by: Staci Landis
As I began to read through the devotional journals from the past two weeks, I realized that I really needed to hear every word that was written in those posts. Our lives as believers will always be filled with ups and downs and we will always be growing and learning and wrestling with the truths that God’s word consistently provides for us.
I haven’t been struggling with the written word of God or his foundational truths, but I’ve been struggling with how to navigate and live out God’s truths about who I am and who he’s created me to be. I've been struggling with the application of my gifts and talents and the ways that God desires for me to use them.
I've noticed that as I move through different phases and situations in life, I enter into the new phases thinking I’ve got it all under control. I think I feel prepared and these are the things I tell myself:
I’m confident in who I am.
I’m aware of what I am good at and what I am not.
I know the gifts I have and I will try to use them to the best of my ability.
I trust in Jesus and I know that he loves me and will definitely guide me through life.
And then the reality of the new phase of life and/or the challenges ahead of me set in. Because I took matters into my own hands, and had a false sense of security in myself, the following surfaces:
I know nothing.
I question everything.
I am doubtful.
I still know and believe that Jesus loves me and has an amazing plan for me, but I do not feel equipped to take on the world anymore. The ways that I navigated through life in the previous phases don’t seem to be of any benefit to me in this new place.
So, what do we do when we find ourselves in new territory or a new phase of life? I wish I could boldly declare that I simply fall at the feet of Jesus and pour out my heart to him and ask for his guidance and understanding. Yes, there are times when I’ve chosen that first, but more times than not, I walk in my own ways and the brainstorming and discussion sessions begin.
I have conversations with friends and family for advice and encouragement.
I spend time reading self help books or books and articles that speak to my specific situation or topic I’m needing to know about.
I do a lot of browsing online for ideas, inspiration, and encouragement.
Sometimes, I ignore my situation and what I need to be doing and I waste time doing meaningless things that do not help the situation at all. I do not use the gifts and talents God has given me to use, and in turn, will usually have wasted so much precious time that I can never get back.
Don’t get me wrong. Some of the above things aren’t necessarily bad to do. But, many times, we go to and do those things first, instead of going to Jesus. I’m guilty of it. And I’m guilty of it in my current situation. I know what I need to do, but I've chosen to try and take it on by myself. We’ve currently made some major life changes and I’m trying to figure out how I can personally navigate these new waters.
What is my role?
How can I use my gifts?
Am I supposed to be doing more?
Am I supposed to be doing less?
Through reading and pondering these past two devotionals here on the Socality Journal, I’m realizing that I don’t have to figure everything out. At least not right now. But I do need to spend time with Jesus and I need to get back to the basics of just entering into his presence with thanksgiving, a heart of worship and with a desire to allow him to speak into my life. I need to allow him to teach me to keep trusting even when I am not sure about what is next. I need to allow him to remind me of all the ways he’s been faithful in my greatest difficulties, times of need and even in times of great joy.
I have been encouraged and challenged through these devotionals and I am thankful for their reminders to trust in Jesus and not in myself. Because he chose ME. And he chose YOU. Not the other way around.
Who wouldn’t want to draw near to and put their faith and trust in a savior that loves us that much?!