Day Two // For the Love

On Turning Forty // For the Love by Jen Hatmaker - Online book study hosted by www.imperfectvessel.com

Chapter 2: On Turning Forty – Pages 10-16

I’ve always been a bit of a planner and when I was younger, my birthday celebrations were no exception.  Be it hanging out in the ball pit at Hardee’s, a slumber party in the family room with the latest movies on VHS, or getting my hair done with my friends at the local beauty college, I was a mini party planner.

And though I had it all mapped out in my mind, reality rarely looked the same as I had imagined it would.  People wouldn’t show up, I wouldn’t get the gift I had been hoping for, or because my birthday is in January, a blizzard would blow in an effectively cancel my carefully planned celebrations.

Getting older and party planning go hand in hand – they don’t always produce the pretty pictures you dreamed they would be.

My parents met as teenagers and have basically been together ever since, and so when I was growing up I thought that was how love worked.  You meet your future spouse in high school and the rest is history, right?

In my case, not exactly.  Sure I fell in love in high school, or what I thought was love, and just like the party planning I’d done at age ten, I began planning every girl’s dream party, wedding plans, but it was not meant to be.  Thankfully.

There have been quite a few instances, looking back, where my plans fell through.  It seemed as though no matter how hard I worked or tried to plan for every scenario, good or bad, something would wreck all of my hard work.  And quickly I became bitter because all I could see was that the common denominator in those situations was me.

“I struggled to celebrate others’ achievements because they felt like indictments on my uncertainty.” {For the Love}

How was I supposed to be happy for my friends when their plans worked out and mine blew up in my face?  How was I suppose to applaud them for the success they were finding when I doubted my every move?

And then one day, as I stood in church listening to a message about how the world was created, a story that I had heard countless time, suddenly I understood why none of my plans had not worked.  It wasn’t because I was a part of the equation.  It was because I wasn’t allowing God to be a part of it.

Plan Bree wasn’t working and so I decided to take a different approach and execute the best choice I’ve ever made, Plan G-O-D.  This plan was not faulty, though it would not always look the way I wanted it to.  This plan includes perfect timing and rewards that I could never dream up.

And so in my thirtieth year, I took one of the oldest cliches and let go and let God and what happened was incredible.  I achieved more in that year, or at least recognized my achievements, than I had ever done before.  I became confident in who I was as a single woman, a believer in an unrelenting God, and I embraced the imperfections in the timeline of my life and began seeking purpose in those moments instead.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher that your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:8-11

Getting older, though it does not promise to produce a replica of what we may have hoped or dreamed, is a beautiful testament of how God works in our lives.  It gives us a platform from which we can stand and look back over our lives and see the lessons we learned the hard way and the moments of joy that make it all worth it.

You decide your days should contain laughter and grace, strength and security.  You realize insecurity, striving, jealousy, and living in comparison will eventually define your entire life, and that is not the legacy you want.” {For the Love}

Getting older also allows us the opportunity to employ the wisdom we’ve gathered over the years to make choices for the future that will guide us in living a life worthy of the calling.  And when we choose to live and love in that manner, the busted plans don’t seem so bad, instead they look like spring boards to launch us to bigger and better things.

What words of wisdom have impacted your life in a way to cause you to begin living more intentionally?


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Bree Blum is a just your average single thirty-something book loving, oil using, cardigan wearing blogger who loves Jesus.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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About

Bree is a recovering perfectionist, whose weaknesses include the clearance rack at Target and anything pumpkin flavored. Though she is an introvert, she has an insatiable craving for community and desire to bring light to God’s purpose in the imperfections of life. Read More