I am a planner. I enjoy my To-Do lists. I like to have a plan in place then work each step to completion. People say I am organized, yet I can easily shift into “control-freak-mode” at times. I think there is a fine line between the two.
The last year-and-a-half has given me the opportunity to work on my control issues. You see, back in December of 2016, my husband and I felt like God was bringing our season in Illinois to a close. We sensed a restlessness growing within us. For several reasons, we felt like God was calling us to a new adventure in our old state of Michigan. At the time, I also felt like God was cautioning me that we would encounter twists and turns in this transition. Does this sound mysterious to you? It sure was for me.
It is now May of 2018. We are now 18 months from our initial plan to move. We are 18 months into not knowing when we will move. It is a season of not knowing where we will be 30 days from now. We are 18 months into keeping our house in showing condition. We have 18 months’ worth of reminders for our sons to keep their rooms clean and orderly. We have 18 months of living in limbo with one foot in Illinois, and one foot in Michigan. As you may have guessed, I have a few feelings about this.
Normally, living in the unknown this long would have driven me to distraction because I like stability. I like to predict what’s around the corner. This time I have no idea what’s happening next. Yet, I continue to learn that not knowing the plan is not the end of the world. I can be flexible instead of rigid. I can better trust God during the unknown. I can better rest in the assurance that Immanuel has a plan, and this plan is good because His intentions are good. I am learning to hold on to my plans loosely and tightly cling to Him – even when I can’t see what He is doing.
In the meantime, I have started looking for the things and people that I can appreciate in this season of limbo. Even though my family stayed an extra year in Illinois, I have found plenty of reasons to feel thankful for this surprise. Still, I have been asking God the big “Why?” questions. “Lord, why did we put our house on the market if it wasn’t going to sell?” “Lord, why is it taking so long to sell this house?” “Lord, why are You putting me through this misery?!?”
Even though the questions keep coming, I am learning to rest because I know my God is with me.
I feel like God has tenderly met me with my questions. He has been patient with my unending frustrations. I sense His gentle reminders that, even when I feel completely out of control, He is in control. He has what is best for me and my family. More than selling our home, more than a decent offer on our house, God is interested in my character. He wants me to learn to trust in Him. He wants me to be more comfortable with the unknown. He wants me to feel peace, even in the absence of a plan. My character is most important to God because learning to rest in Him will deepen my intimacy with Him.
While I still struggle with “freaking out” at times, if I remember God has a plan for me I feel peace. My prayer has changed from, “God, please sell our house quickly!” to, “God, don’t let me miss the lesson You have for me.” I must admit. I often tack on, “And, please, let me learn this lesson quickly.”
Where is Immanuel stretching you today?
I pray you can sense His peace and delight in you as you navigate the rocky terrain of life and relationships.