Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all. Proverbs 3:5-7a (The Message)
I'm a pretty confident person. I've been through so many things in my life that I have gotten confident enough to the point that there's nothing that I think I can't do, if I try hard enough. This can be a great quality, or it can morph into a handicap. The problem is that through the years, this "believing in myself" had become such a way of life for me, that deep down I thought I could do the best job at everything. I saw this in school, my family life, my friendships, my relationship. I even, subconsciously, thought this about God.
Recently I've been facing some really difficult situations where I've been trying everything in my power to change them or figure out how to make them better and solve the problem. Surely if I thought about them hard enough I'd find the solution or answer. I'm a pretty smart girl, after all! I tried some things, and they kept making the situation more complicated. I was frustrated. Confused. Scared.
I thought, "hmmmm, maybe I should bring God into this issue. Can't hurt right? Isn't there some verse about trusting God?"
"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."Um, yeah. I can say that verse from memory. I've been around church and God all my life. I learned that memory verse in Sunday School probably by age 5. I'd sang songs about it. I'd had plaques at my house with that verse on it that I would pass by every day. I'd had a bookmark in my Bible with that written on it, probably with a background of kittens or something. So I'd say I've had a certain sense of overexposure to Proverbs 3:5-6.
But suddenly I really read it. It felt like the first time I had ever heard it.
"Trust God....Don't try to figure out everything on your own....Don't assume that you know it all...."I realized the way I had been living my life I had not really been making a real effort of trusting God.
But wait, I trust God. I've been trusting Him all my life. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what I really did was have a fleeting thought that "things will just have a way of working out" and that's about all the thought I'd give to trusting God. I've gone through some hard stuff, but I'd worked hard to overcome those things, so deep down inside I believed that I had figured it out and overcome with my infinite wisdom and dedication.
It finally hit me: this area of my life is completely undeveloped. I have a lot of trust in myself. My brain. My motivation. My problem-solving abilities. My arguing and negotiating abilities. My personality which wins people over and makes me well-liked at work, with my friends, with pretty much everyone.
Then there's this problem I'm facing. I'd tried to figure it out and hadn't come up with anything. What I'd tried wasn't working. So I decided to try something new: trust God. But really trust HIM. Really let go, do everything opposite of what I normally do to try to fix things, and let Him do what He wanted to do.
It proved to be harder than I thought. How could I just let go and not try to figure out what I needed to do to solve my problem? I know myself best right? I know what I need. But I decided to give this trusting God thing a fair chance (a few days at least!). But then things started to happen. It was uncanny. Things started solving themselves. With no "help" from me. I was shocked. They were getting fixed in ways even better than I could have fixed them myself. How could it be this simple? How had I lived without this incredible key to life?
It was me. I was so busy developing and building up my self-confidence, that I had lost my God-confidence along the way. I didn't think I needed to bring him in to the equation, 'cause I was pretty good at getting the results I wanted on my own.
I'd love to say I am a champion at this now. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. I have things crop up every single day where I start to try to solve them my own way, then I catch myself and stop. I look for a verse that shows one of God's promises, and dwell on that every time one of those thoughts comes up in my mind. I know that this is going to be a journey, that eventually it will become second nature, and that with time God is going to grow my "trust muscle". I have to say I'm excited. A little scared because I have a feeling the only way to grow this area is to have bigger and bigger things that I'll have to trust Him in. But it's also a relief that I don't have to find a solution to everything anymore. I don't have to try to figure out a way myself to solve all my problems and the problems of those around me. I don't have to know and plan how everything's gonna turn out. I can relax in the fact that if I "listen for God's voice in everything I do, everywhere I go; he's the one who will keep me on track."
The pressure's off.