Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Life Disagreed

Ned and I recently watched the movie, "Freedom Writers". For those of you who don't know it is a true story about a young teacher and a classroom full of inner-city Los Angeles kids, kids caught up in the violent aftermath of the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots. Teacher, Erin Gruwell, played by Hilary Swank, fights for these kids. She fights the school system, other teachers, her father and even her own husband. Patrick Dempsey plays her husband and right in the middle of the film, he announces he is going to leave her. He explains his decision to end their marriage by saying, "I feel like I am living a life I just did not agree to."
I thought about that statement for quite some time. I think I can relate. I too, am living a life I did not agree to. I did not sit around as a teenage girl, writing in my diary, planning out this life. I did not write down burying my nineteen year old sister and her child or watching my parents' marriage break up. I did not dream about multiple miscarriages, sick husbands or single parenting. I did not fantasize about being a widow at age 34. And watching the disintegration of the marriage of my child and his abandonment of his faith as well as his family, well, that was never in my plans either. I didn't prepare to comfort a grandchild who just wants her daddy to come home. Nope, these were not in my plans. Like everyone else, I had plans, I had dreams, but these are not them. So, like the character in the movie, I too, am living a life I just did not agree to.
The more I thought about this, the more I began to understand that we all are living a life different than the one we planned. For most of us, the one we planned had happiness and sunshine and singing birds etc. It was truly more like a cartoon or a Hallmark card. It was not real. That kind of sterile, controlled life is only in movies, movies where the main characters are robots rather than thinking, feeling, mistake making people. The only way to have that eutopian life is to somehow be able to control everything and everyone, including yourself. This is not possible. As much as we try to believe the opposite, we are not in control! As Ned always says, "There is a God and we are not Him."
We live in a world teeming with mistake-ridden people, ourselves included. We can neither predict or control what any of them will do. Therefore our lives do not go as planned, and in fact, sometimes go completely contrary or counter to what we had in mind. Robert Burns was very astute in his saying "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry". We can plan and plan and plan, and things will inevitably not go as planned. So why do we even bother?
Proverbs 19:21 says "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Perhaps it is time we let go of our need to control our lives. When we let God and His Spirit control our lives, we will find He has even better things in mind for us, and while some may be difficult, they will provide opportunities for growth and increased faith. We are God's and He is caring for us, guiding us, preparing the way for us. If we live to please Him, He will take care of all the other details. Perhaps, just perhaps, it is not really important whether we agree to this life or not, it is only important how we live it.

"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a good post! I struggle with letting God work out my life, work out His plans for my life. But, I know He has even better things in mind for me, just as you said.
Again, great post.

Bless you

10:37 AM  
Anonymous john dobbs said...

Neva, you are touching such a nerve in this post ... outstanding thoughts ... much needed as we reflect on our spiritual journey ... and where God leads us as he forms into the people he desires us to become. It is because He leads us that we can continue on ... bless you sister for this great post and your many encouragements.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Tim Archer said...

I believe the last three words of the Burns' quote are: "gang aft aglee"... but I guess you're one of those modern translation people. :-)

If God had followed the plan I laid out, my life would not have had half the blessings that it did! God is good.

Grace and peace,

10:49 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

It is a difficult journey even when for a second or two we allow ourselves to realize that God is in control. But living lives that are under our control is a nightmare.

The sad thing is that so many think that "ultimately" God will just use us or fix things in our lives or work around us and we will be OK.... Hell will be full of self-willed Christians who were naive enough to think that their plans don't effect their eternal lives.

Too many of us claim to believe in freewill but live our "planned lives" of Once Saved Always Saved.

My Point: God used Pharaoh; God fixed a things for a sinful world; God worked around Judas. But who wants to be in any of those shoes on Judgment Day?

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say except the comments are great. This post touches everyone of us "self-made", self-willed people.
Great thoughts


11:37 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

Very well done my friend. I Am currently living the life I agreed to - BUT there are still things in it that I did not agree to.

God has planted me in an odd pot with other really stinky flowers. I have bloomed several times now and am wondering how long I will be here.

In other words, we can still be what He wants us to even if we are not in the life we agreed to.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Bob Bliss said...

Wow that quote seems to sum up what our society is all about. Of course I wonder whether or not the movie intends for the husband to come off sympathetic or not. Probably since the wife is doing something worthy the movie intends the reaction to the husband to by one of contempt but in other situations they could just as easily made the audience sympathetic. I was reminded as I read your post of 2Corinthians 12 where Paul asks God to remove the thorn. "This is not the life I agreed to" he could say to God. Yet God's reply is don't worry, with my grace you can live the life that I agree to let you have.

