the clench.

Holy Toledo! I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since my last post; time literally f.l.i.e.s. by!

These past few months have been so crazy. Like jaw dropping. Heart pounding. Divinely inspired. Simply ridiculous.

God has been working on me in ways that I never knew were possible, teaching me truth in his word that I never knew existed and doing things in my life that I never could have imagined could happen. {sometimes i feel like my life is a total dream, and i’ll wake up and all the blessings he has given me will just disappear ’cause it’s all that good}

I’ve been thinking about the leap of faith that I had to take a few months back; about the immense reward that has come from the obedience of that leap; and the blessing that has flowed in my life because of what I’ve endured.

And then I think; I never saw any of this coming. {i surely didn’t plan for any of it to happen}

Two years ago from this past Monday, {therefore April 30th, 2010} I thought I had life perfectly planned out.  I had my future strategically laid before me and I found security in the fact that I thought life would take the course that I designed in full detail.

On April 30th, 2010, I got engaged {and so like most girls, we start planning what our life will look like from that moment on, from the wedding dress to what color hair our children will have. sad; but true.}.  I can remember that day vividly; I remember the security I felt in the belief that I thought I knew what the future held.  I took heart in the idea that from that moment on, I could plan my life away and everything would happen to my strategic schedule.  My security was found in my plans: we would have a joyous, beautiful engagement filled with celebration and glee, we would then get married that winter of 2010, I would become a “stay at home writer” while attending Seminary and dive head first into deep theological study and of course, we would live happily ever after with a beautiful family, wonderful church and thriving careers. {can you say dreamer??}

Little did I know that all of that would never happen.  In fact, all of those plans soon came crashing down before my very eyes.

What was supposed to be a six month joyous engagement became a year and a half struggle to keep my head above water and keep a smidge of my sanity and self. {so if you haven’t caught that; the act of obedience in January was to break off my engagement}

Two years ago I never imagined having the life I do right now. Every detail that I planned out on that day came to a violent end throughout the course of these past two years, however God has filled those voids with blessings that are so much better than what I ever could have hoped for. 

But in the midst of that struggle;  As life came tumbling down before me;  As each one of my plans failed; As my dreams were smashed to pieces; As my heart broke in complete awe of how awful life could get; I questioned God’s plans.  I questioned whether or not He cared for my hurting heart.  I questioned if He actually did have plans to prosper me, with a future and a hope.

I remember having lamenting, woeful, grieving, heart breaking, ranting prayers to God; begging him to show up on my behalf; to grant me the desires of my heart; to bless my life and fulfill the dreams that were my at my very core. My hands were thrown up in the air in faith that God would show his glory, but at that time, my hands were still clenched onto this dream that that man was mine, and my plans for my life would win. 

In the aftermath of that relationship, as the dust is now clearing, my wounds are being tended, my spirit is being refreshed;  I see that God’s hand was upon every moment of my brokenness.  I see that every one of my failed plans was a beautiful stepping stone to get me to the perfect plan that God had waiting for me.  You see, my plans may have failed. But God’s goodness certainly has not.

All of the pain I endured in the past two years has not been in vain.  It is not a mistake that I was engaged for that time.  In fact, I know that while God never wanted to see me become that broken of a mess, it was a season of my life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  That period of time was a necessary step for me to become more deeply intimate with my Savior.  Through that season I learned about God’s grace. About his love.  About his strength in me.  About the restoration of life. About his relentless pursuit after me.  About this glorious thing we call faith.  So did the past few years hurt beyond words; absolutely!  But would I ask for God to use the past two years any other way; absolutely not.  {don’t get me wrong…I am so entirely glad they are over!}

As I broke off our engagement in January, it was as if I finally had my hands in the air, with my hands released, palms open, to let God’s plan flow in my life.  I finally embraced the fact that I may throw the dice in life, but God will determine how they fall.  I can plan my heart out, until my face turns blue, but God’s plans will succeed.  And that is a phenomenal thing.  

I cannot put into words how thankful I am that my plans failed.  I am so thankful that God’s plans are for the best and his plans will always overcome ours.

May you be encouraged today.  If life is not going how you thought; If you are in the midst of a serious storm; a collision of your plans and your creator’s and you find yourself doubting God’s goodness.  Start believing in God’s faithfulness; in his abounding, steadfast love and care for you; in his perfect plans for your blessed future.

Things may look gloomy from where you are in the midst of your storm.  But God is in the aftermath, directing you to where he wants you to be. Sometimes that brutal storm in life is God’s hand redirecting our lives to take us where we are supposed to be and sometimes the point of the storm is to simply endure it, grow because of it and become more intimately bonded with our redeemer through it.

I learned these lessons the hard way after many months of struggling to make my dreams come to fruition and do things my way.  To where I finally came to the point of utter surrender of every ounce of myself to finally allow God to be God in my life.

May you today lift your hands in faith that God is in control; and open your hands to let his plans flow in your life.

You will not regret it; you will only regret keeping your fists clenched.

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5 thoughts on “the clench.

  1. Your words make my heart jump for joy. This is so encouraging. Thank you for sharing your story and what you’ve learned on your journey. I love you so much girl.

  2. Hey, Laura! I’ve had times like this, where I was sick and scared and so unvelievably sad that I wanted to sleep day and night. I questioned God’s existance. I didn’t want to believe in a god that didn’t help me wen I was in need. But God got me through and I’m living life to the fullest now! So happy that God helped you pull through, as well! :-)

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