74 days, 12 hours and 27 minutes. The beginning of this year until where I stand today. Today is one of the few days within that time where I have taken a deep breath and stepped back.
I went into this year struggling a lot. I am not about to detail the ways I overcame everything I was struggling with in 2.5 months. The truth is, I haven’t. It’s a post celebrating growth, and I hope you’ll join me.
Sometimes when we are so focused in on each day we miss everything that’s happening in our hearts. We miss the big picture. We miss what His love could surprise us with because we’re focused on what our minds have planned. But what I’ve realized is that He never hesitates to remove the things in my life that I don’t even realize are holding me back.
I am still learning but one thing I do know is that every time I open my hands, what He places in them is far greater than what I’m holding onto. Sometimes He pries them open slowly – and other times it’s a little less subtle. I go back to my ideas so many times. I think that this time I have it figured out. That maybe this time I can outsmart Him. But every time He interrupts my plans with His love, I am reminded that He does know best.
He is not trying to keep me from what I want – He is giving me what I need. And when I remember that He created me, I remember that He knows what He created me for. When I struggle with remembering what my purpose is or feel hopeless, it is often because I’m doing things my way instead of pursuing what He has for me.
The truth is? You’re not always going to end up where you pictured. In fact, most of the time you won’t. The people in your life might look different. Your job might look entirely different than what you imagined. Never discount something just because it is different than what you have planned. Instead, show up where you are right now with a willingness to give it your all.
Show up when you’d rather stay home. Take the internship that you don’t feel qualified for. Try a hobby that is outside of your comfort zone. Create a habit that will switch up your routine. Embrace what you never thought you’d do. Don’t limit your life because you’re so set in your ways or your own ideas of what your life should look like.
I am convinced that all of the greatest things in life are given to us when we are not expecting them, because that is when we can be truly thankful. When we are embracing what is in front of us and making the most of it. When our hands are open to receive and lifted to praise.
You are going to be surprised. You will be caught off guard. But He is just calling you back into your purpose. He is reminding you over and over again that every single experience is a way for Him to draw you closer to Himself.
I have messed up. I have spent plenty of time chasing what the world says will deliver for me. I’ve forgotten that people are made in His image. I’ve convinced myself that going around God will make me happier. I will never pretend like I have it all together or as though I have followed God the way I want to. I haven’t.
But if there is one thing I have learned is that what the world promises seems like it will fulfill. The world does a really good job of letting you think it has what you need and then letting you down. God always has a plan in the midst of it that you don’t see. He is always working for what He knows your heart needs.
Every time my hands are wrapped so tightly around what the world has to offer, they’re not open to receive what He has intended for me. He knows this. He wants my heart. He removes those distractions so that I can follow Him. But all I know is that if His plan catches me off guard, I’ll be ready to switch up my direction.
Yes, it might look completely different than all that I imagined.
But that is the best part.