Step into the sun and break down the wall. In Jesus, you are safe, loved and accepted. Embrace your husband and your life as gifts from God. Embrace God who loves you completely. Trust in who God created you to be. Trust God will always guide you saying, “Here is the path.” Trust God has created you fearfully and wonderfully. Do NOT give up. You will reap the harvest of blessing if you do NOT give up.
The above is a daily mantra that I say to myself. I truly believe in changing your circumstances and your life by changing your thoughts and how you react to life. The week before last we chatted about how important it is to accept your husband for who he is – and I still quoted:
To be honest, I have never understood how women can claim to fall in love with a man, marry him, and then spend the rest of her life trying to change him. What’s the point? Because if you succeed in changing him, he then ceases to be the man you fell in love with in the first place. And you’ll never be able to change him anyway – he will always be who he is and just trying to change him will create such chaos and discord in your marriage, it won’t be worth the attempt.
Then last week, we chatted about accepting ourselves – it’s in accepting the grace that God has extended to us that we can extend grace to our spouses. It’s in knowing that we have been fully and completely accepted, loved and forgiven by God that we can completely accept, love and forgive our spouses. Sometimes, though, I think it is easier to accept our spouses than it is to accept ourselves. I know that I find it very difficult to accept grace from my spouse – I’m always guarded, but here’s the thing: God’s grace and His love comes through human hands. What do I mean – I mean that God operates His blessings through us, through people, through our spouses. So, my husband loving me and looking after me is in essence God’s picture of His love in my life. My loving and honouring my husband could give my husband a glimpse of God’s love for him – God works through people.
But, today, still focusing on the “A” of “Faithful”, I want to look at embracing our lives.
Whether we want to admit it or not, where we are now is exactly where we should be – with the culmination of our thoughts, our choices, and a little bit of life happening to you along the way.
Let me give you an example:
A couple of years ago, before Baby Girl was born, my husband lost his job. He really did try find other work, but he is white in a country that is predominated by Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) practices and he could not find work. Now, we could have relocated to Cape Town, or Johannesburg, where there are more job opportunities available, but we chose to stay here, in Port Elizabeth. It was a choice we made and we have truly battled financially, but we have to at least own that choice. No – the choice for losing his job wasn’t ours. But how we handled that situation most certainly was our choice. Then, about six months after Baby Girl was born – I lost my job. It was such a stressful, trying time – and I cannot tell you the enormous amount of pressure to give a child what they need in terms of food, clothes, schooling, etc. and knowing that the one salary you can rely on is your husband’s and he is still busy building his business. Once again, though, we decided to stay here – so, we have to own that. And we decided that he would continue to build his own business, as stressful and tenuous though that may be.
We also decided to have children quite late in life, leaving us with the opportunity to only have one. Don’t get me wrong – I feel incredibly blessed and honoured to have Baby Girl in our lives, but there was no time for another… It’s a choice we made – whether consciously or unconsciously – and we need to own that.
Things are stabilising for us now and we are in a good place – better than what we’ve been for a long time. I am so grateful and honoured to have God work in my heart and mind and in my thoughts that has led to tremendous growth in me – making me every day to be more like His son. I am completely humbled that God would even notice me, never mind still perfecting His will in me. But, the one thing that I have learnt is that even though God can work His good purposes in my life and in my heart, I still need to own my decisions, and then work from there.
In other words – I need to accept my life.
Or, to put it more spiritually – I need to surrender to my life. And I most certainly do not mean surrender as in give up; we’re called to constantly grow to become like Christ and to run the race until the end.
Hebrews 12:1 New International Version (NIV): Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
But there is a surrendering to God and an embracing of our lives that gives control of our lives to God. I am where I am now because of past decisions, thoughts and actions – but my future and my life can be redeemed by God’s grace and I can’t do that if I am fighting my life all the way there. Sometimes, I just need to accept and embrace what is in order to be able to move forward – giving control over to God. That is what I mean by surrendering – embracing your life, and God’s guidance, to move forward toward God’s plan for your life. God’s plan doesn’t have to be something grandiose – it could be where you are right now. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom wrestling with the idea that this is all you’re ever going to do in life. But, instead of battling against that – embrace it. Being a mom who truly loves her children may be the most important job you ever do. Or maybe, like me, I have to embrace the fact that I need to work and NOT be a stay-at-home mom given our financial situation, and instead of wrestling with that, embrace it. Don’t get me wrong – I would love to be a stay-at-home mom with Baby Girl. While I can certainly present my requests to God and hope and pray that it is His will for me to spend some time at home while Baby Girl is at school, I need to embrace where I am right now.
Philippians 4:6 New International Version (NIV): Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
But that is not where we’re at right now – and I could either fight it; or embrace it.
Life is so much more pleasant when we surrender to it, than when we’re fighting against it all the time.
The Baby Mama