Friday, July 29, 2011

What I'm Learning from God Lately: Trust

God is doing a lot in our lives. A lot. Our lives have changed drastically in the past two years.

The backstory:
Ever since a junior in college I wanted to get my PhD in English.  All I could think about was getting into grad school.  Getting into the best school.  Being the best student.  I prayed and prayed, agonized and begged.  O God please let me get into grad school.  My GRE scores were less than stellar, so I was sure I would be rejected by all schools.  Nevertheless, I got in!  We moved from Louisiana to Delaware. It was like all my dreams had come true! This was it! My life was finally starting.

So, I went, I studied, I wrote.  I was in an MA program, loved it and was sure I wanted to go for the PhD.  Once again I started the process with God. Please please pleaseeee let me get in.  Like before, I got in. I was so excited and sure this was what I wanted.

Yet, once summer started God began tugging on my heart.  I say this not to be cheesy (although I know how it sounds), but because that is exactly what He did.  I was a strong believer.  I loved God. I wanted to serve Him.  However, I was learning that I was believing with my head and not my heart.  God began telling me that a PhD was not what He had for me.  There was so much more I could do with my life.

After much prayer and thought I decided to leave the PhD program.  And, for the first time in my adult life, I wasn't in school. It was a weird but interesting time.  I finally could do things because I wanted to rather than because I was supposed to.  It was nice.

My husband and I moved from Delaware to Philadelphia (because how much more exciting is the city!) Once we settled in, God started teaching us about loving others.  We started thinking and praying about what it means to live the Gospel.  How do we help our community, the world?  We felt led to participate in missions and started seriously looking at missionary organizations.

Our spiritual lives were significantly changed. Our perspective changed. We felt like we were finally living for something that mattered.  And, we were praying for direction and the ability to obey when God called.

Sure enough, He did. And it wasn't what we expected.  We were visiting Louisiana for a wedding.  My husband and I both felt that God was calling us home.  So, we moved and here we are.  Trying to figure out how to live the Gospel, trying to find jobs, and figure out our lives.

So, back to what God is teaching me lately.

Trust and letting go.  I am an over-thinker.  I over-analyze everything.  For me to let go of my ambitions and seek what God has for my life has been both freeing and frightening.  It is an amazing feeling to live in the present and trust God for provision.  But, it is also stressful--I like to be in control of my life.  To relinquish that control is. . . tough.  But, I'm glad I'm trying.  And, its going well.  I feel at peace--even when it seems there is an impending storm--the blackening of clouds ahead.

I know, though, in both my head and my heart, that God is there and He is in control.  It feels good!

How has God taught you to trust Him? Do you find it difficult sometimes?

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