Very few people forget grade school gym class dodge ball. The teacher would choose team captains, and the team captains would select the kids they wanted on their team. I was the girl consistently chosen last. There I stood, a skinny scrawny little thing, with a hopeful smile watching all the other kids get chosen. Finally, between myself and the other chubby kid, the team captain with a discouraged look on his face would choose the chubby kid and the team captain stuck with me would throw his hands up in the air with a sigh of “well, I guess you’re on my team – ugh”. I would shuffle my way over to the team, head down and try to make the best of the game even though I was terrible at dodge ball and was usually one of the first ones out.
I’m now in my early forties and have experienced being last one chosen, or worse yet, not chosen at all so often in the past few weeks. It’s happening in just about every area of my life; work, dating, serving at church, social occasions and the list goes on. When I go through these humbling periods of my life, fear sets in. When fear sets in, I turn to control. I have noticed lately that I am trying to control everything; my eating, my boys, dating websites, the outcome of my future and career. The less I find I can control, the more fearful I become.
Let’s take food as an example of something I control. I started a new healthy eating plan that began with a 7 day detox. I felt fantastic and decided from a highly scientific process of elimination, the culprit of my tummy troubles is gluten. Gluten is in donuts, cookies, bread, bagels – all things yummy, but very easy to identify. I find myself in a daily battle with the donut. Do I eat it, do I not, if I eat it I will feel gross, if I don’t I’m missing out, it looks so yummy, come on you can resist it, it’s not that tasty anyway, but I want it, it’s right here, just a half. . .And right down the hatch it goes. The problem with this battle is not that I ate the donut but my need for control.
How about an example of fear and control? As EVERYBODY knows, I’m single. I get afraid sometimes that I will spend my life alone, without a husband. I go back and forth on the decision to pay for a dating website. Sometimes they are fun, but most often, they aren’t. I will see an attractive Christian man and send him a message. Several days later and no reply, I get the impression I’m not being chosen and I move on. Finally getting discouraged enough I will stop paying the money to be rejected. One night, shortly after I canceled my EHarmony account, I was at dinner with a couple of married friends. We were on our way to a weekend getaway with 50 of our closest Christian sisters, so my mind was on the incredible weekend we were about to have. The waiter handed me a note from a gentleman in the back. The gentleman thought I was cute and wanted to meet later for a drink. God showed me he has my dating life under control. Essentially, I’d decided, God makes the best EHarmony. Recently, however, I’ve re-enlisted in the dating website scene and have subsequently worked very hard to take back control. I can feel the pressure, the fear and the urgency that trying to have control brings.
This morning, during my bible study, I was reminded of something vital in my walk with God. I AM chosen. I was chosen, not by Tim on EHarmony, not for a promotion at work, but by the KING himself! He chose me, sought me out, and fought for me to be his bride! Being a bride of the King has it’s perks, dontcha know? He is the creator of the heavens and earth, the majestic mountains, the vast oceans as well as the teeniest, tiniest single cell organism that makes up the building blocks of life. God knows all, sees all, and orchestrates all. That tells me He is powerful enough to take over my life and He’s passionate about the details. God works all things together for the good of His Kingdom. If I’ve set my deepest desire to be part of His Kingdom, then He makes all things work together for my good too. He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me future and a hope. He will do exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine. Because of the truth of God’s promises, I have nothing to be fearful of and there is nothing I can try to control that God can’t do a much better job.
Sweet sisters (and brothers too!), when you are feeling left out, left behind and not good enough, please remember that you have a King for a Father and Husband. People will be people, we will not always be chosen for a new job at work, a new boyfriend on EHarmony, dinner with our married friends, or even a quick game of dodge ball (thank goodness!) but we are chosen by God!