Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: OVERLOAD (10/06/16)
TITLE: The Joy of Uncertainity
By Teresa Odden
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Had I known God’s plans for my future, I would’ve been overwhelmed by another uncertainty in life. I wasn’t in a position to take on more. Not only was I at a point where I couldn’t take on anything else, the thrill I once had for managing multiple projects was diminishing.
I’ve prided myself on being in control and welcomed a hectic schedule. I preferred having my calendar filled every waking moment. Not only did I thrive in this type of environment, it was a high for me. It was my addiction.
Like any addiction, I could only thrive in this environment for so long. My thoughts and behaviors began to change. I no longer wanted the “high” that came from an overloaded schedule. I wanted to remain isolated, away from commitments, and I had an I-don’t-care attitude. I was becoming restless.
Those moments when I was feeling anxious were those times I was too busy for prayer. The moment I picked up my Bible, the anxiety dissipated. I used the excuse I “didn’t have time to read the Word,” but what I should’ve said was, “I didn’t take time.”
God began using this discontent as a catalyst for change. God continued to show me little-by-little that sometimes just enough of the world is all I need. Taking only what I need is to live knowing everything I have is God’s and to surrender all. My husband and I came to the same conclusion that God wanted us to simplify. We were living the American dream, but what came with that was stress, chaos, a longing for something more.
God was not saying I should feel guilty for the pleasures in my life, nor was He saying I was living in disobedience to His calling. Quite the contrary. God kept us in a specific place, for a specific time, and for a defined purpose.
At the same time, I couldn’t continue to allow schedules and earthy desires, no matter how worthy they are, to take away time and energy from Him. My “addiction” to do more provided less time in God’s presence. God was preparing me to disconnect and detach myself from all I had known. God wanted me to know Him more in order to be more for Him.
I couldn’t live with just enough of God and prayer. It was full devotion or it was nothing. Taking in just enough of God limits my intake of His presence and the outcome of His power.
In the days that followed, I continually filled my journal with prayers and scripture for guidance on whether to quit my job and move to Germany where God was calling us.
The more time I spent talking to God, the more aware I was that He was doing something new in me. I’ve clung to God for many decades, but I couldn’t ignore that I also clung to the life I had created. I held tightly to the security of the world in many ways. I didn’t think of it while I was raising my kids nor did I feel like I was putting my job above God. I began to feel that God was interrupting my routine and structures for something more.
I was learning what it meant for God to do the planning and take care of all the preparations. I had a peace that was unexplainable, and despite being a task-oriented, organization-driven, calendar-focused person, I no longer needed to be in control of my schedule.
After my father’s passing I recognized how God used my overloaded schedule to redirect my path. I crashed physically and spiritually, but thankfully God used it for good. He put me on a new journey where I quit my job, followed His plans, and we moved to Germany.
It was a new start and it’s where I found spiritual and physical rest of a new kind. My new venture is writing and I’m recognizing when I need to submit my schedule and tasks to God. I’m learning to relinquish my plans and follow His agenda, not mine. I’ve discovered the joy and freedom of uncertainty.
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