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Wet Wads of Toilet Paper

Have you ever tried wadding up wet toilet paper and throwing it at the wall? Me either. But it's the image that God gave me when I think of my life. I imagine myself lobbing big globs of wet yuck at the wall and hoping something sticks and gives me direction as to where to go from here. What step to take next. Or answers to "what's my purpose for the Kingdom".

In the past it's gone something like this, I wind up and hurl my identity as a wife at the wall. I watch it slowly slide down and to the floor. Next motherhood. Worship leader. Women's ministry aid. Work out connoisseur. School snack mom. Writer. Blogger. Speaker. The faster I throw, and the harder my determination, the less likely I am to see the results I long for. All I see now is a wall covered in goo and a pile of wet toilet paper on the floor. All reminders of failed attempts at belonging and being used by God.

I have always expected that something would stick. But in those expectation and assumptions weren't just that my passions and gifts would align with ministry, but a laundry list of fine print on the time, place and design of the project. In this fine print there is no room for my God to show me his glory on a smaller scale.

Instead, there is a gaping hole of doubt waiting for me to fall into when I don't see my desires turn out the way I hoped. A place where I begin to question Gods faithfulness, goodness and plan for my life when my assumptions don't pan out.

For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I read this verse every day for years as I descended the stairs from my childhood bedroom. It's a beautiful promise I often share with those struggling to find hope in their circumstances. But do I actually believe them? Am I patient enough to trust Gods timing and plan for my life? That his hope and future for me might not look like anything I expected but still remain good and fruitful for his kingdom?

God is working a good and perfect thing with my life. I know this to be true. But like most of you, I too struggle with letting go of the steering wheel and entrusting the map to him. I don't like some of the places he takes me. I want things to go my way. And as I stare at the slimy goo slipping down my wall, I am humbled by just how quickly I am to forget that there is purpose in the process and there is a good work being done in me even if I don't see the results I want here and now.

Satan is the master of deceit. He weaves a scenario where, if I am not in the spot light, then I must not be important. And when I buy into that lie, every other pursuit pale in comparison and I am incapable of seeing the importance to God in my everyday tasks. Or, I miss an even greater truth, that my identity will never be found in my earthly labels, but only in the name God gives me. His daughter.

So, as I scrub off the toilet paper on the wall. Tempted to feel nothing but defeat, confusion and failure, I once again surrender my hands to the only one who can use them for any good. I surrender my desire to be noticed, loved and approved of.

I wash off the last of the glue on my hands and slip back into the robe of beloved that shields me from the fiery darts of the devil that says that striving for a fame is the only way I will ever belong. I cast down imaginations and take captive every thought that I have bought from the enemy and I fight back with every spiritual muscle in my being. Believing that he who began this good work in me will keep his promise to complete it.

I once again surrender my fears that it won't all work out the way I want and put my trust in my Heavenly Father who promised me a hope and a future, believing he will bring me the desire of my heart in his time. And if not my desires, then his. Which are always far better than any I could cook up.

As I surrender my assumptions of how things would be or how God would use my story, the peace rushes in. The pressure to force and manipulate circumstances to fit how I thought God would use me, fades. I am free to partner with God each day in the unique gifts and talents he has given me even in their simplistic forms. I no longer have to strive to make a name for myself. Because I am confident that God can use me on purpose for a purpose to show love and grace to the world no matter the season or my title, simply by being a willing vessel that represents him wherever I go.

Make me Your vessel

Make me an offering

Make me whatever You want me to be

I came here with nothing

But all You have given me

Jesus, bring new wine out of me

Lyrics New Wine Hillsong Worship

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