A Life of Love
On the last blog post, I shared how God taught me to let go of my plans using sickness. He showed me how plans built by my own strength and knowledge will never stand. But he also taught me this another way...
Many of life's lessons come through trials and hardship. The hard times test our faith and our trust in God. Like an athlete lifting heavy weights in the gym to build her muscles, so God allows us to go through trials to build our faith muscles. Without added pressure, our muscles can't grow.
Likewise, just as lifting weights in the gym isn't the only way to nurture and strengthen our muscles, neither are trials the only way God guides his followers.
...just as lifting weights in the gym isn't the only way to nurture our muscles, neither are trials the only way God guides his followers. "
One of my biggest lessons in learning to go with God's flow came through meeting the man who is now my husband.
God placed him in my life right as I was beginning my career and feeling confident about my life plan. I wasn't looking for love. I wasn't looking for a potential husband. Guys, I wasn't even looking for a date. None of those things were on my agenda.
But I think God was smiling down at me (maybe even laughing) and waiting in anticipation for his plan to unfold.
I'm not going to go into the details of how we met and our entire love story. But I will say, in a matter of one weekend, my life went from a one-track career focused mindset, to a lovesick, scatter-brained outlook on the future.
Brighton and I fell in love quickly. In a matter of a few weeks we were saying "I love you" and dreaming about a future together. In those same weeks, I realized my career centered plan was not going to happen.
But my stubborn will and grit got in my way and I tried to find ways to still make my plan work. I'd invested too much time to just let some guy change my mind, right? (This is why God had to use more than falling in love to get my attention, like I talked about in my last post.)
But love taught me a few things about life. And they really helped to change my perspective on trying to always be in control.
Before I met Brighton, my priorities were career and horses. But once he came into my life, my priorities shifted. A life with the man I loved and a family started to sound much more appealing to me than my previous passions. And that is okay. It's okay to change as you grow and experience life in new ways.
If you truly care about someone, you'll include them in your dreams and schemes. You'll want to walk a path that's wide enough for both of you to journey down hand in hand. And those plans will also include keeping friends and family close to your heart no matter where life takes you. My first plan didn't really focus on this, and it made the plan start to feel empty and worthless. But God's plans are all about leaving room in your heart and life for others.
Going it on your own is a lonely road. And no amount of money, job status, or success rate can fill that void. Before opening myself up to being loved and loving someone else, I felt the need for more. More of something I couldn't quite pinpoint. It was love.
Now, love doesn't always mean the form of love that comes through dating and marriage. (This is just the form of love that finally opened my eyes.) Love also comes through friendships, family, and above all, a relationship with Jesus. But we must be active in these in order for them to grow and be healthy. I started to let these relationships slip and my planning lost sight of what is most important.
Love changed everything for me. Suddenly I wanted my plans to include more than just my own desires. I wanted them to include Brighton's as well. So guess what? I devised some new life plans.
When will I learn, right?
At least by this point, I figured out I made some not-so-great plans. But I still hadn't figured out how to fully let go and go with God's flow. So in the next post, I'll share with you yet another way God is using to teach me about letting go.