If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
But what if you’ve tried? What if you’ve really tried, tried, and tried again? And then you try 100 more times and still aren’t any closer to succeeding? You keep trying, keep failing, and now the discouragement is setting in.
I’ve tried so hard. I’ve literally done everything I can. Why is it still not enough?
Maybe you’ve been trying to eat better and work out everyday but still aren’t seeing the fruits of your labor reflected on the scale. Or maybe you are working as hard as you possibly can at your job but all of those extra hours go unnoticed and you still get laid off. Or are you the woman who’s been doing everything in your power to save your marriage but still aren’t seeing any progress? You pray over your children everyday but get a call from their school about something police found in their locker. You take care of your health and see a doctor regularly, but then they diagnose you with cancer. You work hard to save up money but then your car breaks down and you’re forced to liquidate everything you’ve worked so hard for… and the list goes on. You work, you try, you fail. Over and over again.
Whatever it is you’re working at, you give it everything you have. But, in the end, it’s still not enough. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you have no control. There is nothing you can do.
Nothing. Nada. Zip.
But there is someone who does have control. And let me tell you, what He has planned for you is so much better… it just takes patience and trust on your part.
I’ve found myself stuck so many times in my life. Recently I’ve been stuck in a situation where I’ve tried literally everything to solve my problems and the circumstances still remained the same. But, low and behold, God has been using this season of despair to take the attention off of what’s been happening in my life and instead putting the focus on the condition of my heart.
Just two months ago I felt like I was all set. I had been working so hard at my job and my husband and I had saved up as much as we could to buy our first home. We found the most beautiful plot of land, picked out all our finishes, and even put down a builder deposit. We worked so hard for this moment, and we were beyond excited to see our home be built from the ground up. We checked in on the house several times a week, driving through the development and getting more and more excited everytime we saw progress being made. One day we drove by and the house was officially framed, so we got out of the car and walked in. I stood in what would soon be the living room and started planning out where we would put our furniture, what we would hang on the walls, and I even found the perfect spot for our Christmas tree. We walked out of the house and drove back to our rental home, counting down the days until we would officially be able to pack up and move onto this new stage of life, this new stage that we’d both worked so hard for.
And then, of course, everything came crashing down. I lost my job suddenly. Everything I had worked so hard for was just stripped away. I had no guarantee of income, no security for the future, and no possible means of securing a mortgage for the home we planned on moving into in just two more short months.
I was absolutely crushed. I felt as if I had done everything I could, but that still wasn’t enough, and now my husband had to work twice as hard to keep us afloat as I scrambled to find something to bring in income. Something to fill my time with. Something that would give me purpose.
But that’s when God revealed the biggest truth to me: the crooked condition of my heart. I worked, I had plans, I had dreams, but what I failed to realize is that these were all mine, not God’s. And, boy oh boy, did God let me know that.
I was a mess, but it was the most beautiful kind of mess I’d ever been. I could no longer rely on myself or what I could do, instead I had to trust fully on God. And you know what happened when I did? It all started coming together perfectly.
God provided. He provided in amazing ways that I can’t even begin to explain. I still don’t have a guarantee of what my life will look like next month, but do any of us really? God took this brokenness to remind me that He is the only one who dictates my future, and it’s at the point where I am more at peace now even though I don’t know what the future looks like then when I had everything planned out.
Now, that’s grace.
Are you stuck today? Have you found that you’re caught up in that vicious cycle of trying and failing? It’s time to give it up. It’s time to surrender. It’s time to stop relying on yourself and put every ounce of your trust in the Lord.
There is so much more I can say about surrendering, but the Bible puts it more beautifully than I ever could. I pray that you are encouraged by all God promises us in these verses below:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 1:6 NIV
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” -James 4:13-15
And my all time favorite:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:25-34
So, would you join me at the cross today? It’s time to get on our knees and ask God to pick us back up.
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