So I’m a senior. I have no idea what I want to do with life. You do the math on this confusion equation happening in my life right now. At time, tis a struggle indeed. God and I have had many-a-nights where I sit and complain to him and describe my debacle (like He doesn’t already know what’s going on in my heart). Not gonna lie, I am terrified, but thanks to the da big man, a few Jesus dates and my college ministry’s worship service last week, I have come to terms with this point in life. Allow me to explain what I have learned.
I have been secretly wishing this year would just hurry so I could see what is up next for me in the next chapter of my life. What’s the fun in that though?! I know this year is going to be a big year of growth and experiencing how to lean on God and seeing Him in new light…and I want to skip over that why???? I’ve been in such a hurry to just get answers and get to the end of this year, I forget to just stop and breath and see what He’s up to right now and honestly the fun and memories I can be having right now. I have one more year in college. Never again will I be at this point in my life. As crazy and time consuming as things seem now, after this year it won’t be as east to have movie nights til 2 AM, spend all day in a coffee shop blogging and hanging out with friends nor be able to essentially do whatever I want like I can now. In one of my Jesus dates, I read Philippians 4. I had been so concerned recently with God giving me the answers right now about what I’m going to do next year and what all is going to happen this year. I was super demanding. Not some of my finer moments I admit. This chapter really was a slap in the face. I need to not worry about these things running rampant in my head-I need to take it to God. I need to remember all He’s already done and the fact that He has literally shown me recently how faithful He is. I need to fix my thoughts on right now. When I take my eyes off Christ and off right now, that’s when stress starts setting because my mind starts wandering and I take things into my own hands.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:6-9
#BOOM. Take it to God. Let me translate: Don’t worry about a ting, because every little ting is gonna be alright when God is in control.
Part two of this lesson learned: shred yo plans. Literally. I wrote down my life plans, everything I wanted to do in life and tore it up. One of my best friends and I were joking about doing this and then we thought…nah, let’s do it! We are so concerned with our plans and finding God’s plan for us and fulfilling these things. I’m reading “Radical” by David Platt with a girl I disciple (go get it now if you have not read it, on the reals). The first chapter talks about dropping this American version of Jesus and the church that we’ve become accustomed to and radically changing how we’re doing our Christian lives. Part of this radical change for me had to be giving up what I wanted and putting everything in God’s hands. I encourage you to shred your plans-it was quite liberating. Not even gonna lie though, it was really hard. I didn’t realize how many things I still had a clenched fist on. I think that was the point though. God really showed me what I was still holding onto. I had given a lot over to Christ, but not everything obviously. There are still desires in my heart that I want. By no means is Rachel a free elf now from these things. Ha! I wish it were that easy. This is a daily thing that I’m working on and something I’m reminding myself to do daily.
This past Thursday at my college ministry’s weekly worship service, the speaker said Satan’s biggest goal is to stress you out so you will live in the bondage of fear. Well crud…he succeeded and I let him. Heck, I think I welcomed him in by indulging in the pity party, poor me, I don’t know what to do with life so I’m gonna sit and cry and eat ice cream alone at home attitude. I have lived in fear of the unknown and fear of the possible and stress has definitely been the unlocked window that these crept in through. It always has been. Stress has been one of those ugly things I struggle with. Thursday night the speaker talked about Exodus 4. In this, the Lord shows Moses His power. Moses is nervous and worried that God’s people are not going to listen to him. God uses what Moses knew (his staff) to show him His power. A staff defines a shepherd, it is a part of who they are, it is the most important and significant tool they use. God says throw this down. Throw down your livelihood and what’s defining you. It doesn’t say God said to just toss his staff to the side, set it on the ground, hand it over, etc. No, He says he…
After this, the staff turns into a snake and God tells Moses to pick it up by the tail. (Pretty sure at this point I’d be like, yeah no….). If you know anything about snakes or survival skills, you know not to pick a snake up by the tail because they can swing around and bite you. It is the most vulnerable part of the snake to grab and you have the least amount of control.
God didn’t take Moses’ staff, just as He doesn’t want to take away our gifts and livelihood. He wants us to quit trying to own it. He’s got a plan and reason for your gifts and the things He’s laid on your heart. I need to not own my staff which right now for me is the idea of my future and my life plan. Like it were the snake, we need to pick it up humbly with the realization that we are not in control. I think God does put things on our hearts and we do have a choice, but I let worrying about it consume me. I got distracted by trying to figure out right now what happens come May. I need to throw down my plan. Throw down my staff. For what?? The sake of my sanity. Just kidding. Maybe not. Throw down for God. Throw down for seeing what God has planned. Throw down for seeing Him right now, not wishing to be months in advance when I think I’ll see His plan more. Throw down for right now. Throw down for the gospel. Throw down for God being greater, mightier, more loving and more knowing than I will ever be. Throw down for da big man.
I found this quote on Pinterest and as cheesy and Hallmark card-ish as it may be, it speaks da truth: “Stress makes you believe that everything has to happen right now. Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God’s timing!” Throw down the stress. Throw what you know-faith. His timing is always perfect. Throw down you trying to make things happen and instead humble yourself to make His name greater. What is your staff? What defines you? What do you have a clenched fist with right now?