Growing up in “the church”, or should I say in community with a legalist slant to it, I really learned how to be me focused. I needed to dress right, I needed to talk right, I needed not to smoke or drink, I needed to be in the building every time the doors were open. Blah! Blah! Blah!
I resented my past, the good and the bad, until I started to learn that God has been molding me for many years. He’s allowed certain phases and circumstances into my life for my own good and for his use. First, after my daughter was diagnosed with an incurable unpredictable disease called Multiple Sclerosis I began the journey of learning that I truly don’t have control over anything. I used to like to think that I did but ultimately I learned that living with MS that I really couldn’t control anything but my reaction to situations.
Second, I needed to be authentic. I needed to be just who God created me to be. Rough, blunt, and straight off the cuff at times. I lived for many years in shame of my outward personality because after all I wasn’t this quiet nice mousy church lady. I would tell you what I felt, thought, saw and all. But now after all God has been preparing me for Jail ministry, loving on felons, drug addicts, homeless and prostitutes – – they wouldn’t respond well to the mousy but they do to the straight forward street preacher whose love for them they can see.
Third, I learned Jesus Christ is the one and only true person that can make me happy. Not my husband, children, money, job or material things. Finding the love of Jesus and looking to him every day for joy is the source of my true happiness.
Forth, contentment, I have always wanted a little bit more, if I had a little bit more money, if I had a little bit more car, house, clothes, vacation, knowledge. Geez, what I could do and be for Christ. Hhm, Christ wanted my obedience. After true surrender of my life to Him for His plan and purpose I have found contentment. I may not have nice clothes, cars, or money but I have the satisfaction of knowing that each morning when my feet hit the floor I am walking in Jesus’ footsteps for my life.
I have made many mistakes, lost friends along the way but have learned and grown into being the person God created me to be. At various times he prunes and kills the weeds in my life. He stops friendships, changes directions and basically cleans out all the ugly. I now know and understand that I don’t have to pretend to be anyone other than who God created me to be just to make other people happy. I need to be who God created me to be to make Him happy and bring Him honor and glory.
This day, as I sit on my small patio looking into the blueness of the sky feeling the sun on my skin and the soft breeze blowing my hair, I can finally look around, let out a sigh of relief, and know that I am in God’s perfect will for my life! No more fear, no more worry, no more panic – my life is in God’s hands for His purpose, for His honor, for His use. Blessed!