My life looks nothing how I planned. For many years I have struggled with this. Battled it. Fought it almost to the death. I didn't think I would be so weak. I definitely didn't think I would be so flawed. I thought that when I "grew up" I would naturally be a woman who had it figured out, had a purpose, a plan, and a life that portrayed these things.
What I didn't realize was how hard life would be. How much I would need others. How much sadness I would feel. How broken it would all be. I thought if I trusted God, I would have all I need. And all I needed, would be all I wanted. But honestly, it's not easy to trust God. Especially when your life doesn't look how you planned. And you don't feel like you have what you want. And what you need is more.
I couldn't figure out why God wasn't doing all he promised. The truth is, when trust in God is just a bumper sticker and not a life source, God becomes very small. We stick our beliefs on our back bumpers and drive on searching for something bigger and better. We build sand castles and spend all our time and energy trying to keep them standing.
I gave up recently, and all my sand castles came tumbling down. I was crushed. So despaired. So lost. I thought, If God won't keep my sand castles up, does he even really love me? But when I finally stopped building, my only choice left was to trust. Like really trust. Not, I'll trust you as long as you do what I want... But I'll trust you. Period. And God spoke. And he made things happen. And it wasn't what I thought. It wasn't what I wanted. And then the building started again. I said things like, Ok God, you obviously aren't making this happen, so maybe you want me to handle it. Just give me some water so I can make this sand stick. I mean sometimes I run around gathering sand like it's my job. Acting like if I could just get some water up in here I could turn all this sand into the Taj Mahal.
Sometimes I remind myself of my son who NEVER trusts my directional skills. No matter how many times we've been somewhere, he always asks, "Mommy, are you sure this is the right way to get there?" As if he could do a better job if I would only strap his booster in the driver's seat. I mean really.
I'm learning not to worry so much about getting it wrong though. My same son who loves to doubt my driving abilities has the hardest time getting himself cereal. I stand there with him and encourage him and say things like, "It's ok if you spill, we can clean it up. This is how you learn." And he kind of freaks out at the idea of spilling and asks me to just do it for him. You see sometimes I run around like a chicken with it's head chopped off because I want something more. And a lot of the time God uses that restlessness to get my attention. To teach me. And to move me in the right direction. But it rarely, if ever, looks how I imagine it will. And I'm realizing that trust doesn't mean sitting back with my feet up letting other people pour my cereal for the rest of my life, but trusting that God will be there even when I make mistakes. That spilled milk doesn't mean the end of the world. Trusting that when it doesn't look how I thought it would, the plan is God's not mine. And that's a good thing. Because no matter how certain they are they can do it, putting a 5 year old in the driver's seat is simply not good parenting.