It rarely surprises people to learn that I am a type-A personality. I create planners for a living and always have a steno pad on hand. There are a few attributes of this personality that are helpful in life. I love the challenge of raising five kids, working, homeschooling, and being involved in the community. I enjoy a packed day and the feeling of accomplishment when I fall into bed knowing I checked off all my to-dos. It’s great being type A, until things don’t go my way.
The Desire for a Plan
As a type-A gal, I work hard to make sure life goes as planned. I have my own definition of what success looks like. As a parent, I want to see all my children working hard, loving to learn, showing kindness to others with a strong sense of self and in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to direct them. As a business owner, I want to come alongside staff and see them grow in their talents and passions. As a wife, I want to see a golden anniversary and share in the joys of children, grandchildren, and life.
But guess what? Regardless of my personality type, desires, or amount of hard work, much of what I just described is not reliant on me alone. In each of these areas, it takes the other person having the same mindset. It takes my children recognizing the importance of hard work and kindness to embrace them. It takes cooperation and trust for an employee to see the benefit to learning new things, and it takes a spouse who has the same desire to do the right thing.
In Philippians 2:5-11, the passage that drove much of the spiritual content for Family Magazine in 2017, we see Paul emphasizing the need to have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Paul explains how Jesus “…who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…”
It encourages me, that if Jesus could set aside being God and take on a form of a servant, trusting God with the outcome, then I too need to set aside my own desires and goals and let God have His sovereign work. In raising kids, this means doing my part, but recognizing their free will to direct their own life as they launch into adulthood. As an employer, things won’t always work out with employees, but God knows this beforehand.
And in marriage, I have learned the most. My desire to be the first in my family not to divorce and to show my children what a golden anniversary looks like fell apart when divorce became the only option in an abusive relationship. However, God had His own plan of redemption. The Lord, in only the way the Lord works, allowed me to meet my second husband through the pain and dangers of my divorce. I may not see a golden anniversary, but I am experiencing a love and kindness I never knew existed. Sometimes the thing we desire the most requires us to let go and trust God with the outcome.