I was not raised in church. I didn’t actually get saved until 2008; and even then, I wasn’t very serious about it. I knew my life was a mess, and I knew people were telling me this would make it better. Well, it didn’t make it better, not at first, because I didn’t change anything else about my life at that point. I was afraid to change, even though I was completely miserable. I was comfortable in my miserable state; I had been there for quite some time! My marriage was a disaster, and my life was out of control, but I couldn’t admit that everything was falling apart. I had dreamed of this family and made it my mission to hold it all together, no matter how messed up it all was or how unhappy I or anyone else was. I wanted my life to be a certain way, and even though it wasn’t even close, I was too proud to admit that it wasn’t, too scared of what people would think when they realized I didn’t have this great life and perfect marriage. And I was way too scared of what my life would be like if it wasn’t like it was. I had no idea what the alternative looked like, and that scared me to death.
When I finally started seeing a Christian counselor and going to Celebrate Recovery and Al Anon, I realized what a control freak I was! I NEVER would have thought that in a million years. I thought I was such a “go with the flow” kind of person. Yeah, not so much! When I finally learned to let go of my illusions of control and let God be in charge, my life started to get better. But I still had to say goodbye to what I thought my life was supposed to be and allow God to guide me. It was really hard to change and scary to realize that I really have very little control over much of anything.
When I started reading, memorizing, and believing verses like Deuteronomy 31:8 (see below), it became easier and a little less scary to make changes and necessary endings in my life. Moses had to say goodbye to his dream, his mission in life that he had been on for years and years! But what did he say hello to? God. We always have God with us when change happens. He is always there for us and will never abandon us. Joshua had to say goodbye to not only his leader and mentor but also a father figure and friend. He had to step out of his comfort zone and into the purpose that God had set for his life. How scary was that? But again, God told him not to be scared or discouraged because he would be there for him always.
God has just introduced another major change in my life, and I don’t know if I would have even gone through it if I didn’t trust this promise. It was a very drastic move out of a very, very comfortable life into uncharted territory again. I know he has been preparing me these last few years for this new season, but it’s still scary. But because I trust him, I can now lean into new and unknown situations because I know I’m not in control! If I am allowing God to guide me and always remember that he is here with me, I will be fine no matter what is going on around me. Don’t get me wrong, the transition has been rough. But rather than being terrified, I am excited for what God has planned for me because I know now that his plans are always good, even if I don’t fully understand them.
Deuteronomy 31:8 is a great verse to memorize — in fact one of the first that I memorized — and it can be a great source of strength when I once again realize that I am not in control. Yes, it happens still, probably always will … I am an ongoing work in progress, so I need these tools to help me be strong and courageous, to let go, and to let God lead my life. He does a much better job than I ever did, that’s for sure!
1 When Moses had finished giving these instructions to all the people of Israel, 2 he said, “I am now 120 years old, and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has told me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan River.’ 3 But the Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua will lead you across the river, just as the Lord promised.
4 The Lord will destroy the nations living in the land, just as he destroyed Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites. 5 The Lord will hand over to you the people who live there, and you must deal with them as I have commanded you. 6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
7 Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. 8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Questions: What change is going on in your life right now? Are you scared and discouraged, or are you trusting God’s plan? What would it take for you to “let go and let God?”
We all struggle at times with letting go of the control we perceive we have over our lives. As you encounter these situations, step back to consider God’s most frequent command in the Bible: “fear not.” As you navigate the twists and turns of this life of change, take comfort in the depth and breadth of God’s loving hand, and appreciate that he is in control.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your promise to never leave or abandon us. Help me to hold this promise close in my heart and never forget it, so that when change comes, I am ready to trust you through the transition, knowing that you are always with me. Amen.
This post was written by Kelda Strasbourg. Kelda is a grateful member of the LivingItOut writing team. She has a love for Jesus and desire to help others find that same love. She has her own business and a border collie named Emily.
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