Don't worry about calling me Bill. Actually you can call me Billy Bob Bliss - BBB.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous carol said...

I have never met anyone whose life went just as they planned but everyone I meet has tried to plan out their life. Sad but true. We all have control issues.

enjoyed it.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Larissa said...

great blog!

2:01 PM  
Blogger jel said...

That Was AWEsome SIS!

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get better with every post. I love your message and will most likely "borrow" this.
Thanks Neva, keep up the good work!


6:08 PM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

Does that routine end with, "But ya' don't have to call me Mr. Bliss"?

6:18 PM  
Blogger DJG said...

I have seen your comments all over but ave not been here before...what a blessing I have missed....excellent, excellent post!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Bob Bliss said...

Don, I'm afraid I'm not that creative. Go for it if you think you can.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not agreed to most of my life but I have most certainly reaped the benefits of God's works in it. Very interesting and insightful post!


7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My oh my how you like to step on my toes, dear friend. I am guilty of asking God to guide me only to plan my journey on my own.

Thank you, Neva

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post today was a great encouragement to me. Thanks so much!
In Him,

8:49 PM  
Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

this was truly a thought provoking post, I never really thought about most of these things before...we just go about life sometimes, what happens, happens!!!

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Scotti said...

Hi Neva,

I am always blessed to visit your site. May the Lord's grace continue to be with you today and always.


2:13 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Your post give me goose bumps! I have thought this thought so many times in my life. The death of my 3 month old was something I would never want any mother to go through but our God was with me and I made it through that rough time in my life 20 years ago. I do understand what you are saying and I want to thank you for your deep and powerful posts.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Keith said...


I used to think that I was a good christian because I believed and did good things, even though I was trying to live "My Life."
When I started living the life God planned for me, I began to feel so much richer in spirit.

Most of our heroes in the bible probably didn't expect the lives that they were led to lead, yet look what their lives mean to us today.

You are right. We must lead the lives we are given to the fullest for Christ. That is all that matters.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Abiding In Christ, Amen! said...

Neva, This was wonderfully written, and painfully eye opening.

6:06 PM  
Blogger His Girl said...

As always, WONDERFUL! Like others, te life I planned was not nearly as incredible as the one God granted me!

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only amen what all have said. God gives us such a better life than we could ever plan out for ourselves. We would be foolish to keep planning now, wouldnt we?

Great post and great comments.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The life I planned out for me could not ever have been as rich and full and blessed as the one God planned for me. I am grateful He did not require my "agreement" for this life, only my acceptance.
You have blessed me with your words today, dear sister.


8:27 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

Join me in a rousing chorus of 'Some to Jesus I Surrender'.

I actually feel the most at peace about trusting God that He will work everything out in my life right now as He sees fit, more than ever before.

Most of why "this is not the life I agreed to" is due to my choices and the consequences. So, I guess this is the life agreed to. Maybe just not the one I want.


10:25 PM  
Blogger bbeth said...

thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have been living the life I didn't agree to for over 30 years now. God has lead me down paths I never would have dreamed much less chosen for myself. My Father constantly exchanges my pain here on earth into blessings from above. Is it a pleasant journey - not always - but God has never forced me to make the journey alone. I hold - very tightly - to His hand and let Him lead the way, now.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous lisa said...

Oh wow. How many times have I thought that very thing? I didn't sign up for this!! But, of course, I did in a way. I made decisions long ago that influence what my life is today. God hasn't promised to control my decisions, so I must live with what I've got. Thank you for your encouraging words, Neva! Sorry I missed this when you first posted.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Wow...such a touching post. You have really put my life into perspective for me. I used to try to plan everything out...But I would become so worried about the little things...Thanks for this post! You have really blessed me. I believe we all need to "Let go and let God".

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very powerful! Just what little ole controlling me needed to hear today. God will bless us if we only allow ourselves to be blessed.
Awesome work, here.


1:27 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

Neva, Such a great post! We don't often think about our life that way. But how often do we pray and then the results aren't what we thought they would be? Life can be so hard, but thanks be to God that He is bigger than any of our lives. That he can see the whole picture when we don't understand or have a clue as to where we are or why we are there. And praise God that He can make everything work out for good. Many blessings to you!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are amazing! Somehow you know just what I need to hear and post it just when I need to hear it.

Love ya

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go, Neva.
Once again your post is convicting!
Surrendering control of our lives to God will only serve to bless us all.

Interested Bystander

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an amazing post! This should be in your book. I loved it.


10:37 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home