“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
God tells us that He has our future taken care of, that our life is safe in His hands. That should give us so much peace and hope for our lives, knowing that as long as we put our lives in Jesus’ hands, we have a set future. But why is that so hard for us humans (including myself) to wrap our heads around and hold onto? Why do we lose faith and try to take matters into our own hands to control our lives and determine the outcome for ourselves? Why do we limit God?
It’s our human nature. We have been creatures of sin since Eve gave into temptation in the Garden of Eden. But the beauty of God’s never ending grace is that no matter where we go in life, God never leaves our side. Jesus wipes away our stains and makes us pure in His sight. I’m a living testimony to His never-ending grace and love. I’m an example that His plan always prevails.
As I was driving in the car one day the song Priceless by For King and Country came on the radio. Their lyrics wrung through my ears and into my soul.
It might be hard to hear, but let me tell you dear, if you could see what I can see, I know you would believe… That isn’t who you are. There’s more to who you are.
So when it’s late, you’re wide-awake, too much to take
Don’t you dare forget that in the pain you can be brave, can be safe.
Those words spoke truth into my life. You see, I once was bound up in sin and fear. In high school I was in a relationship that turned unhealthy very quickly. I stopped listening to how God viewed me and I started letting people’s opinions and rumors shape how I acted and how I viewed myself. I withdrew myself from others and started to cling onto the guy who I thought could “fix my problems”. I soon learned that putting anyone else in front of God is a one-way street to destruction.
I started losing myself piece by piece. I was trying to chase immediate happiness.
This toxic relationship led me down some pretty dangerous roads. I found myself giving into temptation that led me lying to my parents and those close around me. I was giving into physical desires, I was flipping off God, and falling deeper into a toxic relationship. But all through this I thought I could get out of it any time I wanted. I thought I was in control.
I found myself starting to live a double life. This double life that I was trying to manage stayed with me into college. I tried to be neat and kept together on the outside, but on the inside I was living a life of hurt. I found myself looking for a deep connection that only God could fill.
Through this all I had lost my true identity; I knew that the King of the Universe fearfully and wonderfully made me and that I am His precious daughter. But I forgot though how much He loved me and that He had His hand in every situation. I was living in fear. I was too afraid to share what I had done and gone through. I thought that people wouldn’t love me, that I would repel the one’s who love me most.
None of these circumstances kept God from seeing me for what I really am, a child of His.
I see you dressed in white, every wrong made right,
I see a rose in bloom at the site of you, Oh so priceless
God met me right where I was, extended His arms, and let me run right into them. Through the pain, God brought people into my life to be vulnerable with. He taught me that we aren’t alone in our struggles and that it’s healthy to be vulnerable and honest. He also brought healing and freedom within the healing. But my favorite part of this story is that He brought me my future husband. He gave me the most handsome man in the world who shows me Jesus’ love, fears the Lord, loves me unconditionally, and accepts me just as I am.
In fact, God had my future husband in my plans all along. You see, growing up I was a huge KU fan. Rock Chalk is what my parents instilled in me at a young age. So naturally as a teenage girl, I put posters of KU basketball all over my bedroom doors. Well one day my fiancé and I were at my house, he found himself looking at my door. There staring back at him was one of his mentors, good friends, and the man who is marrying us who used to ball out for KU back in the day. Another poster on my door was a cut out from an ESPN magazine of Mario Chalmers shooting his miracle three-point shot. My sweet man goes “Uh Madison, my roommate’s parents are in the front row behind the goal…” Sure enough! There were his roommate’s parents. Then a light bulb went off in my head. God knew all along what His plans were for me. Even through all of my bad decisions and roads I went down, God had a plan for me and He put it on my bedroom door for me to see!
No matter what, God’s plan always prevails. We don’t have to have our lives together in order for God to work; I’m a living and breathing example of that. Why try to hold onto our lives and manipulate life’s circumstances when we can just give them to God and let Him do what He does best? He always will have our best interests at heart even if we don’t see it in the moment. He is the ultimate author of our lives.
God, help me to see areas in my life that I’m holding tightly onto instead of giving them to you. Lord I want your will for my life. Work as you please and make do with my life, as you want. Your ways are higher than mine, you know me better than I know myself.