Today’s Guest Post is written by our dear friend, Rebecca Hill. Rebecca is a dedicated wife and loving mother who has been on an incredible journey of Freedom over the last couple of years. We love to hear her transformation stories and thankfully, she agreed to share her most recent one with all of us. Please welcome her to Truth and Transformation!
Between a rock and hard place. Ever been there? Nothing gets my over-analytical, OCD, control freak mind racing like having to make a decision between two seemingly terrible choices. So I’ll give you one guess where I tend to find myself most of the time……. Yep. Between a rock and a hard place.
Have you ever read Proverbs 3:5? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” What does that even mean??? Do you know how many times I’ve read that verse and wracked my brain trying to figure out how one merely “trusts in the Lord with all their heart?” What does that look like? How do you do that? And what about those situations where choice (A) and choice (B) both seem terrible?
I was recently in one of these situations. To give you some background, I am a wife, a mother of four, and an attorney. I practiced law for nine years until the day my fourth child was born. For those nine grueling years, I begged God – BEGGED – to be able to stay home with my children. But no matter how hard I tried to make that happen, it never did. That is, until baby #4 arrived. Because of some family circumstances, daycare for our newborn was completely not an option, and I found myself in my dream-come-true. I was able to stay home with my babies for the first time ever. Oh how I loved it!
But… (There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?) Anytime you cut an entire income out of a two income family, it is hard. That was definitely the case for us. Although we’ve been able to make it work for the last two years, my husband and I recently started kicking around the idea of me returning to the workforce. Within days of that discussion, I had three different job opportunities. Problem was, none of them were the right fit for our family. So there I was, between a rock and hard place. Do we: (A) stick it out and deal with the stress and frustration of an overly tight budget, or (B) suck it up and take on a job that would mean I’d go from seeing my kids 12 hours a day to 2 hours a day. Is that even a choice??
So what did I do? Well, in typical Rebecca fashion, I pitched a fit to God. Believe me when I say I am NOT proud of this. But it’s the truth. And the sad thing is, that tends to be my normal reaction. I get super frustrated and cry out to God asking “WHY?” I tell Him all the great ways He can “fix” this (because, you know, He obviously needs my help), and then cry and beg and cry and beg. It’s pathetic, honestly. This time, however, I did something I had never really done before – I got honest with God. In times past, although I would cry out to God, I still bottled up my true emotions. For one reason or another, I’d always felt like it was disrespectful, or rude, or ungrateful to tell God how I really feel. But over the last year, I’ve been on a spiritual journey in which I’ve grown closer to God than I’ve ever been in my 35 years of living. So this time, I decided to treat Him like the Father that He consistently tells me in Scripture that He is.
On Day 2 of this royal hissy fit of mine, I just opened up and said, “God, I am really, REALLY disappointed. I wanted to stay home for SO long, and you allowed me to do that, and now it feels like you’re ripping that away again. And I really just don’t understand.” I kid you not, the second the words came out of my mouth, I became acutely aware of the Bible cartoon movie that my kids were watching in the room next to me. Immediately, I heard them talking about the story of Abraham being called to sacrifice his son Isaac, and the very next words were “God didn’t really want Abraham’s son. He just wanted to know that Abraham was willing to give up anything for God.”………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………………………………………………………………………………… (Consider this my stunned silence as I realized I just got schooled by a cartoon.)
This is the part of the story where I dried my eyes, put on my big girl panties, and decided to stop throwing a fit. As if the cartoon being more mature than me weren’t enough, I also still had to prepare my small group lesson for the week on the topic of . . . wait for it . . . SURRENDER. Fun times. As I sat down to begin, our theme verse jumped right out at me:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding
Oh good grief, are you kidding?? This is no time to throw the hard verses at me, God. But this time, I noticed the next verse:
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
That’s when it hit me. Acknowledge. The key to trusting God with all my heart, is simply acknowledging Him. Acknowledge that He knows far more than I could ever know. Acknowledge that He sees the big picture when I can barely even see the pieces. Acknowledge that He is my heavenly Father and wants only good for me, the same way my earthly father does. And acknowledge that in all things, His will is better than mine.
So that’s what I did. From that point forward, every time I prayed about those job opportunities, I acknowledged that God knew best and I surrendered what I thought I wanted to whatever He wanted in this situation. After about a month of praying, all 3 job opportunities had passed, which brought relief on one hand, but still left us with the super tight budget. Then this very week (as in two days ago), one of those job opportunities reappeared. One of the companies I had spoken to previously now had a part time position, only two days a week, just for me and were willing to pay me exactly what I had made as an attorney. Ummm, WHAT?!?!?
And you know what I learned through all that? Our God, is a God of “None of the Above.” Abraham was faced with a choice of sacrificing his own son or disobeying the Lord. But when he surrendered his will to God’s, God provided a ram in the bushes to be sacrificed instead. I faced a choice between a super tight budget or never seeing my kids. But when I surrendered my plans to God, God provided the perfect employment opportunity instead. When we see only choice (A) or (B), God can come in and offer: “(C) None of the above”. God can make something from nothing, and He is always working even when we are unaware. When we can’t see a good answer, God can. When we see no way out, God is making a way out. If we are willing to trust Him, willing to acknowledge Him, and willing to surrender our will to His, then He most definitely WILL make our paths straight.