Leaving work this past Friday I became flooded with those always welcomed, often fleeting, feel-good emotions of gratitude where you insist that the sky looks that much bluer and the air just smells that much fresher. It’s like I was wearing fantasy glasses with “Pinch me is this RL (real-life)?!” lenses. They’re some of life’s best moments, and yet…
I’M PETRIFIED OF THEM.
Amidst my overjoyed emotions this stupid voice in my head likes to shout, “Stop being ridiculous! This will never last! You’re setting yourself up for disappointment”.
Ugh. So I quickly come back down to reality and think, “Yea, I guess the sky really isn’t all that blue [taking off my polarized sunglasses]. Whatever. On to the next thing.”
Reading over that thought-train kind of makes my skin crawl. But it’s SUCH a real and easy thing to slip into.
Case in point: I was group texting my mom and sisters leaving the office that same afternoon, and I sent a simple text about how I was enjoying my new role. “It’s a good fit for me.”
And then I felt this little gut check as if God was saying, “Really, Kait? After all that? Just a ‘good fit’?”
[OY. Ok, God, give me a take two.]
The second text I sent was pretty freaking ecstatic; including how I couldn’t believe the newfound flexibility I’d been given. I wrote how it was something I’d seriously been desiring and thought could’ve only ever been made possible when I was like 50 y.o. [if ever].
In this text to them, I also decided to credit God this time–for His faithfulness and for giving me exactly what I’d longed for and didn’t even know how to go about looking for, even down to the smallest of details [i.e: an office with my own desk, and a flexible work-from-home option, a quiet, but collaborative space, introvert-friendly, but about people. Business-oriented, but with a Kingdom mindset. Experience in entrepreneurship and grass-roots marketing.]
He heard it all.
Hitting send on that second text felt good. It was as if I’d finally allowed myself to settle into that big, fat comfy seat of gratitude for a second.
I realized, I’d been trying to field all the “How’s the new job??” questions with a simple, “Good. I’m learning a lot“.
Because that feels safe, right? It wouldn’t make anyone else feel bad about their own situation either. And who knows where I’ll be with it 6 months from now. That response wouldn’t set me up to be let down later if/when I experienced any disappointment with it – when it gets hard, or when it isn’t as new and fun and exciting.
Then it dawned on me [thank goodness].
By operating that way, I’m literally capping my own joy. And if that attitude keeps up, the job probably would feel just as ho-hum 6 months from now. Maybe playing it cool, isn’t that cool after all.
My disposition had been expecting disappointment versus expecting the faithfulness of God–the exact opposite of what it should be as a Spirit-led, faith-filled believer.
A simple response of “good” doesn’t give God the glory, it doesn’t give testimony, and it surely doesn’t make God feel like he should entrust me with even better news & circumstances. I mean, it’s not like I’d really even give Him the due praise, right?
Rather, if we really believe he’s this great big God, the King of Majesty, the creator of the Universe, and the ruler of Heaven and Earth (and I really do!), then we can and should expect good things. Through our positive expectations, we allow events and outcomes to naturally flow to us… even if and when the initial results aren’t what we thought they’d be.
Because when you expect the faithfulness of God, and look for signs of it everywhere, you experience a lot less unnecessary suffering than you ever could by expecting to be disappointed.
As believers, sometimes we need to learn to just get out of our own way, and let God use us how, when, and where He wants to. Finding satisfaction, trust, and enthusiasm in the here and now is an indication of our spiritual maturity. The here and now doesn’t mean your stuck, it means He’s still orchestrating your next move.
Those little gut ‘checks’ we get throughout our days [like I did on Friday] are not random and they’re not nothing. They’re an opportunity to respond. An invitation to control your outcome.
We usually hear them and think “Ugh, no.” – I don’t want to do that right now. I don’t want to be vulnerable and share how excited I am. I don’t want to go talk to that person. I don’t want to sacrifice my time doing that. So we just don’t. It’s whatever, right?
No. These little ‘checks’ are a direct request from Holy Spirit.
In case you haven’t noticed, He’s super polite. It’s more like a subtle nudge in the right direction. A clue so right under our noses, we usually miss it. But if we’ve even remotely started to figure out how he works [and not just how we work], we should actually be responding wholeheartedly, and not begrudgingly (Ugh, why God. Do I have to?)
Whatever happened to, “Your voice I will follow”? I mean, it’s kind of hard to follow and respond if we’re not even listening, or paying attention, and mostly–if we’re not even willing.
[Ohh it gets better…]
Because when we’re willing to become face-smackingly aware of the goodness of God in our lives, and start following the peace of Heaven over the pace of the world, it transcends the “good” circumstances into “great” ones and the “great” ones into glorifying ones.By responding to His subtle call(s), we’re igniting a series of events to occur after it. When you don’t engage, the ripple effect extends far beyond yourself.
What if sharing the testimony of God’s faithfulness in your own life was the spark someone else needed, at the most opportune time, to receive hope for it in their own? We can be a road block, or we can be a catalyst.
Your satisfaction and contentment will continually change in every aspect of your life IF you allow it to. A string of disappointing circumstances is a weapon for the enemy to derail your sense of peace. What’s unshakeable, is in knowing that regardless of it all He never changes. In the pace of life, you can choose to follow His peace. You can learn to discern His voice over the bajillion others.
Our God IS capable of turning your mourning into joy, your feelings of “stuck” into freedom, your “not enough” into abundance, your insecurities into confidence, and your doubts into decisiveness.
But you have to want it. “God won’t force even a good thing upon us if we ask for it in one moment, and then put up our hands against it in the next” (Relevant).
C.S. Lewis writes in The Problem of Pain:
“We are a Divine work of art, something that God is making and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character” (Relevant).
…A ‘character’ of expecting the faithfulness of God.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” [Hebrews 11:1]
He wants us to be more accustomed to expecting the great, not expecting disappointment. So send the stoked text, buy the balloons, let the kite fly, clink the champagne glasses, and let yourself celebrate every tiny victory. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
NEVER MISS A WORD
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