What do you do when your perfectly planned strategy of how your life is going to turn out crumbles before your eyes? When the life you thought you’d live decides to take a crazy detour that you never saw coming?
No seriously, I’m asking you.
I know we go through ups and downs in our lives, times of laughter and times of tears, moments of joy and of heartbreak. I get that, and I’m prepared for that. But what happens when all the downs, tears and heartbreaks come in one big mother-load? I don’t think there’s an easy answer.
Let me explain where I’m coming from. Recently, after 18 years of leading our church, my parents passed on the baton of senior leadership. While the new senior pastors are phenomenal, very few people will ever understand how this transition feels from a pastors kid’s perspective.
And all the PK’s said? Amen.
I’ve been wrestling with grief and letting go while at the same time feeling God stirring something new inside me. The problem is I have no idea what that new is.
Nothing is black and white anymore. Nothing is certain.
Earlier this year, it was all so much easier. I was skipping through life with time to smell the roses, break them off the rosebush and run before the neighbours caught me. I was so excited by the plan God and I (but mainly I) had come up with, and it was all starting to unfold. And then, without warning, everything changed. If I was skipping before, now I was on a rollercoaster, holding on for dear life. Everything was moving so fast and jolting so unexpectedly in different directions that there wasn’t even time to scream. All I wanted to do was shut my eyes until it was over. Have you ever felt like that?
I read a tweet the other day by Beth Moore. I’ve adopted her as a spiritual Aunty… She just doesn’t know it yet. As I read it, I felt like she had pinpointed my situation and how I was feeling. Aunty Beth was ambushing me. It read:
I’ve seen a pattern. God calls people, gives them vision, starts them on their way and just when it’s looking good, humbles and crumbles them. After the divine humbling and crumbling, the called is sure he (or she) has blown it and it’s over. He (or she) doesn’t realize that only now is he (or she) ready to serve.
I read it and wanted to scream and shout, as if I was Mrs Jakes at a TD Jakes rally. Unfortunately, I was in a long line at a busy Gloria Jeans. I decided a room full of caffeine-deprived people was hardly the right environment to practice my “Bless you Bishop” shout. I decided a smile and pressing the little star on the tweet to “favorite” would have to suffice.
That tweet made me uncomfortable, teary and completely hopeful.
I don’t have all the answers yet (shocking, I know). I’m still working through what this “new” thing is. But now, I’m working it through with God, totally trusting Him to show me. He’s taking me somewhere, and I’m letting Him.
If you find yourself on a rollercoaster of confusion, hold on. God is taking you somewhere. It may not be obvious today or tomorrow. But when it is, when He shows us, I think we’ll smile, nod, and press the favorites button.
Hindsight. Isn’t it beautiful? When people ask me what super power I wish I had, my answer is always immediate hindsight. Impossible right? Well, duh. That’s why it would be a super power!
Where was I? Hindsight. Right. So while we might not have it now, we can be confident that God does. He sees the beginning from the end. He’s with you right now in your moment, and He’s also in your future, getting it ready for you.
This humbling and crumbling doesn’t last forever. Soon we will be ready for service, more reliant on Him than ever before.
So what do we do in the meantime? Stand.
Ephesians 6:13 - Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.