This has been the summer of accepting unwanted realities. Actually, my last few years have been weighted pretty heavily with this, if I’m totally honest. Illness, challenges, pain, disappointments, shock, loss, grief, acceptance … I personally continue to trip my way through this muck of tangles on a daily basis.
But, the more I look around, the more I can’t help but see:
I am not the only one.
Not by a long shot.
I look at my own family as we’ve been dealing with so much lately – some of which I haven’t even shared here. I see my friends as they cope with such deep disappointments. And those people in the grocery store – their eyes are tense windows to the stresses that have them wound so tight. My patients, their families – all frantically trying to hold onto their normal.
And that’s what we all want, isn’t? To hold onto our normal? Or at least control it? To be able to dream our dreams, and know they’ll just mysteriously come true if we’re really nice and go to church and pray hard enough? You know … like we’re taught we should?
Well … guess what? Sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.
Sometimes reality is an ice-cold bucket of Plan B. Thrown right in our face.
We don’t get a choice. We all have to face it. We all have to accept it. Really. We do. And I promise – if this hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. Believe me.
So here’s the thing: when this happens … it really, really hurts. Right down to the core of our absolute everything. When things aren’t going like we pictured. When we’re praying prayers that aren’t being answered like we thought they should.
“Why not, God?”
When we have an ache that’s so deep, a void so empty that we just want to tear everything and everybody around us apart because the prospects are just so unbearable.
Or … when we don’t even notice there’s anybody there at all … and that they’re also hurting, as well. We can’t even see them standing there.
This is the place that Plan B drives us.
And I know … I write about this a lot. “Growing Nurse Debi” is all about finding beauty in our circumstances. About trusting Jesus. Walking in faith. Focusing on His hope. These are all my struggles.
But I’ve been thinking about something: Do you honestly understand HOW to know Jesus? Because that’s the key to all of this.
Do you know we have to get to the end of ourselves? Recognize that this life is really, truly not about us? This is why we don’t always get what we want, my friends.
Because there’s actually someone more important than us making the plan.
Do you know we need help? That we can’t do any of this alone? That not even a molecule of oxygen enters our lungs but through the power of God?
Do you know that?
Do you know we are all sinners? Every single one of us? No matter how beautiful or successful or undeniably amazing we think we are. We’re all filthy with it.
Do you know that we don’t deserve to be close to God, nor will we ever be until we get rid of the sin? And I don’t mean just quit gambling. Or gossiping. Or lusting. Or lying. Those are sins. I mean we need to get rid of the SIN.
Do you know that sin is not simply doing the wrong thing, but it’s living the wrong way?
It’s about being darned and determined to walk alone. Full of independence. Doing what you please. Wearing blinders to the pain and the consequences all around you. Ignoring any and all truths that may strain how we want to live our lives.
That is SIN.
Do you know we need to lay it down? Get rid of it? Walk away?
Our sin throws up a wall of separation between us and God that cannot ever be scaled. We are forever, ETERNALLY, separated from Him until we rid ourselves from it.
Do you know that we CAN get rid of it?
This is the key to it all right here, my friends:
Do you know you can ask Jesus to wash you clean from sin’s awful stain?
Do you know this is what He came to earth to do?
That this is why he died on that cross?
To save you?
To save me?
As a gift?
We don’t deserve it, but His blood washed us clean.
Do you know you can confess your need of saving?
Confess your need of washing?
Confess your need of Him?
Right here. Right now. Just tell him.
Do you know if you do this, you now stand spotless and transformed? Heaven is now yours and you have been wiped clean from the guilt of your sin. Past, present and future.
Do you know this?
And do you know you will now have full relationship with God?
Do you know this relationship is instantly perfected at this moment of salvation?
Do you know that this will not make all the problems go away, but that you are now filled with the Holy Spirit and equipped with everything you will ever need to walk through this life? No matter what it throws at you, you have what you need.
Do you know this?
My prayer is that you do.
But do you also know that what happens after this point is where your true power lies?
It’s up to us to grow in our walk with God. We just have to choose it.
Do you know we still have to fight a never-ending battle against darkness? We’re just as sinful as we ever were, but now it sickens us looking at it through the eyes of Jesus.
Do you know we have to work daily at learning to shrug off our independence and our plans? To rid ourselves of the disappointment and all that anxiety? This is how Plan B gets easier to swallow. Just like at the gym, people, just keep working it.
Do you know we have to mature into being able to cling as a little child again? Because this is where we finally loosen our grip and see that our Abba Father truly knows best. Not us.
God knows best.
Do you know that merely trying to accept God’s plan for our lives is not the same as actually believing His promises? There is hope in the believing, my friends. It’s that hope that lifts us, keeps us pressing forward.
Do you know we can climb out of our pits of despair by daily preaching His promises to ourselves? Over and over again … find those promises. Google them, if you have to. Just keep preaching them to yourself. It helps.
Do you know that over time God takes our dreams and conforms them into what He has planned for us?
Do you know this can fill us with joy, if we choose to let it?
Do you know that one day you will feel His sweet kiss of love from all this?
I pray for this day to come soon. For you and for me.
And do you know that what we call “Plan B” has actually been God’s plan for us all along?
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“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 hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)