I’m a list maker.
For those of you that don’t understand list makers, we live in an imaginary world where writing things down and checking them off a list makes us feel in control. If I was the type to laugh maniacally while touching the tips of my fingers together, this would be the time to do that.
I realize that my lists are useless. I mean, I’ve had one since I was fourteen. Sadly, that’s a thirty year old list. And it’s never been completely done.
But it doesn’t stop me from making more. In fact, I’ve often wished I could have a giant stamp made that had nothing on it but a long row of lines with little check-boxes to the right of each line. I may have even priced such a thing on the internet.
I can’t remember.
In the last eighteen months, I’ve ramped up my list making. As a single mom, my life has never felt more out of my control. Everything I have built toward has changed. Dreams I held closely, gone. Plans for my future, gone. Hopes for my children, gone. It’s been what could seriously be termed “The Year of Great Loss,” if I were a dramatic girl.
But I’m not.
Instead, it’s probably more appropriately termed “The Year of Great Trust.” And not because I mastered that skill. Seriously. I could laugh even harder at this point.
But because this year has forced me to do the one thing that has most terrified me in my life: trusting God completely. Believe me when I say that I went into it kicking and screaming, kicked and screamed mid-way, and continue to kick and scream at times.
If only that counted as exercise.
Why the struggle? Because trusting God completely goes against every natural urge in my body. Likely, in yours too. So, choosing to trust Him anyway can only be attributed to the fact that he has placed me in the position of having to do just that—so that I can grow in him like no other time in my life.
It’s as if he’s looked down at all those lists, all those tiny pieces of paper that continue to fall through the cracks, and gathered them up to say: Stop worrying, sweet girl. I’m in control.
Seriously, let me be in control.
And though it may quite possibly be the hardest concept in the Bible to understand, I’m beginning to see what Paul means when he talks about suffering and growth in Christ. Because when we put our hope and faith in ourselves—and maybe our lists—we never fully reach beyond our own capabilities. We keep fooling ourselves into thinking that we will get it under control. We will get it under control. We will get it under control.
Until thirty years later we wake up to realize that it’s never been more out of our control.
But, by looking to him to take control during our suffering, we give him the opportunity to show us what he can do in our lives. Who he can be in our lives. The place he will fill in our lives.
And girls, that is actually a very good place to be. A place not many reach. And a place for which I’m thankful.
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