I am a card-carrying Type-A, control freak. That means I tend to have trust issues, which is in stark contrast to my Christian worldview. Let me see if I can unravel this war going on inside my head and heart and explain what it has to do with Expectation.
I spent my early adult life expecting that something amazing would occur, and it did. At 25, I was already married, at the top of my career and owned a house. Because I had already achieved MY interpretation of success, I had no vision of anything beyond what I was experiencing. I no longer felt a sense of anticipation for the future. This is where God began to do his work in my control-freak life.
Following that pivotal birthday, I continued to work hard at my awesome job, weekends were spent working on our (fixer upper) house and traveling. All pleasurable, but none fulfilled my soul. Eventually, we started a family and I left my high-intensity job to become a card-carrying Type-A mommy to my girls.
Trust is “confident expectation/reliance on something or someone.” My greatest battle is where do I put my trust? Who do I rely on? Even though I’ve been a Christian for more than 20 years, the war of trusting myself and in my abilities more than anything else is still an often-fought battle. God has gifted me with certain characteristics and talents. The combination is unique to me, as are your characteristics and talents gifted to you. The problem arises when I use these traits without subjecting them to God’s plans for me.
The question here is: Why don't I trust that God has great things planned for me? Why don't I think His plans are better then anything I can hope or imagine for myself (Ephesians 3:20-21)? Why do I believe I have the best ideas (did someone say "control freak?")?
Consider this: God has a plan for each of us, you and me. Isn't that incredible? (“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 and, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” –Proverbs 3:5-6) When we look at our ideas through that lens, shouldn't the real question or thought be: "I can't wait to see what you're going to do, God!" or "What would you have me do, Lord?" Oh, for that to be my go-to thoughts. I'm a work-in-progress, for sure!
I’m going to confess to you now that I have big ideas where my art is concerned. I imagine many artists have this same desire, but I will only throw myself under this bus. I would like to be successful. There, I said it.
Now here’s the rub: That may not be God’s plan for me, AND the kicker is, do I trust Him for whatever His plan for me is? I still need to passionately pursue the goals I have with the gifts/talents He has given me. But the difference is, I'm to hold loosely to my plans, and be willing to have a course-correction, if necessary. All the while, I'm to give thanks to God no matter what happens in the process. Am I faithfully do that? Not always, which is sad because I have personally experienced the joy of trusting God in the middle of unknown circumstances and witnessed it time and time again among friends and family who journeyed through difficult seasons of their lives, fully expecting God to not only be present, but doing something through the event.
When I felt God’s call to start painting at the end of 2014, I stepped into this adventure with little comprehension of the art industry. I had to trust God’s plan for me completely. Funny thing is, I still don’t know exactly what I'm suppose to do with these gifts. But our incredibly creative God already knows the unique plan He has for me (and you), and I know I can trust Him to fulfill it, when I let go, whole-heartedly trust and follow Him. It may not look like I think it should, but His ways are perfect, and I can rest in that promise. For this former Control Freaks Anonymous President (aka: me), it's scary to let go of the steering wheel, but ultimately the absolute best thing you and I can ever do is trust in a faithful God!
Do you struggle with living your life in your own strength, or do you trust that God created you for a purpose? If the former, this battle isn’t unique to you and me. What is unique are His plans for us. Do you trust that promise? We still need to make our plans, but instead of holding onto them with a vice-like grip, we are to live our lives in expectation of what God has uniquely laid out for us, and trust Him in the process!
Please share with me your journey of expectation and trust – it’s always better to adventure together.
Continuing to seek beauty in the every day stuff of life with you,
Featured artwork: “Truth in the Darkness”, 48” x 24”, acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas. Available at lynhiner.com