I love transitions: the rising and setting of the sun, the moon. I love the smells and feel of fall sinking into winter, winter to spring, of spring drifting into summer and summer to fall. It is a reminder of how frequently and how quickly things change. Life is happening. Time is passing. Transitions remind me that whatever ship I am on is actually moving, it has a direction, and it is going somewhere even when the pace is sluggish—even if my ship feels stationary.
Transitions remind the Brittani who wants to control my life how little control she actually has—and how control is not part of God’s design. I am beginning to realize: when we resolve to let go of our lives, we begin to understand how to fully live. This week, I discovered a piece of my God-paradigm, so familiar to me, I had never questioned it before and it has made “fully living” an impossibility.
My life is in transition. Every aspect is changing and becoming something else, yet I am not enjoying it as much as the changing of the seasons or the rising of the sun. I have just graduated college and I am pursuing multiple paths. I am thinking about graduate school; about after graduate school. I am considering jobs and pursuing writing, a vocation, which is by nature, constantly fluctuating. The sheer number of possibilities discourages and overwhelms me if I am not vigilant in seeking joy. Though I try, I inevitably succumb to the weight of my future. Its bulk is suspended over my body—one ill-thought move will bring it down upon me.
I have praying and processing why I have such a hard time letting go. Why my decisions feel so heavy. Why I struggle to trust God…
When I was small, Barney was a big deal. I had a stuffed Barney, and I believed if I wished hard enough, he would come to life like he did on T.V. He never did and I felt like his obstinate refusal to become anything other than fake, purple fur and stuffing was somehow my fault. I must not be wishing the right way or hard enough. I was not special enough or Barney did not like me, therefore, Barney would not come alive for me—unlike some of my friends for whom, I was certain, he came alive all the time.
Sharing this with you now, I can’t help but think:
Nutty. What an absolute nut.
(It is ok if you think this too.)
Okay, okay, so I was not a nut job; I was just a kid—a kid with a great big imagination. My imagination is still great and big, for which I thank God, but I was living as though my life, my circumstance, depended on me. Our choices, our work and what we do have bearing on our circumstances, however, I have given my part in God’s plan too much weight, and God, zero credit. I used to think if I made the “right” choices and did the “right” things I would be within God’s plan.
Emotional Meltdown Number One:
What is the right choice?
What is the right thing?
If I make the wrong choice, I am not in God’s plan.
Emotional Meltdown Number Two:
God will have to make accommodations for my chronic failure to choose wisely.
Had I made the right choice the first time, God would not have had to make accommodations via Plan B.
I do not know every little stream, which for so long fed into this lake of inconsistency, but I accepted God used a back up plan when we fouled up His original plan for our lives.
This was part of my God-paradigm: God has an infinite number of plans. Ideally, He would like to use Plan A, because it optimizes the good in our lives. But, for example, because I chose to go to a community college rather than straight to a university, maybe God had to go with Plan B, and Plan B meant it would not be as good as Plan A. So it would go, until God reached the end of the English alphabet. Then, He would have to move on to the Hebrew, Greek, French and Spanish alphabets because, let’s face it: I was not going to stop making “wrong” decisions. As the number of wrong decisions increased, I would pay for it by having to settle for plan zeta; zeta being “z” in Spanish, possibly the final language He would use, and the least agreeable plan of all the plans.
As soon as I reviewed my God-paradigm, I was incredulous. It was like going back to a just cleaned floor to discover a piece of grime you did not even realize was there, and the grime is so large and so grimy, you are shocked as to how you could have missed it in the first place. This God-paradigm is not the God I know. It was so woven into how I lived; I did not see the inconsistency. No wonder I was struggling!
The God I know loves me. He loves you, and He is limitless. The choices we make do not limit the good He is going to effect in our lives. There isn’t a Plan B; it does not exist. God has only one plan: a plan of ultimate good. He does not give us “lesser good,” or bless us less, because we took one job over another, or dated one person over another, or ate macaroni-and-cheese instead of a salad.
Realistically, the choices we make do have real consequences and we have to face those consequences, whatever they may be, but they do not put limitations on God’s goodness. God is good all the time, regardless of what we do, the choices we make or the consequences thereof. I know I have said similar things in other posts, but I had never applied it to the choices I make as they affect my life. I made choices as though they were the only way to bring good to my life; God had to work around the poor choices and fix what I broke in an attempt to make something bad, good.
Really, I do not think God is about making bad things good or making bad things better. He is not about taking the broken ceramic of our lives and piecing it back together with omnipotent glue. God is about re-creation. He re-fires us. Changes us. Makes us new. No pieces. No holes. No glue.