August 5, 2011
When Good Isn't Always God's Best
"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you." Job 22:21 (NIV)
I always thought I would be a professional woman. I'd gone to college, bought the briefcase, suit and heels, and planned my future. Although I wanted children, I envisioned them complementing my life, much like a pretty piece of jewelry. Little did I know God had a completely different agenda.
In a span of four years, my husband and I had three little boys. All active.
I just about lost my mind. Seriously. I remember grocery shopping alone with them...once. Four-year-old Joshua promised he would walk next to me, which of course he didn't. So there I was, chasing Josh, with two-year-old Dylan trying to climb out of the cart to follow and baby Robbie screaming because he hated being confined. I felt like climbing over the cart, and running down the aisle screaming myself.
From that day on, I embraced bribery with no shame. If it got me through a shopping trip, I tried it.
But it wasn't just shopping that did me in. I dragged my three little boys places I saw other mothers take their children. Only their little ones sat quietly, playing nicely with small toys. My boys however, saw an adventure waiting to happen everywhere we went. If they were quiet, that meant trouble. I lost track of the number of meetings and events I left in tears, angry at what seemed like limitations on the life I thought I was supposed to have.
During those early years of parenting, I tried to regain my old life, and find the old Glynnis, but it just wasn't happening. My personal goals slammed into reality on a daily basis, leaving me frustrated and questioning what I thought was my calling.
With a college degree, wasn't I supposed to be pursuing a career? Didn't God want me to use my administrative talents in the church? Wasn't I supposed to volunteer to lead women's ministry, direct vacation Bible school, head up an outreach program and sing in the choir? If so, why couldn't I do it all anymore?
I had been going a hundred miles an hour my own way. And not once did this God-following girl stop to see if I was letting Him lead. I didn't ask for His priorities. After all, my responsibilities and choices were all "good" things. And, God had equipped me with talents to do them. But there was a problem I ignored — they weren't God's assignments for me at that time.
It took a mini earthquake in the form of a cross-country move to get my attention. With that move, God took away all those "good" things. For a time, I rebelled in my heart. I blamed my husband for taking me out of God's will as I saw it.
My life felt empty, with nothing left. When I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, I looked up and saw there was something: a loving husband and three precious little boys.
In my determination to serve God the way I always had, I missed that He had changed my mission field. No longer was it focused outside my home. God showed me that my first line of ministry was to my husband and children. This realization rearranged my priorities and changed my relationship with God and my family.
I learned that good things aren't always my assignment. And just because I can do something doesn't mean I should. Those three little boys are now teenagers, and God added two girls to our family six years ago. He also added back in career and volunteer responsibilities that I do from home. But one thing has not changed: I must seek God's will for my life in this season...because this season isn't last season, and good isn't always God's best.
Dear Lord, thank You for loving me in spite of my stubborn and determined ways. I'm sorry for the times I've neglected to seek Your will for me. Help me to become a woman who submits her dreams and goals into Your loving hands. You have never failed to bring me joy and satisfaction when I do so. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
P31 Woman magazine
Glynnis is celebrating the release of her newest book, I Used to Be So Organized. If you'd like to order a copy, click here.
Visit Glynnis' blog for a giveaway of her latest release, I Used to Be So Organized.
Is there commitment or responsibility in your life that has stopped bringing you joy, or adds stress to your primary relationships? If so, ask God if it's time to release this responsibility.
What fears do women have when it comes to submitting their dreams and goals to God?
What are some of the benefits to embracing the season (and inherent limitations) I am currently in?
Romans 12:2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 10:23, "'I have the right to do anything,' you say — but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'— but not everything is constructive." (NIV)
© 2011 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105