You Were Never In Control

            Well, friends it has been a week and some change since things started rapidly fluctuating for many of us.  It is an impossible task to get your bearings in a world that evolves and twists by the minute.  Any attempt to pretend that we have some level of control over what is going on is now on fire in a dumpster in a back alley.  With all that change we are now way more socially distanced from some people while others are way more in our bubble than they ever have been (Hello spouses! Please turn the volume down on whatever you are listening to, pick up your dirty socks and cups and don't touch the temperature so you don't end up with your eyebrows shaved off in the middle of the night-I'm looking out for you here.  You're welcome.).  My husband and I are both "driven people" and let's just say that yesterday was our day off and our yard debris is already full so...now what?  I organized years worth of beads last week and my taxes were done the week before that...Lord help us all.  I think in a few weeks, everyone's yards will reach peaks of excellence heretofore unseen by mortal man. 

            When our worlds fall apart we desperately grab at control of something.  This is a very real paradigm shift where our very real jobs and income and loved ones are in very real harms way.  I am not minimizing the devastation, but hopefully offering a mindset in the middle of it.  There are a few things that are constant and true in all the zombie apocalypse that is happening all around us.

            1.  We never had true control over our lives in the first place. 
This is a hard sentence.  It seems untrue.  What we had was predictability and that can feel like control but it's not.   When half your family dies in a handful of years like mine has, you realize that you can't really control much of what is going on around you.  Some of the very biggest things in life we have zero control over, they just thankfully behave most of the time so we can feel relatively comfortable.  We like comfort.   

            Why am I telling you this?  What good does it do?  For me, peace only came to my heart when I truly faced this fact because what IS true is that God IS in control.  It was a serious death blow to my anxiety that went something like this:" You mean all this constant thought swirl of fear and what if's isn't actually going to help me do anything to help this situation that I can't control?  Whew-I guess I'll stop putting my energy into trying to run this poop circus."  Proverbs 19:21 says it better, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."  We can obsess and worry and try to figure out how to take back control of an uncontrollable situation or we can take this big ball of stress yarn to God's feet and talk to him about it.  We can ask him to untangle it for us so we can live in the goodness of this day that we get to live on this planet.  We can ask him what His strategy is for us today and then take some of the extra minutes we have in our day now to listen. We can ask him for wisdom to deal with our current circumstances in healthy, productive ways. "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."( James 1:5).  It is hard on our souls to go through something of this magnitude and also use all our energy trying to control it.  It is our Kobayashi Maru-the unsolvable problem and there are better ways to use our energy right now. 

            Fact number 2:  While we don't have control, we DO have great purpose.  That has not changed. 
It can feel like we are moor-less and drifting.  Jobs, social structure, where we volunteer, our church family, our extended family, etc. all contribute to our sense of purpose, but they are not the same thing as our purpose.  When our snow globe gets shook, it can feel like our purpose is lost, but it is not.  How we live it out will just look differently for a bit.  God created you with great purpose and intent to live in THIS time in THIS space.  Today is not accidental.  Your purpose is not on hold until all this is over.  You are still called to a life of love, to being a light, a royal priesthood, holy and dearly loved, you are still called to live out the gospel and to be the good news, you are still called to seek the heart of God and walk in His plans for you, you are still called to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself.  The foundations of the world may change but that does not.  How will you walk in your purpose today?  Ask God for help to know what that looks like.  He'll show you.  Read up on purpose (Rom 8:28; Eph 2:10; Ps 57:1-2; 1 Pet 2:9, Phil 2:12-16, The book of Esther, the life of David-I could go on...Also read Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl-truly one of the most pivotal books of my life). 

            Know that you are so much more than what you do
You are so much more important, beautiful and powerful than that.  That will help you pivot as what you do will look very different in the days to come.   The truth that you can hold onto as the world shifts is that you are not in control but God is and he (still) loves you and has a plan and purpose for your life in this circumstance and in any future scenario you may face.  Yes it is super scary, uncomfortable, and uncertain but it is also the day that the Lord has made and because of that, goodness and things that we have to be grateful for are all over it (and I know I sound like Pollyanna, but gratitude is a fear dragon slayer.  It actually rewires your brain.  It's science, yo.  Google it.).  When this is not your circus, but somehow these are still your monkeys, these mindsets have helped me walk on a foundation that is firm and steady.  May it be so for you and your heart.

            Also, can I just say that this is a GREAT time to pray (instead of *just* worry) for the world, your neighbors, your friends, the elderly, and to text whomever God puts on your heart and tell them that you prayed for them?       

            The picture I used for this post was left by a kiddo on our porch-just someone doing something from their heart to love their neighbor.  You could say they were walking in their purpose.     

            Much love to you, friends.  I am praying for you as we all journey through this together.          

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