“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
This verse is really convicting me. As I read those words to myself out loud, I realize that I’m terrified of the future. Not so much because there is something coming that seems horrifying (losing my son was and has been horrifying enough) but because I truly don’t know what comes next. I’m scared to look past today because there has been so much unknown in my life these last months - and years, really - that has led to heartbreak, that I don’t want to think about the future yet I also feel stuck not being able to fully enjoy today. How can I honestly be content in this place? How can I fully pour my heart into the place God has led me and be joyful? Is it really possible to be content here, in the shadow of loss?
I hate unknown. I’m a planner. I’m not strict and set on one way of achieving a goal or sticking to a specific plan, but I’m a planner. I’m happiest and most comfortable when I can control the what ifs and manage the possibilities. I like to think ahead and work through scenarios and have a plan A, B, C, and even D. I don’t always know how exactly I’m going to follow through, but I try my best to stick to the plan and eliminate as much unknown as is possible. I know that’s probably how so many other people feel… does anyone really enjoy unknown? Even so, its one of the things that I find myself fighting God on the most. I want Him to learn my love language already. If He really loves me, He’ll fill me in on the gist, right? If I’ve learned anything about myself and my relationship with God through all of this, its that I have to trust Him in EVERYTHING. I have to relinquish control and follow his lead. I have to know that He has clothed me strength and dignity as a woman of His kingdom so that I can laugh without fear of the future.
As I get through my days, so often pained by the reality of my son’s absence, I have to remind myself that God has provided through every step of my journey on this earth. He has always given me exactly what I need to survive - and so often thrive - in the situation and circumstance that I find myself in. He has given me strength. He has showed me His love in countless ways. He has never ceased to follow through on His promises to be my shepherd. So why do I fight Him so much? Why do I find myself dreading tomorrow and feeling frustrated by today? Is there a part of my life that I am content in?
I saw a quote on my instagram feed while I was waiting in airports yesterday. It said, “Our hearts were never designed to be followed, but to be led. Our hearts were never designed to be gods in whom we believe; they were designed to believe in God.” (John Bloom) It linked to an article that I gave a half glance as I was boarding my plane. The words struck me though, and one of the verses used really got me thinking.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
- Jeremiah 17:9
My heart is broken right now and its lying to me. It’s telling me that because its broken, I can’t enjoy today and I must fret over tomorrow. But that’s not what God says at all. In fact, He says (and shows over and over) that He’s got this. That tomorrow will take care of itself because He’s in control. That He has led me to this place and He’s going to sustain me through it. That I don’t need to dread the future or hurry through the present or forget the past. He has orchestrated all of it and is with me through it.
I have a hard time relinquishing control but God has never failed me. I’ve been disappointed and I’ve been mad, but He has never failed me. Today I’m going to pray for the strength and dignity displayed in Proverbs. I’m going to pray that I would laugh without fear of the future. I’m going to pray that I would not follow my heart but instead have my heart follow God. I’m going to pray that I wouldn’t listen to the lies I’m telling myself about future worries and discontent in today, but instead look to God’s Word as my encouragement and sustainment for today and every day.