"I recently read this inspiring phrase: To dream of the person you used to be is to waste the person you are. Acceptance is not resignation or giving up hope. It is embracing change with clear recognition of moving forward.....Looking backward prevented me from seeing the possibilities that lay ahead......He [God] has chosen to redirect my life. I need to understand and accept that, because when He's in control exciting things will happen."
[Excerpt from my book Worthy In His Eyes: Part Four: PROACTIVE FAITH...Chapter Two: ACCEPTANCE] © Kathleen M. Pritchard
LOOKING....FORWARD :-) ---
Recently, God did some adjusting in my life....again. He unquestionably closed a certain door. At first, I was discouraged.....I had invested the past 2 years in a project which wasn't producing the results I had hoped it would. I kept sticking my foot out to stop that door from closing because I was super pleased with what I had learned and accomplished through it. Yet, it wasn't productive, and self-gratification doesn't "drive me." I believe my purpose in life is to live for Christ.....and to serve others.
I set aside an hour to chat with the Lord about it. I had questions and I needed some answers. You know, it's super awesome to have a personal relationship with the Lord....despite all that is going on in the world, He still reassures us that He is with us--all the time. He's never too busy. Knowing that makes me trust Him all the more.
I took a couple of devotional books, my Bible and my book [Worthy In His Eyes] into my quiet space. Upon opening them, almost every single one I read talked about God closing some doors, and opening others! This was no coincidence---this was God-ordained. This is how I know God speaks to my heart! It's something which cannot be described to someone else--they have to experience Him in this way themselves to fully understand.
My post for this week was going to be based on the chapter of Acceptance. That too, was God's timing I believe. Reviewing the chapter I smiled and also felt so encouraged. Not by my own words, but at the way God continues to be proactive in my life. The chapters I wrote were written with personal reflection and honesty, but they were always blanketed by my total dependence on God's guidance. My continual prayer as I wrote was that others would discover His faithfulness as well. Yet, it's so awesome how He continues to still speak to me through it just as He did in the early years of my disability.
My "newly" acquired brain injury is now an integral part of my life's journey. It is continually teaching me the significance of acceptance. There will be times when an idea or plan won't pan out. That doesn't mean it was "wasted time" or that I "failed." This is what God pointed out to me again the other day. I am not His puppet, and He wants me to explore every viable opportunity. He wants me to have dreams and He wants me to "test" them out. Some are within His plan for my life, and others are not within His plan. This is when He will close a door, or He will open a new door. My responsibility is to recognize and accept His guidance.
Trying to keep a door open, or continuing to look backward to what I don't want to give up prevents me from seeing the possibilities that lay ahead. When something isn't working out, I need to have the courage to close that door with Him and reach out to open a new door.
All through life there will be challenges, yet I now see how those challenges strengthen me....if I am willing to let them.
I will continue to fall short of fulfilling the many plans I have, but what is so awesome is that God brings new plans into the picture--plans I didn't even think of---better plans to ensure the work gets done that He intends for me to do.
My discouragement didn't last for long the other day. God answered my questions very clearly. The project I worked so hard on was one of the best brain gyms I could have tackled and the skills I learned have grown me enormously. It was also the first step on an awesome new journey of discovery for Kip and I.
Acceptance says no to the whispers of Satan as he tries to turn my heart away from Christ to focus on myself, my weaknesses and the limitations of my disability. He will tirelessly try to make me feel like a failure. But God promises that His gifts and promises are good and perfect [James 1: 16-17]
Circumstances will change, people will change, life will change. But God, our Almighty Heavenly Father, will never change. Continual acceptance of who I am--in Him--gives my life consistency and a healthy sense of self-worth.
So, when God closes one door in your life, don't stick your foot out to try to keep it open!!! If He's closing it, He has much bigger plans for you. Dare to dream--God wants you to. But include Him in your plans and dreams. And if something doesn't work out, accept that it didn't even if you don't understand why. But don't stop there---remember, you have learned valuable lessons through the process and they will make you stronger, wiser and more prepared for whatever lies ahead.
Every day we have options....choices. Some things will work out, others will not. Each experience determines what we empty from our "life skills backpack" because they are not usable and their weight is holding us back. Each experience will then add the valuable tools we've learned to use well, and these will better prepare us for the exciting journey ahead.
Acceptance is not resignation or giving up hope. It is embracing change with clear recognition of moving forward. Dare to take that first step today!! And have your backpack with you!!!
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." [Proverbs 16: 9 NIV]
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