I have learned how to crotchet; I needed a hobby that would keep my hands busy, occupy my mind, relax me, allow me to be productive and easy to travel with. Well I found all of that in learning to crotchet. The other day I was working on what was suppose to be a scarf, but suddenly I was far into my work and realized that it would be too wide to be a scarf. I was left with a choice, undo all that I had worked on or figure out how to expand my work to make a scarf. I had to learn to be flexible, of course I wanted to make a scarf but a blanket seemed to be the right idea.
This is a silly little example, but I think that lately I have seen more and more “tests,” if that is the right word, that suggest that God is pushing me to be more flexible with my plans and trust him. I feel that I need to explain something–I believe fully that God has an active hand in every aspect of my life. I often joke that Jesus and I are very good friends, and I know that he is with me everyday and every moment–no matter where I may be. With that being said, I believe that I can see God’s hands on so many aspects of my life urging me to trust more and let go of my plans. Currently, as I sit here and write this post I am supposed to be about to board a plane to Scotland, but I had to be flexible, my flight today was canceled due to bad weather and I had to change my flight to Wednesday. Now, I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t a bit pleased that I had to alter my plans. But the point is, I am a bundle of stress and something like a canceled flight severely challenges my peace of mind. Especially when that canceled flight threatens my ability to go to my classes and then my carefully laid out plan goes up in smoke. BUT I told you that this was a lesson in flexibility.
So this morning as I discovered that my flight had been canceled, I felt it, the stress began to bubble and my mother had to remind me to bring it down. So I tried to reign it in, and the mantra that I have been saying for the past few days came into mind– “I trust you [Jesus].” These simple words calm me down and reaffirm my faith. I have been working on my trust for the past month, letting go of my control and learning to be flexible and to be open to the changes in the path. And these three [four] words are words that cut through the fear, anxiety and stress. I have been uttering these words, reaffirming my faith and putting my trust into God. Every time I say it, my heart inches forward just a bit and I open up my heart to more and more of God’s peace and love.
I had a plan when I entered into my masters program. I was dead set on French Colonialism, I had previously started a project with it my senior year of college but that plan was altered when I chose to table it. So I planned to table it and use that project as a proposal for my masters dissertation and a potential Phd proposal. However, we all know what can happen with our plans, they can easily and often do fall through, and sure enough this plan fell through. Another opportunity fell into my lap, an opportunity I never saw coming and an opportunity that I would be an idiot to pass up. So I had to learn to change my plans–to be flexible, to trust God. Letting go of my control and my plans so that I can embrace the plans that God has for me. And so far, despite the fact that I haven’t even started the research yet, I know I have made the absolute best decision. Choosing to change the course of my masters was tied up into a lot of fear and I am putting myself out on the chopping block, opening up myself to being academically vulnerable with a subject that I have had one class on. That is scary and for me it was causing fear that left me stuck. But I chose to allow my feet to be relocated and moved onto God’s plan and I am so thankful that I did. I am nervous, being vulnerable academically–allowing myself to be open to brutal criticism is hard, but it is what God has asked me to do, it is what is going to make me a better historian and future teaching. So I am learning to be flexible and with every stretch I am learning to breath into the stretch and trust God.
Trusting God is one of the absolute hardest things. It causes us to wade into deep waters, where the shores are no longer visible and your feet can no longer touch the bottom. But trusting God will always lead to the most beautiful destinations, the paths may be a bit bumpy and we will most likely be faced with some of the scariest things but we will always be in the palm of God’s hands. As a dear friend’s mother told me: “God wants to give you the choicest piece, the absolute best” and I have learned that begins with trusting God, taking Jesus’ outstretched hand and saying “Jesus, I trust you.”
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Friends, I am not sure where God is asking you to be flexible and to trust him. But I pray that you open your hands and be fearless (these are two things a very dear friend mentioned to me and I loved the idea of them and what those words mean). Open hands to let go of what God is asking you to let go of and open hands to receive what it is that God wants to give you. Fearless–trusting God in every aspect of your life and be willing to be flexible and to go down the paths that God is calling you to, the paths that just might scare you the most.
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Peace, Joy, Love and Blessings–Margaret