Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)
11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
My husband wants me to write a blog, he says this is a good start, but I think I’m falling a bit short. He hasn’t given me my cup of coffee yet; I’m not sure how he expects me to focus AND be productive without it… Probably prayer! So here it goes… [insert a moment of silent prayer, because yeah, I need help].
So, there’s this epic verse in the Bible, and it speaks to me constantly. It’s an amazing promise (of course, not greater than the promise of Jesus and His salvation), but it’s definitely a runner up. In Jeremiah 29:11, it states that the Lord knows the plans He has for you (but I’m going to put my name in here, because it makes it personal to me), Stacyjo. See what I did there? Plans for peace and well-being and NOT for disaster; to give me a future and a hope. What speaks to me more than the words “peace” and “well-being”, are the words “NOT FOR DISASTER!” Most of my life I felt like I was a walking disaster. There were times that I had heaped so much onto my own plate, that I had to grab another plate, and another, and pretty soon I was grabbing so many heaping plates of stuff in my life, that I eventually crashed into a wall. I dropped the heaping plates all over the place and had a disaster to clean up.
This is going somewhere I promise…I knew I was not supposed to be complacent but, finding a balance had always been problematic for me. I’m a goer, and I usually don’t stop until I’m totally burned out and crash. I struggled horribly when I first quit my job (to come home and write), and I’m finally finding that even keel in my life. I can tell you that I tried and tried and faced one huge disaster after another, until I decided to start my day by spending time with Christ. [insert sip of fresh brewed coffee here].It brings me comfort to know that He has a purpose for me and my life. That purpose is NOT to be disastrous, and I can find hope and a future in Christ.
First, I had to realize that I have to follow Christ and glorify Him in everything I do. Living a life of sin (especially without regrets and unforgiveness) was creating my own disasters. Second, I needed to find joy in all of my circumstances (which has been a true battle for me) and know that He is enough for me regardless. I had to stop filling my plate with all the stuff and fill it with Christ instead. Third, I had to understand that 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, wasn’t just how I was supposed to love others, but how I needed love myself as well. I needed to truly LOVE MYSELF!
I was not patient or kind to myself, nor was I very thoughtful of my own needs (time with Christ included). I was jealous of others who seemed to have it all, not truly seeing that the ALL they had was Christ. I was certainly rude to myself (never thinking I was good enough), no matter how hard I tried; even through any success, I still wasn’t good enough. Sometimes, in my own grief and self-pity, my miniature violin played so loud in my head, that I couldn’t even hear the loving words of Christ. I kept so many books of my personal sin in my heart, that there was no room for my own forgiveness; even though Christ had already forgiven me. I allowed my sin to shelter me and blind my eyes from truths that were revealed to me along the way. My love for myself was weak, I had no hope, I believed in little, especially during the difficult times; which were many.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (AMP)
4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
I was confident in myself, but not in Christ. My self-worth was at an all-time low, and I was filling the void and empty space in my life by staying busy. I was filling that void with STUFF!
I still stay very busy, but rather than an organized chaotic life, I have a purpose. I’m not wasting my time with stuff, or the distractions and obstacles of life. My focus is Christ. I arm myself daily, by spending time with Christ, alone in prayer, and in His Word. Then, believe this if you will… I am still. That’s a new concept for me, considering the only time I used to be still was when I was sleeping. Satan still tries to come at me with his vocabulary of hatred and lies, and his manipulating tactics to distract me. I just know my worth now and have Christ to deflect and protect me from the devils garbage. I am still human. I still stumble, but when I’m in those valleys of life, I look up and see the hand of God reaching down to pick me up.