question marks

Sometimes life can be this big question mark that we can’t even begin to try and figure out. Part of being a human is having this natural tendency to question and overthink everything; especially if you’re someone like me. I comb through every detail of life. I try to control every little aspect so I know for sure that everything will go right; or I know that if it goes wrong, I did everything in my power to make it work. The problem with being like me is that we are never as in control as we think. Sure- we have the ability to control many things in our lives, but we fool ourselves into thinking that we are in charge of our lives. We aren’t. The One who made the Heavens and the Earth and the oceans and the mountains is the one who is ultimately in control of our “destiny”.

This year sure was a testament of that in my own life for a few reasons. My whole life I was an insecure mess. I never loved myself like I should of and I was my own biggest critic. But, the one aspect of my life that I felt safe and secure in was my faith. My relationship with God was always something I felt so confident about and that was the one thing I felt rejected in this past year. I applied to be a middle school small group leader at my church my freshman year and when I didn’t get chosen it absolutely destroyed me. I wanted more than anything to be able to make an impact on at least one girl’s walk with God and getting the e-mail that I wasn’t selected to do that broke me. Then this past November, I applied for a mission trip and I faced the second e-mail of doom saying that I wasn’t chosen for a mission trip this year. I tried hard to have a positive attitude about it, but the ache in my heart was outweighing what I was trying to tell my brain. Then, this past March I applied to serve as a small group leader in the middle school ministry again. I had a good attitude going into it and I was full of hope that this was finally my opportunity to change someone’s life. I remember I was pulling up the driveway in the car with my mom as I opened my third e-mail saying that I wasn’t chosen. As I read those words again, I broke down. The people who know me know that I am not an emotional person and I don’t ever cry. But in that moment, I bawled until my eyes were raw. My mom and I sat in the car for 30 minutes as I cried my eyes out. I kept asking her why I wasn’t good enough. What was wrong with me? Why won’t they pick me? All I wanted to do was help someone. I wan’t to be a light of the Lord in someone’s life and be that person that helps them find their path to God. My mom told me something that truly changed it all for me. She told me that I didn’t need to be a small group leader to change someone’s life. I had that opportunity everyday. She said that someone else was going to be able to have their lives changed from that mission trip and I had to be happy for them having that opportunity. God used my mom that day to change my outlook. She turned that big question mark I had about myself into understanding. I realized in the car that day that everything happens for a reason. God placed those rejections in my life for a reason and I had to learn that they were all there to help me grow- and I did.

My second big question mark came when my family settled into our first year of my parents divorce and with the years leading up to it. I thought I had the ability and power to try and keep my family together. Through every argument, I tried to be a mediator and believed that my efforts were enough to make everything okay again. I truly thought that I, a middle school little girl, could control my family’s fate. Looking back now, knowing what I know now, I can see just how foolish I was to think that I could try and do God’s job. My parents divorce wrecked me for quite some time. I hid it well and bottled it in, but ultimately I was just sad. My heart was heavy and that’s when I looked to God and just saw a big question mark. I wondered why He was doing this to me. Sitting here all those years later, I can see what He was doing. He was playing out his beautiful plan all along, it just took me a while to see it. Sure I still get sad and want my family as one again, but I never lost a family. I never lost anything; I just have a new type of family now and that’s okay.

God works in ways that we as humans aren’t even capable of understanding. Besides, who do we think we are to even be able to comprehend the plans of a perfect God? That’s something our flawed brains aren’t able to grasp. It takes us time to see God’s plans play out. He’s always working on our side. He is always there- even when you feel like you’re alone. We’ve all had those moments where we think a situation is awful and we blame God for placing it upon us, but we look back in the future and see that it was actually a good thing. Those are called “blessings in disguise”. So when you are in one of those situations where you feel lost or look at life as this big question mark, hold on to the fact that God IS there. He’s working on your blessing in disguise.

-c