanted to do something with me, then you needed to contact me at least a week...probably advance. Not because I was terribly busy...I just wanted everything planned out. I did not handle ambiguity well at all, and spontaneity – it was just a word in a dictionary to me as I did not partake in it at all.

The end of 2011 was the beginning of the end of that, however! I was being courted by a guy who was my best friend. Shortly after Christmas, my Dad said yes. I knew it, because Dad had handed Ben one word written on a 3x5 card: “Yes.” (I still have that card!) I had it in my head that Ben would THEN go by a ring and ask me in 3 months...when he came back from the Coast Guard Academy for Spring Break. But the next morning after Ben was given permission, my Mom was acting strangely before Ben and I went to the top of a mountain top for the day. “Sarah, don't you want to take a shower before you go? Sarah, don't you want to put on a nicer pair of pants? Sarah, I'll do your hair for you!” On the top of the mountain, Ben proposed and I said yes. Several times. But it set off a chain of events that is forever changing my life. In the next month we moved our wedding from 12 months away, to 5 months away. I worried that I couldn't get everything done. Everything went smoothly, thanks to my Mom and some awesome friends who helped and it was one of the best days of my lives. After the wedding, I thought everything was going to go back to neatly planned out and perfectly organized. But it was not my will, my plans, or my perfect organized life that I would meet shortly thereafter. It was His.

It started out with my surprise pregnancy. I was thrilled, but totally unprepared. I got pregnant on our honeymoon. We wanted kids fairly soon...but we were thinking more down the road of having this happen like a year after marriage. Cue the thoughts of panic, excitement, worry, and joy. For the next 9 months we lived in a whirl of excitement getting ready for our baby...but that wasn't all! My husband is a Coast Guard officer. The Coast Guard motto is “Always Ready Always Prepared” and I got an excellent dose of that real quick. A bag lived by our bedroom door pretty much always packed in case Ben got called away or went on a semi-scheduled patrol. When he left, I never knew for sure how long it was going to be. A day? 3 days? A week? Two weeks? A month? If we wanted to do something on the times where he was home, it was always spontaneous because we had no real plan or schedule. We had the times when he was home...and when he wasn't. The first year, I called my mom in tears many times because I didn't have a plan. Because I didn't know what was going to happen. I wasn't trusting God with what was going on, and at times I was completely miserable.

Since then we've had many things happen that I have had to learn how to let go of and let God handle. Planned and unplanned Coast Guard patrols. Moves and transfers from one coast to the other. Pregnancies, birth and miscarriage – all the hopes, joys, and sorrow that envelope those. Job schedules, and the life of being a wife and a mother. So little of it can I plan...I just have to trust God that He will work His will and it will be right for us. I still like to plan. I get downright giddy if I can plan something in advance and it actually happens! And lack of planning still stresses me out at times. But with His help, I'm learning to relax, go with the flow, and even enjoy spontaneity. And I've learned some of what it truly means that it is not my will, but God's will. He is the Author of all....and I need to let go and let Him have the pen in my life. It's easy to say the words, but it's another to live it. But as we live it, I truly believe that He grants us a peace and joy that we don't have otherwise. It's a hard lesson to learn, but it's 100% worth it.

“A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

Sarah is a wife to a Coast Guard officer, and a mother to an energetic 1-year-old little boy. She strives to serve her Lord and King, and be a good wife and mother. She loves photography, reading, cooking, exploring, and hiking and has a passion for purity as well as learning about healthy living and eating. Most often you will find her thoroughly enjoying time with her husband and son or making messes in the kitchen.

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