My name is Jeanne, and I’m a very independent woman.”
If I was standing in front of a “recovery” group right now, this would be my confession. Because when I had surgery on my ACL five weeks ago, I had the mistaken impression that, sure, life would slow down for a little while. But I would saddle up and “git ‘er done,” and life would eventually begin to look normal again.
Two weekends into recovery, I prayed a prayer I wasn’t truly ready for God to answer. I asked God to show me His plans for my day. My mental to-do’s ticked off in my mind, and I knew it was possible not all the items would be on His list for my day. But surely some of our items would intersect, right?
Let me just say now, don’t pray and ask for God to show you His plans for your day, unless you’re really ready for that to happen. I’ve prayed this prayer in the past, and usually God makes minor tweaks in my day. No big deal.
That Saturday morning, as I pulled open the blinds, there was a pop in my already sore lower ribs. “Crutching it” spiked pain into my side, stealing my breath with each step. The only comfortable place was on the couch . . . which meant I couldn’t do anything on my list.
I spent the next few hours having a pity party, and being irked with God. Thank goodness He’s big enough to handle my irritation. And He’s gracious enough to snap me out of it.
When I complained to Him about my plans being disrupted, He reminded me, “But you prayed for My plans to be brought about in your day.”
“But I didn’t mean for You to allow this pain.”
God used the pain to help me begin realizing a few things.
I am not Wonder Woman. Somehow, I still keep forgetting this. I need to remember I don’t have to be strong all by myself.
When I choose independence (depending on myself rather than God), I’m going to run out of strength pretty quickly.
I entered my recovery time with the mindset that I’d get through it and move forward. I assumed God would help me through it . . . on my terms.
What I didn’t prepare for was the mental aspect of recovering from a surgery like mine. I’m not strong on my own. Yet, who have I been relying on? Me. It’s left me discouraged and frustrated.
We all face things that are way bigger than ourselves. The question is, how will we face them? I had to repent of my own independence, my own desire to control this recovery process. God never intended for me (for us) to face this in my own strength.
When I maintain a “git ‘er done” attitude . . .
. . . when I press into the storm, head down and determination driving my every step forward,
. . . that’s when I will eventually be blown over.
It’s only as we lean on Jesus’ strength that we can truly overcome in our trials. We will be changed in the trial. The question is, will the trial make us better or bitter?
When I realized pride was my driving force, I had to confess that too.
When we function in pride, God steps back. Any time pride is at the helm of our decisions, we don’t think we need Him. When we confess our pridefulness to the Lord He will step in and strengthen us.
He makes us brave . . . but we first have to trust Him to do so.
He strengthens us . . . when we see our need for Him.
He holds us up . . . when we’re leaning hard on Him.
When we walk, depending on Jesus? This is when we can truly know His help in the storms.
What about you? When have you chosen to trust God to help you through a trial? What helps you come to a place of leaning on God rather than on yourself?