Monday, September 30, 2013

Letting Go ~ by @emilylaney

Photo credit: Artotem (creative commons)
By Emily Walters Laney

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  
Proverbs 3:5-6

I’m going to start this post out today by confessing something to you all:  I’m a planner.  Okay, if I’m being honest, I’m a bit of a control freak, too.  I am really good at planning out my life, my family’s life, my career, my year, my day.  If you name it, I’ve probably got a plan.  Twenty-year plan, ten-year plan, five-year plan, yearly goals, daily to-do list - Yep, got those.  I really enjoy task lists, plans, schedules, and agendas. 

It’s not bad to be a planner.  It’s not sinful to be organized and task oriented.  In fact, planners help make things happen.  Organizations with strategy and mapped-out plans tend to reach their goals.  Many successful people have goal lists and a personal mission statement and plan.  It’s important to have purpose and goals for your life.

There’s a catch.  When we get engrossed and obsessed with our own plans, we can miss the powerful plan God has for our lives.  I know that I have the tendency to go to God with my plans clenched tightly in both fists.  I pray, asking God to reveal His plan and His purpose, but I refuse to open my hands and drop my ideas at His feet.  They stay clenched at my side, a death grip on the "perfect’" plans that I have.

You’d think that after years and years of God rocking my world with crazy awesome twists and turns that I’d have figured out by now that His plan is so much better than mine.  I’ve gotten better at surrendering, but sometimes it’s easier to stick with what I think is the ‘best’ option.  The irony of this mindset is that usually our plans are not the best.  I’ve just ended a season in my life where I really thought I had a perfect plan figured out.  That plan didn’t work out the way I thought.  I was left wondering what on earth God was up to, and I was disappointed.  

“Lord,” I said, “I really thought I had this figured out.  Why am I sitting idly?  Are you going to come through?” I felt in my heart the Spirit say, “Wait.” 

Well, I waited, and waited, and waited.  I almost lost hope, but in the end, God came through in ways that I wouldn’t have even imagined.  So on the date of this post’s publishing I will be starting a new adventure at a new job, and it is better than I ever would have thought.  It’s perfect really, and God knew all along.  He used that season of waiting to mold and shape me, to show me His provision, and to remind me of the amazing people around me who care about me.  It was stretching, but it was oh so beautiful.

God is so powerful, and the Holy Spirit does amazing works through God’s children.  When we understand God’s power and the power of Christ in our lives, we will fully understand our potential to change the world for the glory of Jesus.  If your hands are clenched right now, loosen your grip, drop your worries, plans, and burdens at the feet of Jesus, and let Him lead you down the path towards a surrendered and powerful life.

Emily Laney is a social worker, educator, and justice seeker.  She has worked with vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad and loves to help startup nonprofits reach their goals.  She is a Passion City Church door holder and leads a team of abolitionists at Not for Sale Georgia.  She loves her husband Brent and their rescue pup Biscuit.  Sunsets and Sushi make her happy.  

You can connect with Emily on twitter @emilylaney or on her blog

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