I’ve been thinking about the plans that God has for me lately with law school and my current job and my relationship. Money is nice, love is nice, job security is nice. But if God isn’t the one calling me and grabbing my attention then what does it matter? What does it matter if I get all of the accolades of this world but God doesn’t know me?
Those questions were prompted with the devastating news that I’m not going to law school this year …again (I’ll share more details in a future post). I’ve been up and down an emotional roller coaster of emotions – disappointment, anger, frustration – and at this point, I only have one choice – accept it. Now, let’s be clear. My acceptance that I’m not going to be in school this year does not mean that I’m not fighting to get to law school at all but instead it means that I’m really depending on God to have the ultimate vision and timeline of my life and what’s up ahead. I believe that if God did not open the door right now for me to be in law school then I must not need to be in law school right now. Trust me y’all, this is hard.
I think the hardest thing is the feeling of disappointment I feel. My parents, my boyfriend, my friends, my church family ….all of these folks look at me to accomplish great things and be great. But what if my life’s greatness doesn’t fit their definition? Am I still great?
So many of us ask that same question – Am I still great? As if our life’s journey is meant to only be a reflection of worldly accolades and degrees of accomplishment. I wonder if I was in law school if I would probably come to this same questioning crossroad. Even after what appears to be success and/or failure, am I still great? And what does greatness matter if it’s not directed toward the Kingdom? After all of the degrees, promotions, and standing ovations (in our heads), does it all matter if I’m not getting a slow clap from Christ? . It worries me that I may have limited what God wanted to do through me already because of my own vision of my life. Crazy, right?
But we all do this.
We find ourselves at a point of discontentment and frustration because we’ve allowed people’s expectations and desires to dictate our course as if God hasn’t already told us that He alone knows the plans that He has for us. Those plans are not to harm us but to give us hope and a future.
And we have to admit that it could be scary to not know the complete plan from beginning to end. It’s definitely scary for me. I’m the type of person that needs to know the entire plan before doing something because I need to a) make sure you know the entire plan if I’m going with you b) make sure it’s foolproof and that you’ve thought of everything c) that you have my best interest in mind d) that you’re a forward thinker who has a plan after this initial plan is accomplished and finished. It’s all about my security and comfort.
But I feel that God is saying that it’s time to shake things up in my life and make a decision to trust Him more than my own plans and personal journey evaluations.
It’s time to get uncomfortable. What will be our response?
In Luke 9, Jesus tells those who are listening that they must take up their cross and deny themselves daily to follow Him completely. We cannot follow Christ and our desires at the same time. We just cannot. I know that it’s hard to separate the two – I myself struggle between my desires and what I want versus what God wants – but it’s the only way to true joy and peace in God. The only way to know who God is fully is to deny who we think we are daily.
Taking up your cross means to get uncomfortable. Picture Jesus’ physical cross – the weight, the splinters, the blisters, the pain in carrying it – yet, Jesus beautifully shows that there is victory in carrying your cross although there may be pain. It requires integrity, devotion – once you’ve decided to take up your cross and to carry the Gospel with you …you have to be ready to devote your life, your thoughts, your heart to this. Also, it’s a wonder that only Christ could carry His cross ….we all have our own paths, our own crosses. If we’re not Christ-led to carry them, then who will? Get ready for the discomfort! Get ready for your crown!
Denying yourself – the relationships that you know God is saying to cancel, the negative thoughts that justify negative habits, the desire to eat crazy or speak crazy or live without any real purpose or design – deny all of those things. True greatness comes from Christ and He alone has the strength to make us into who we’re destined to be. I’m not great because of what I do but because of what He has done. #shoutoutstoGod
So 2017 is not the year for law school for me. But it’s not the end for me either. This current season is just one splinter on the cross God has gifted me with the grace to endure …and I encourage you keep up with your own journey too.
I appreciate you reading this and I pray this encourages you!