Living a life with God by your Side
A Little Background
While I grew up in the Catholic faith, always attending weekly mass, I never felt like I had any real connection with God. I believed in God and everything that church taught. I said the scripted prayers each week, but I never prayed at home. I never talked to God. I never read my Bible. I didn’t understand what it was like to have a “relationship” with God.
For 20 years of my life, I thought I was living a “holy” lifestyle. I would make stupid college decisions on Friday and Saturday nights, but would be at church every Sunday asking for forgiveness. By no means was I unhappy with my life. Actually, I was very happy. My life was good – no real huge tragic events, things always seemed to go well for me, no massive personal struggles. I was genuinely happy – at least I thought I was.
But then I discovered how to live a life of JOY and a life for Jesus.
Living Life for Jesus
I began attending a new church as college progressed where I met the most incredible community of people. But more importantly – I met Jesus. I learned what the grace and peace of Jesus truly meant. I realized that nothing would ever bring more joy to my life than living it for Jesus. No career – no marriage – no motherhood – no amount of money could ever even hold a candle to the amount of joy that we get when we give our lives to the one who created us.
In Matthew 22:37 we are told “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Every single day should be centered around loving Jesus with your entire heart and soul! We are completely fulfilled through Him.
Matthew 6:33 tells us “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
I have learned to relentlessly chase after God, and by doing so I boldly trust and know He will provide me with all that I need.
Trusting and Giving Up Control
I don’t know about you guys but I’m going to be completely real here. I struggle with thinking that I can do it all my own and that my way of solving a problem is the right way. I like a firm schedule – I like to be in control – I like to know what is next in life. However, isn’t it funny that when you have a plan for something, God seems to have a completely different idea? But isn’t it also funny AND amazing to look back on these “plans” and the situations that unfold and realize that God’s plan was so much greater and so much more abundant than yours? I firmly believe that God might not give you what you want, but He always gives you what you NEED.
God gives you us challenges and struggles so that we must rely on him. If life was easy and we could do it all on our own, we wouldn’t need God.
Isaiah 41:10 assures us “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” He provides us the strength that we need.
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10
If we say we really know Jesus, then we must put our complete trust in Him! This is much easier to do when things are easy and going as planned, but when things start to take a turn for the worst, the trust can lessen and we begin to place the burden back on ourselves. We think that we can fix our situation. Trust in Him. Trust in Him. Trust in Him. By simply saying, “God I give it all to you”, the direction of your life and your outlook on your current situation in completely flipped upside down for the better.
One of my goals going into the new year was to focus on really giving complete control and trust to God. Of course, God gave me a situation in which I had zero control over (be careful what you wish for my friends). But because of this, I could either choose to let it wreck me or just give it all to God. By choosing to hand my situation over to Jesus, I was now able to rest in hope and peace of mind that it will work out for the good. The anxiety has lessened because I know it is in His hands.
If our God could carefully sculpt all the mountain ranges and the coral reefs, place billions of grains of sand on the beaches and stars in the galaxies, and individually design every single one us, then what makes us think he can’t solve our difficult situations and problems?
Wrapping It Up
I apologize if I was rambling, but I could just talk for hours upon hours on the immense joy living for Jesus has brought into my life. Your heart and your outlook truly changes when you live a life with the Lord on your side. I catch myself saying throughout every day that “God is so good” – because He is! Even on our worst days, even on the days when we feel like we don’t have a purpose, John 3:16 reminds us that we can still live a life of joy knowing that God loved us SO much that He gave his only son so that we would not perish but have eternal life.