A while back, I posted about the opportunities with which I was wrestling, and the conviction that God wanted me to pursue all of them. All of them. Ahem.
After my initial shock faded, excitement built. This would be my time to shine. I would create my own cottage cake company! I would run a business! I was blessed in this by the hand of God! He would teach me about trusting Him, about dreaming big, about taking risks and reaping the rewards!
In retrospect, I might have jumped the gun there.
I printed out all my paperwork, got insurance quotes, and designed business cards. As I waited to file, wanting to extend my license as long as possible, I started on the cake, the cake that would launch my new career.
The cake did not go as planned.
For the next three weeks, I struggled to make any of the fondant figures for which I was being paid. They came together. They fell apart. I repaired them, recreated them, redesigned them. Over and over again. What I had assumed I was gifted in–what I assumed I was meant to do–was not on God’s agenda. Instead, I finished the cake by dragging myself across the line. Then I threw out what I’d expected God to teach me through this experience–like how amazing and blessed my cake career would be–and instead humbled myself by understanding and accepting my limitations.
“It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.” (John 6:45)
I get that God is always teaching me something, and that being taught is an important part of growing closer to Him. But sometimes this feels like signing up for a college course entitled “Jane Austen” and arriving to a syllabus full of Austen’s letters and none of her books. Nothing wrong there, but that sure wasn’t what I had in mind. I struggle to untangle my own expectations from my original desire to live, love, and do as God would have me. I just get so attached to those expectations.
In the meantime, I’ve continued on other paths, the most heavily traveled one being my ministry at the school. My new role in the PTA has sparked a real passion in my heart, and opened my eyes to some ways in which my personality was holding me back. Or maybe I’d gotten my conception of my personality tangled up in the person God actually created? I’m sensing a theme here.
Still, it’s tough: the changing of expectations, the loss and readjustment, the humbling of the self. I think it’s meant to be that way.
“Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord…and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.” (2 Kings 22:19)
The toughness certainly feels like tearing of robes, and it certainly included weeping. But just as my listening to God brings us closer, my struggle through the process also bonds us. Sure, I wish that it could be easier, but easier isn’t always right. And the bottom line is that I’m always interested in what’s right, because that is what God wants for me, and his plans are guaranteed to prosper me. My plans don’t come with any guarantee at all.
I challenge myself with this: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13). I want that good life, that Godly life, that wisdom–even more than I wanted to that cake business. In fact, just this morning I was praying about our summer: “Please help us make the most of it.” And then it struck me. I scratched out “the” and wrote instead:
Please help me make YOUR most of it.
Not just with my summer, but also with my life. And if that’s crappy fondant zombies, so be it. If that’s good enough for the creator of the universe, then it’s good enough for me.