Thy Will Be Done
There are times in life where you just get down, ya know?
Last week I was feeling really down and lost. I began to lose sight of who I was and started questioning my faith. After launching my book, I was so worried that I wasn’t enough or that I wouldn’t be successful. I couldn’t help but listen to lie after lie as they came into my head.
Am I really worthy? Am I enough? Do people even care about what I have to say? Will people care about what I’m doing? Do people really even like me? Why am I not satisfied with the number of books I’m selling?
I remember one day last week I had become so consumed with listening to those lies and doubts that I finally had had enough. The whole day I prayed to God over and over that He would remind me that it’s not about what I want, but what He wants for me. It’s not what I will do, but what His will is for me. It’s not about what I see for myself, but what He sees in me. It’s not about gaining the world, but being a reflection of Christ and bringing light to the world.
It’s about living out the faith. It’s about trusting and loving and listening to what He has to say, not what I or others do.
The day I recognized what I was doing and became fed up with these consuming thoughts, I focused on asking God over and over that His will be done, not mine.
Instead, I simply said, “Your will be done. I will do my best and use the talents You have given me, but I have faith that everything will work out. Your will.”
I felt peace. But I still needed more.
During the day, I specifically prayed and asked that my devotional I read every night would really speak to me and stand out that particular night. I asked God that He would offer me the encouragement I needed and help me get past my worldly desires and start focusing on what matters.
And then something amazing happened.
I opened up my devotional and began reading the write-up for that night. It started with Psalm 25:2 “O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me.”
Cool, right? But then I read this first line from Joyce Meyer, the author of the devotional:
“I was recently disappointed when one of my books didn’t sell as well in the marketplace as I had hoped that it would…"
WHAT! The EXACT thing I was struggling with and had hoped to overcome was specifically the message for that night. And I had specifically PRAYED that God would really speak to me through that particular devotional. It went on to say:
“We can look at what didn’t happen, or at what can happen in the future… If one thing doesn’t work out as planned, keep going forward with a good attitude, expecting the next thing to be amazingly wonderful.”
And this last bit of the devotional spoke to me so much that I couldn’t help but just say “wow.”
“When things don’t work out the way you had hoped that they would, trust God and keep going forward with an expectant attitude. Good things are waiting for you in the future!”
Well if that isn’t encouragement and redirection, I don’t know what is.
And then, for some reason, a couple days later I had actually allowed myself to get discouraged again. I began worrying again whether or not I would measure up. It was Dance Marathon's Push Day on that day, a day where we try to raise money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. My goal was to sell 100 books by the end of the day to raise money for the hospital.
And even at the end of the day, after I had sold more than 170 books, I didn’t feel satisfied or joyful for some reason. I didn’t feel like it was enough. It just so happened that I had forgotten to read my devotional the night before. So, as I crawled into bed feeling a little down and lost, I opened up to the devotional I had missed. It read:
“God is not nearly as interested or impressed with what we do as He is in why we do it. If we give to the poor in order to be seen by men, we lose our reward, because God is only pleased with good works done for right reasons… Let us be sure that we do what we do for God and His glory because we love Him and want to be a blessing to other people - never to get anything!”
This last bit Joyce Meyer shared really spoke to me as well, “There have been times in my life when I have done things to get attention or gain acceptance. I often wondered why I wasn’t really happy, even though I was doing good things, but eventually I learned that true joy only comes from serving God with a pure heart.”
I love that. God spoke so boldly and clearly. He offered me that reminder. Life is not about gaining acceptance or seeking after worldly desires. It’s not about getting noticed or recognized. It’s not about gaining the world or trying to prove ourselves worthy.
Life is so much more fulfilling when we keep our eyes fixed on Christ. When we choose to love and serve and be light. That is true joy. That is fulfillment. Life is not about followers, likes, or a dollar amount.
Remember that life is not about what you want. It’s about what He wants for you. It’s not about what you will do. It’s about His will for you. It’s not about what you see. It’s what He sees in you.
Trust. Have faith. Stay focused on the right things. Feel that joy that only comes from Him.
Let His will be done.