Don't Mess This Up!

Guest Author: Sara Holloway It may sound weird, but probably my go-to prayer is, “God, don’t let me mess this up!”

  • Each time I’ve found myself at a crossroads, trying to decide what lies ahead for my future, a different university than expected, a move, a career change, so worried that I would make the wrong decision.
  • When I was dating Scott, I knew I had found someone special. Early in our relationship, I was worried I was going to do or say something that would make Scott want to head for the hills instead of being head over heels.
  • Since having Coleman, I find myself in a constant wrestling match in my head over whether to discipline unruly behavior (adhering to my Type-A, everything should be just-so personality) or to let him be a boy, at the same time desperately not wanting to crush his tiny spirit and character.
  • Those horrible moments when I have to tell someone who just buried a loved one that their pet and only remaining companion has a terminal illness.

Yes, I believe whole-heartedly in praying for specific aspects in most situations, but at the same time, I find myself getting too wrapped up in the details and over-analyzing everything and replaying in my head what I should have said or done when so and so said that (read: I’m a woman). It’s at that point I tend to throw up my hands and just quit trying to interfere. I quit trying to think for myself and beg God to dictate my thoughts, actions, and decisions. That quiet whisper, where I just finally let go and say “not my will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). Which is probably what I should have been doing in the first place, right?

So many well-known verses reinforce this concept.

 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ “ Jeremiah 29:11 This verse tells me that God already knows where I’m going to live, who I’m going to marry, what I’m going to do with my life. Why even spend time thinking about it and worrying if I’m going to make the right decision? Why should I even question where I live or where I work, as long as I am not in direct opposition of God’s will, He can use me to further His kingdom.

“I have found the one whom my soul loves.” Song of Songs 3:4. Oh. So many times, Scott or I could have just walked away (and still could, I suppose). But God is and always has been at the center of our relationship and marriage. “What God has joined together…” Enough said.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” Psalm 139:13-14 God knows my child better than I do. He made him to be silly and independent and self-assured and strong-willed and all the things that sometimes drive me crazy. But he also made him sweet and compassionate and smart and believe me, God knew what he was doing when He made him adorably blonde and blue-eyed with the cutest dimply smile.

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phillipians 2:1-4)

It’s often obvious that God has placed me in a certain situation to spread His love to a hurting soul. And to be honest, I hate that. But I’m called as a Christian to be compassionate, to help those in need, and to show mercy and tenderness when it’s most needed. So in those times, I have to step out of the way and rely on the Holy Spirit to give me the words and to use me to minister to his grieving child.

So yes, as a Christian, I should be conscientious about what I do, what I say, and how I act. And yes, there are so many times I fail miserably. But, if I am living my life in accordance to God’s will, if I rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me, and I fall back on biblical teachings, I should be good to go. There are times when decisions need to be made about specific details, but having faith in God who in turn has faith in me to do what is good should give me confidence to make the right move. Much like a parent that has taught their child right from wrong must give them the freedom to make choices and is thrilled when they excel, so does God when I become obedient to his plan.

The words are childish – Don’t let me mess this up – but the heart behind it is, at the same time, mature, yet childlike. God guide me. Take control. Thy will be done.

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