The main struggle of my Christian life has been trying to find God’s purpose for my life. Above all else, I want to know and understand God’s plan for me so I can live accordingly. Yet, for a long time, I chose my own plans over His and, as is the usual result when I decide to be stubborn, it all backfired.
Much like nearly every other girl on the planet, I’ve spent countless hours of my life considering and planning (everything short of booking) my future wedding. So much of my future has always depended on when I will be married. Obsessing over Disney princesses, playing dress up with cousins, pouring over family wedding books… marriage was such a beautiful, desired thing, and I hoped one day it would be all mine.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord. –Proverbs 18:22
Yet, I never even considered the question: What if I never get married?
Initially, this question resulted in a sheer wave of panic; followed by self-reassurance that marriage was undeniably part of God’s plan for me. It had to be. I never considered a life without marriage, so a life of singleness simply wasn’t an option. I had a boyfriend whom I had been with for almost five years, and marriage was in our future. Becoming a wife was part of my destiny. No doubt about it.
Until suddenly it wasn’t anymore.
God had been convicting me concerning this relationship for months, causing doubts I didn’t feel ready to deal with. I prayed for God to show me what it was He wanted from me while holding onto the relationship with white knuckles and silently begging Him to let me keep it.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?’ –Matthew 16:24-26
I continued praying and crying out to God. Why can’t I feel Your guidance? I need Your help, I don’t know where to go next. God used specific worship services and numerous sermons to convict my heart, making it almost impossible to ignore His call. Yet, I still felt alone and directionless. I couldn’t hear God’s voice leading me anymore, and I didn’t understand. It wasn’t until I gained distance from the situation that I truly realized what I was being lead to do.
On a trip to Vermont, 24 hours away from home, I (finally) decided to lay down my own selfish desires, take up my cross, and follow Jesus wherever He decided to take me. I wish I could say that this decision was easy and that since then I have flawlessly and effortlessly followed the Lord’s call without turning back. But I’m a sinful human, and I have continued to ask God why He made me throw away such a great relationship.
He does not even have to give me an answer for me to know the truth though. Once we give our lives to Christ, we do exactly that. We fully surrender to God’s plan and purpose for our lives. As Christians, we’re called to live by faith, always trusting Him in every situation He places in our path. We must choose daily to take off our blinders, let go of what we want, and accept God’s gracious help in giving us what we need.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. –Psalms 146:8
While I definitely do not always agree with what God calls me to do, and sometimes, I try to ignorantly run in the opposite direction, I know whatever He commands me is what is best for me, no questions asked. I will continue to follow Him wherever He takes me, despite my own plans. I will place my heavy baggage aside and forget all the troubles this life has for me because in Him I am free. I am complete. I am loved. I do not need a husband. I don’t need anything this world has to offer because He is enough.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. –Jeremiah 29:13
Though I’m not sure whether marriage is in my future, I am confident that I will always have a joy and a hope that cannot be taken away. How beautiful and wonderful it is to know that the Creator cares enough about a stubborn, wayward girl to seek me even when I consistently ignore His knocking. Join me. Choose today to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus, no matter the cost. His grace and mercy can work wonders we cannot even begin to fathom.