“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!”
~ Job 1:21
We hear it all the time: It’s all part of God’s plan. But sometimes it’s hard to accept that God has a greater vision than we can imagine and that He has a plan, which may or may not include what we think we need right now.
The quote above, taken from Job, reminds us that faith means trusting in God to give, or to take away, exactly what we need, based on His plan. Job makes this acclamation immediately after finding out that all of his sheep, camels, and livestock have been killed, as well as all of his children. He had been one of God’s favorites, blessed in every way, because of his great devotion to his Lord. And his devotion never wavered, even though he lost everything, because Job had faith in God’s plan.
I don’t always trust in God’s plan. I know I should, I know that He will take care of me and bring me down the path He has created for me to reach Him. But it is hard, really hard, to give up control of my own life and let God’s plan take over. I want to make my decisions, I want to fight the current to get the things I think I want and need. And every once in a while, I realize what I’m doing. Recently, my husband triggered this moment.
Our little family of two (and a cat) is in a state of flux right now and (not so) patiently waiting to see where our little raft lands. It is likely it will involve new jobs, moving, and a new home. The career-woman in me is full “climb the ladder, support the family” mode, actively hunting down jobs and researching real estate pricing and school districts, as we’re hoping to find a fairly permanent home on this move. I’m running full speed because I am so uncomfortable with not knowing what comes next.
The other day, my husband looked at me and told me to calm down. Told me to stop running in circles trying to take control. He said something that blew my mind, “I find that the right decision just happens to me.” At the time, I laughed at that idea. “Oh, sure,” I thought, “all the right choices just land in your lap.” He pointed out that he chose to go to Notre Dame because he walked on campus on his college trip his senior year and said, “This is where I’m going to go.” He didn’t even apply anywhere else. (I, meanwhile, applied to wide variety of schools, none of which was ND, saw some rejection, made some tough decisions, then wound up doing it all over again a year later when I was unhappy with my first choice.) He’s right though, about it being the right decision. We’re both grateful ND alumni, with a slew of very uniquely Notre Dame memories, and we met on campus. Our favorite place on campus, to this day, is the loveseat (now replaced by a wing-back chair, last I visited) in the bay window on the second floor of Alumni Hall, just above the main door.
“The right decision just happens to me.” Over the course of the subsequent days, that thought ran through my head over and over. I continued to laugh at it at first. “Well, that explains why he married me,” I chuckled to myself, fancying myself the kind of person who “happens to” someone. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what he was really saying. He is okay with sitting on our raft and waiting to see where God see fit for us to land. He knows that God will take good care of us, and He has a plan. And he has the serenity to be at peace with letting God make the decisions.
I live in constant amazement at what God does for us, how He cares for us, and the awesome gifts He gives us. One of the greatest gifts God has given me is the man I married, not because I “happened to” him, but because God sent him to me, and me to him, to help each other on our way down the path God has set before both of us.
God grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference