I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
Hi, my name is Stacey and I’m an adrenaline junkie. I haven’t been “clean” for too long but my “higher power” is Jesus and He can do miracles…
It started when I was a young girl trying to get my father’s love and approval. Like so many little girls I discovered if I did well in school, kept my room clean, helped around the house, and learned how to do “big girl things” like cooking and cleaning, Daddy would be proud of me and ask me to sit with him on the couch while he smoked cigarettes, drank bourbon, and watched TV. That was the love I thought I wanted, the love I craved.
I discovered that the more I did, the more people praised me. Not only my own parents, but my friends’ parents, teachers, neighbors, and even strangers. Doing became my thing. The more I did, the more attention I got, the better I felt about myself, and the happier I was. And isn’t happiness the point?
I had a plan for my life. College, career, marriage, family. Not too unusual. But my plan had dates of accomplishment. And I met each of those personal milestones, on time and with fanfare! I wanted to be the best, the most, the woman everyone loved and admired for all she could DO! But I couldn’t just do everything, I had to do the most, be the best.
The first day of our life together – after the official honeymoon was over– my husband awoke to his new wife obsessing over what we needed to accomplish that day. It was 6am. He looked at me groggily and said, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?” The honeymoon was over and I had things to do and now that he was my partner, he had to jump on the achievement train quick before I left the station without him. But he refused. He’s a laid-back, calm, relaxed, unconditional kind of guy…and some days I wondered what in the world God was thinking when he joined us together as one?!
As usual, God was right. Sometimes I have trouble admitting that, but in these mid-life years just past 50, after 23 years of marriage, moving across the country from my home in California to Northern Minnesota, raising 4 boys, and growing together through ups and downs I never thought I’d experience as a family doing life with Christ, I concede that God is Sovereign and I am not.
Over the years the Lord has graciously, gently, showed me the truth. That my drive to do was selfish and prideful, and addictive. That adrenaline high was what I sought. The praise of people was my drug. The boredom I felt when I wasn’t doing, left me depressed, defeated, and dejected. I felt worthless, hopeless, and unloved. But because of His great mercy, because, like Paul, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13), He now uses my drive for His glory not mine. Apart from Jesus I am nothing, but in Him and through Him I can do great things!
I still get a good “high” from doing…but now I take my to-do list before the throne and submit my plans to His plans. I make a choice to slow down, to be quiet, and to seek the face of the Father that loves me unconditionally, with a perfect plan for my day with Him.
Heavenly Father, you are the One worthy of all our praise, our admiration, and our sacrifice. You are sovereign and holy. Jesus you are the Name above all names, the name we can call on in our weakness and fear. And we are afraid; sometimes so afraid we are frozen, sometimes so afraid we can’t stop doing. Thank you that you know our beginning from our end, that you always have our best in mind, and that you will hold us as we take every step. Help us as we navigate our day; Holy Spirit remind us to take our “to-do” list to the One that is sovereign and has a perfect plan for each of us, for those we love, and even for those that we don’t even like much. Help us to see those around us as you do and empower us to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their lives today. Amen.