By Susannah Judd
Let me tell you right now, I have had my fair share of unpredictable circumstances. Sometimes, things turn out wonderfully better than I could’ve planned. Sometimes, things take an unexpected turn for the worse. Rather than share with you a detailed testimony of the blessings God has both given and taken away (although if you’d like to know I’m happy to share!), let me just give you a glimpse of His work in my life.
Last fall, I was struggling with a myriad of circumstances that felt, honestly, incredibly unfair. Bear with me.
My family had recently reached the two-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. We were dealing with heartache, loss, a cancer battle, and mental illness. Parts of our family were separate geographically by almost a thousand miles. My then-boyfriend-now-husband was struggling with sleep and stress issues that put a strain on our relationship. My college roommate was avoiding conflict and our living situation became unwelcoming, uncomfortable, and hostile. We were dealing with new and unexpected things nearly every week. Difficult, life-changing things.
I. Was. A. Mess.
But God was still good, and I knew that deep down.
We had family friends getting married back in California (where I’m from) around this time as well, and it was good for me to leave my life in Spokane for a weekend to share in their joy. As I flew to Sacramento alone, I had a little chat with God. I’d like to invite you into this discussion, and tell you what I learned by the end of it.
From my journal October 21, 2016:
“Well. Not sure what you’re doing here. And it’s hard to trust you with all of this. But I know You are in control of what seems to me to be chaos. It’s hard to process what exactly is happening here…I am an emotional wreck. Caleb is stressed but a wonderful as ever. Dad is still gone. I am on my way to Folsom, and my mom is in Spokane. There’s just so much. But that makes me think you have got to be doing so much through all of this.”
Boy, was I hurting in those days. I was overwhelmed by the sorrow that God had allowed in my life that fall. Everything felt difficult. I had no peace. Thankfully, He was always calling me back to His Glorious Light. At the time I wrote the words above, I also recorded some of His Words:
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Psalm 51:12, NIV
So, I responded to what He was saying.
“I think this is mostly what I’m looking for right now. That you would sustain me. That you would show me each step as it comes, and that you would help me to take it. I love you. I trust you. I love you, but I don’t get it. I trust you, but I don’t see it yet. I’m glad you’re in charge.”
I am glad He’s in charge. I am a pretty dedicated planner (ask anyone that knows me 😊), but He is so much infinitely better at planning things for my good than I am. Try though I might, His plan is always better. But it is so hard to trust when I can’t quite see the plan yet. I struggled then as I do now, but God is always good. He always comes through. Even in the midst of my anguish, I held this truth close to my heart.
In this tumultuous yet resigned journal entry, I also reflected on my morning prayer time. And I again brought myself back to a perspective of praise, or rather He did.
“This morning I prayed that you would be in control and that I would let you be. Thank you for those words. I like how they sound. I like how they resonate in my heart. So LORD, with all of this craziness, I pray that you would be in control, and that I would let you be.”<<
rayed that God would be in control, and that I would let Him be. Oh, my dear friends, what simple bliss is found in this phrase. I know God is in control. I know He’ll be in control no matter what my silly humanness causes me to do. I know He will always have my best interests at heart, and I know His plans will never fail.
But I get in the way. I need to step aside. I need to let God be God, and I will be me. That’s what I love about the thought I just shared with you. When God is in control, and I am letting Him be, my perspective changes. My heart turns away from relying on my own power and strength and comes to rest in His. My attitude shifts to one of humility. My thoughts become focused on His sovereignty. And in that moment, everything seems manageable again. I can breathe more deeply. I can rest more fully. I can trust more willingly.<<
ill never stop struggling with the temptation to control my own life. And I will never stop failing to do a much worse job of it than He could. I will always need to come back to this: Lord, I pray that you would be in control, and that I would let you be.
When life is unpredictable, much like those difficult months last fall, God’s infinite peace and limitless love are the only things steady enough for me to firmly grasp. It’s been almost a year since one of the most difficult seasons of my life, and God is still good. My family and I are still working through some of those same struggles, but God is still good. That’s the point of living out this Christian life: God is still good.
If I give Him control, He will nurture good in my life, even if He allows a few storms to pass through. If I don’t give Him control, I will not be able to weather those storms. My friends, we can’t hope for anything better than the goodness God has already designed for us. We need to let Him lead.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,<<
ill fear no evil, for you are with me;<<
ur rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4, NIV
Even when we walk through unpredictable circumstances, through tumultuous times, and through difficult days, we have a good, good God to guide us through. But we need to let Him lead.<<
t me leave you with this thought: If you let Him have control, He’ll do a way better job than you can.
Lord, I pray that you would be in control and that I would let you be. Amen.
sannah is a new blogger, a new wife, and a veteran Christian. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Education with plans to teach upper elementary. She and her husband enjoy living in Spokane, Washington, experiencing all four seasons (though she could do without the snow), and regular date-night-in movies and homemade pizza.
Susannah started her blog We Are the Lovely Ones (www.wearethelovelyones.com)in the summer of 2017 in response to God’s leading to share her thoughts and encouragements with the greater community of believers. Her favorite things are Jesus, her cute husband Caleb, and coffee. She is always down to go for an evening walk and has a serious weakness for cookies of any kind.