At some point I think I just exhausted myself and I could almost feel the walls around my heart come down. I decided to not be so guarded with people, that’s all I’ve ever been, so I quit and started letting people in. Turns out people have a lot to offer and some of them may even make you better. I actively chose to keep my peace and after a few months I was living Romans 12:18. Turns out, nothing is honestly worth the energy it takes to worry.
Something in me broke in a good way and I just changed. I stopped stressing and kept God in my thoughts, even the trivial ones and I felt so much better. I prayed for energy and ambition and direction because I figured why not? Clearly my life wasn’t going as I planned so I wanted to see what God had for me.
Becoming like Joshua
I dropped my worries and picked up peace. I asked God to show me what to do with my singlehood and I kid you not, I fell in love. I’m a perpetually single woman but it wasn’t until recently that I embraced my status like a warm hug after a long day. I was more motivated, my workouts improved, I got a better job and I was on a better schedule. I had a newfound sense of security and confidence all without a man or a book deal backing me. All I needed to do was chill out and trust God.
The lack of enjoyment I had last year was because of me. Comparison is the thief of joy. Instead of walking in faith I was stumbling in fear. I was so stuck on my plan(s) that I couldn’t even consider God might have something better. I think I wanted to be like Joshua while refusing to leave Jericho. The word conquer strikes up images of Spartans, savages built to fight through blood for honor. Scripture says character through Christ is made up of being a conqueror, so I couldn’t really fathom why I was not going into possess the land. I have known victory before on many occasions. I’m not blinded by rage anymore, I’m not an addict anymore, and I no longer live in fear. Those are just three things I have conquered through Christ. I know what it means to pray and obey, I know it works. I’ve lived through victories but still, I was stuck going around and around on the carousel of life that never stops turning.
What I failed to grasp is that the marching was not pointless. In part one of this article it certainly felt that way but It was part of the plan, not mine but God’s. God had placed purpose in the marching that I had grown tired of. God put purpose in each place I planted my feet. I was so preoccupied with thinking the conquering had to come from me. I thought I had to charge my goals the way David ran to Goliath. I failed to apply Exodus 14:14. Joshua and his army did not physically knock the walls of Jericho down. They did however, march around the place they were promised as many times as they were told to do so.
Going off script
My focus wasn’t on the cross, it was on how quickly I could become a Mrs. and how fast I could have my novel sitting on the shelves in Barnes and Nobles. I was worrying more than I was praying, the moves I was making towards my life goals were like that of a rocking chair, busy moving but getting nowhere. Last year, I had to march to learn all over again that I am in control of nothing. I had to march until I calmed down and stopped arguing. Who argues with God? Seeing my actions written out really does shed some light. I love God for so many reasons, but the fact that He doesn’t stomp me out at the first scent of pride is something I love most of all. I had to march until I stopped weeping for selfish reasons. I had to march until my waiting was on good behavior and I became patient. I had to march until I realized absolute independence is just an idea, and not nearly as necessary as depending on the Lord.
One of the best things I learned while marching was how to be in the moments. Before I was always in the past or the future. When I realized life is not meant to be lived in arrogance as suggested in the poem “Invictus” but instead with humility as illustrated in the words of the poet Janetikz, I started living in the now. It’s nice, it makes for less stress, and less stress means clearer skin. I’m not married yet and my book isn’t published yet but all will come in time. I actually love living in the unexpected. It’s exciting knowing that God does everything on purpose for a purpose. I have wonderful things right where I am. Here and now I have my health, I have my family, I am strong, and I have an adorable Service Dog. I’m making money, I still have time to write, and I have the best set of friends I think I’ve ever had. That’s just naming a few, my list of thankfulness is long and I keep it that way because being thankful is the antidote to jealousy.
I am not the master of my fate nor the captain of my soul, I only end up shipwrecked when I try to control.-Janetikz, Forever and Ever
I don’t know much about God but what I do know, is that when something is in His will, when something that is covered by His grace, there is an undeniable, inexplicable feeling of peace. The way God works is not complicated, we complicate it. When opportunities arise, it shouldn’t feel like a B & E where we have to kick in a window. God can make a door out of thin air. All I know is that when it feels like nothing but a struggle, I’m usually fighting for the wrong reasons. Joshua had years of training before taking the place of Moses. He did not wake up the leader of an army staring at the fortified walls of Jericho. There was a lot of time, a lot of development, a lot of trials, and all of it was training. Continue to march even when your feet are sore. Continue to march even when you’re exhausted. Continue to march even when you doubt the movement. All too soon it will be time to blow the trumpet and everything will fall into place.
“When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.”-Joshua 6:20
Scripture references (NIV)
- “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”-Romans 12:18
- “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”-Exodus 14:14