I thought of you today and wanted to write something as both an encouragement to you and a reminder to myself. As you might already know, I do not view this blog as me standing on a pedestal speaking down at you; rather, I view it as a platform for the Lord to speak to you and me.
God made human beings extremely gifted. We’re very creative. Most people grow up around stories, because that’s one of the ways in which generations best express themselves and hand down wisdom. From childhood, we’re taught how to behave, how not to behave, and the good things that happen to those who do things right. Ladies are taught about the fictitious Cinderella and the biblical Esther. We watch cartoons about superheroes. We’re told what a good life looks like.
And from these things, we begin to imagine the paths we desire for ourselves. It is usually at this early stage that a woman begins to carve the idol of How I Picture It. Someone called it “the god of what we have in mind.” She decides the career she wants to have, how long she wants to stay at each level, the man she want to be married to and by what date, the kind of house she wants to live in, and the car(s) she wants to drive. By her early twenties, she probably has that ubiquitous folder of wedding themes and wedding/bridesmaid dress ideas somewhere in her computer ;).
But then the man she had in mind ends up hurting, or worse, rejecting her. Her grades kept her from studying the course she wanted to pursue, so she now unfeelingly clocks in and out of a job she does not like. She is single, still using the metro or a matatu, putting pressure on herself to be and do better. But what is “better”, anyway?
If you’re like most women, it does not take too long to dawn on you that things in your life will probably not go exactly as you planned. Someone more powerful is in control. Try as you may, you can only get your desired outcomes up to a certain level – and even then, it is only by the grace of One larger than yourself, for a purpose beyond any short-sighted imaginations one might have.
Because of this, you might begin to become unsettled. Angry. Frustrated. Jealous. You ended up miles away from the career you wanted to pursue. That girl you always thought of as an airhead who had no home training ended up with the man you would have imagined for yourself. You’re stuck paying rent for an apartment you don’t like, in an area you can’t stand, because you’re trying to match up to someone’s Big, Fat, Fake Facebook Life. You scroll through Instagram and wonder why she has to have the Odds and Ends furniture that she can’t seem to decorate right, why she has the British citizenship that she takes for granted, why she has the VP position despite her seeming lack of gratitude or maturity, why she has children she doesn’t seem to care for when you have struggled for years to carry just one of your own. Why you get to be the one stuck being a single mom. Why even all the “good,” Christian women have the things you want, when you don’t.
Lord willing, I’ll be sharing a post on seven vices that can destroy any woman, but in the meantime, I just wanted to encourage you:
Cease striving and know that He is God. As difficult as it may be for you to see right now, He has your best interests at heart, and every single thing He does and permits is for your good and for His glory. He sees the big picture. Trust Him. Know this; from the outside looking into another woman’s life, it is very difficult to tell the price she paid to get there. You do not know if you would be willing to sacrifice what she has to get to where she is. You do not know what she has to do to remain there. Envy is bad enough when you have the full story, but I would especially caution you not to covet a journey you do not understand.
I would also encourage you to check that pride. What makes you better than the “airhead”? Why should you have that executive job? What do you have that you did not receive, and if you received it, why do you glory as though you did not? God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. If you are resisted by man, you can run to God. If the enemy tries to hinder you, you can rebuke him and hide in God. But there is absolutely no hope for the one whom God resists.
Consider this truth: if every single thing went as you planned, you would still not be fulfilled. In fact, you would be miserable. Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. God is looking for hearts that are laid down and loyal to Him. He can see through hearts that are loyal to their need of those things they try to “use” Him to get.
He is not afraid to hear you out. Go to Him with your frustrations, and express them. Express your expectations. Vent your sense of entitlement. Ask Him to forgive any sins that may be causing hindrances and delays, and to open the eyes of your understanding, so that your perspective is not shortsighted. If a delay is not of Him, He can accelerate things. Just ask. Keep trusting. Have faith. And finally, count your blessings. There is nothing impossible with God. He tells us that He will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly. If you are walking with Him and He withholds something from you, then it must not be good, or it must not be good for now. Who says you’re late, he’s late, it’s late? If God is not in a hurry, why should you be? Why should you panic if you serve the God who never does?
Allow yourself to be calm, understanding both His Sovereignty and His goodness, and to become who He has called you to be. Growth is a lifelong process. You are beautiful. Never for one second believe the lie that God does not have your best interests at heart. One day, you will understand all the whys, but for now, please trust. Don’t panic. Don’t rush. His ways and His timing are best. In my experience, when trust begins, things begin to shift in your favor.
I love you,
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.. – Isa. 28:16, NIV