God’s Agenda or My Agenda?

July 24, 2014 | My Jottings

My dear friend Kay is one of those people I’ve never met face to face, yet feel a bond with that only the Lord could have orchestrated. Many of you who read this blog regularly will have seen her gracious comments after some of my posts. Kay lives in Cornwall, England with her husband Alan. She’s an avid reader and such a great writer, I’ve encouraged her to start her own blog and told her I’d be her first subscriber. Kay may not be ready for that yet, but she has generously agreed to do a guest post here on my blog, and I know you’ll love what she’s going to share. I look forward to reading your comments in response to what God has laid on Kay’s heart….

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God’s Agenda or My Agenda? — by Kay Stevens

Have you ever heard anyone say that ‘Life is a funny old thing’? It may be an unknown phrase in the U.S., but I’ve heard it said quite a few times here in the U.K. Life is often unpredictable, challenging, surprising (sometimes shocking) and unfathomable. Christians are not exempt from these feelings. Sometimes people will say ‘Life is what you make it’. Well, I would like to argue that is not the right way for those who follow Christ.

I had had my life planned out for so long. Obviously I realized that unexpected things happen along the way, but I felt quite happy planning my future. This was way back when my children were small and I was still married to their father. Although I was a Christian, I tried very hard to be the one in control of my life. Life wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t particularly good either. I just trundled along, not growing in my Christian life at all. And then I came upon a big crossroads. It took me eighteen months to decide what to do and I’m ashamed to say I took that decision without turning to my God. I took a turning that led to sadness, loneliness and depression that lasted for eight years. During those long years I cried out to God for help and couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.  235527974_640

One day I went to my usual church house group meeting and the leader, Mary, gave everyone a small piece of broken pottery and she asked us to write on them something that we wanted to leave at Jesus’ feet. I thought for a moment and then wrote ‘Lack of hope for the future’. This was my honest, laid-bare feeling. Mary then glued the pieces to a wooden cross as a physical representation of what we had done spiritually. I then promptly forgot about this action.

A few weeks later after praying with friends, I was persuaded to register with an on-line dating site. It was a secular company but I made it clear on my profile that I was looking for other Christians.  The rest, as they say, is history. Within six months I had met and married my lovely husband, Alan, and we are now approaching our sixth wedding anniversary. Mary gave me the piece of pottery back and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

God had provided me with this wonderful, Christian husband at just the right time. I was devastated when three years later my beautiful daughter moved two hundred miles away when she got married. In my previous plans, I had always envisaged Louisa living close to home as an adult and that we would go out on shopping trips, cinema viewings and coffee mornings together. After just over two years of marriage, my son-in-law walked out on Louisa not once, but three times. This was something I had not planned for either. I expected Louisa would want to come home after this, but she is part of a church plant in her new home town and she is very happy there. When Louisa was first married I looked forward to loving her children – my much wanted grandchildren. But Louisa isn’t sure that is what God wants for her. But God’s provision of a loving, Christian husband blessed me so much. It also blessed Louisa, because she knows I am not lonely or sad anymore.

Last year Alan and I went on a short course named ‘The Course of Your Life’. The lessons were spread over a few weeks and they permanently altered my way of thinking. One of the sayings that we were told was, ‘Happy wife, happy life’! This was said as a joke, but not long ago I found a little laminated sign in a gift shop with these exact words displayed. The sign now hangs in our garden room.  Alan says that he appreciates the sign and the sentiment is very true!

But, much more importantly, I learnt about God’s agenda versus my own agenda. When I turned control of my life over to Him, life was still a succession of highs and lows. For example, Alan’s health has seriously deteriorated this year and I sometimes get tired coping. But I know that God’s Agenda will prove to be the best for both of us and He will continue to bless us.

So when seemingly unpleasant things happen unexpectedly, I try to remember to tell myself that this is all in God’s Agenda. Sometimes it’s hard to be patient when ‘storms’ happen in our lives. But during each storm I know that He is always with me and this certainty is my rock. I still flounder around at times until I remember and accept these truths. And then His calm surrounds and pervades me.

I pray that someone reading this will be encouraged to ‘Let go and let God’.

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Thank you Kay, for sharing part of your story with us! I can relate very closely to wanting to be in control of my life, and learning time and again how to trust God when that futile desire just doesn’t work. How about some of you who are reading today? How have you coped when your own agenda didn’t come to pass for your life, and God’s agenda changed things in ways you didn’t expect?
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Comments

  1. Larry says:

    Dear Kay and also to my Sis:

    Life before marriage was almost always about self direction and perhaps the first object of overcoming is that of having someone else now in one’s life and that the simple fact now becomes one of “Required Sharing”. I do not know the vows taken where you are Kay but I am aware of those normally said here in the States.

    Those vows are of complete submission into saying “Till Death Do Us Part.”

    Those very simple vows are saying that we will no longer be in “control of our own lives.” I never really looked at them this way, until I received the Lord in my life and it took me a while to realize the new direction my life had to take if it was going to continue on the path I had chosen.

    My wife and I are both strong willed and we both had our own agenda before marriage and we both were fully use to being fully in charge of our life and our conditional environment.

    We have been married for some time now, and perhaps we are still adjusting even at this time.

    You mentioned the storms in your life, it is those times that HE reminds us that if we are to follow HIM that we are to let HIM have complete control.

    We home schooled our daughter, and I say we, because I also was there and I also did all I could in my power and in my support to make sure her education came about how we knew God would want it.

    Now our daughter is many hours away and she does not see her mother very often, and for a while perhaps just a little my wife had empty next syndrome but the blessing out of it all was in God’s mighty hand from the start.

    We are to look after our children, no matter their age, as the bible shows us this many times talking about the widow, the family member with out, the allowance of provision to those who are with out or in need.

    It is a blessing to see your now realizing that even though she will always be your daughter, she too has a separate life style ands yet you are to still seek HIS will for your life.

    I have found that it has taken me many years to realize that I was not given salvation to sit at home, and that I was given my other half to become a part of me in all that I do.

    Perhaps it is now that you are just beginning to pick up your own personal cross?

    As we get a little older, it is we who are ask to step forward for the Love of Christ our Savior and it is we who are then ask to pick up our own cross.

    It is always hard to be patient and it is always hard to do the things we do not wish to do, but there is always a blessing at the end of the trial.

    I have also found that we all get tired sometimes of coping, but it too is part of our individual walk with HIM.

    Thank you for sharing and being open, we all can grow from each other as it is heart warming to realize we are not alone in the areas we think is all about us or only I can be going through this or that as they will continue to come, and HE will continue to see us thru all things.

    Hang in there and keep pushing in, and keep HIM always in front of you.

    It will be at those times when he picks up your heavy load or strengthens you or both.

    Blessings
    Larry

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts again, Larry. You always give us a lot to think about! xoxo

  3. Su Lee says:

    Hi Kay,

    Thank you for your honest, encouraging words. I have read your comments on Julie’s blog so many times and always am blessed by what you share. So much of what you are going through and have gone through in the past mirrors my own life and I am humbled by how you have handled caring for a loved one in physical need. It is sometimes a daunting journey yet I always hear in your words love, kindness, mercy, patience and strength in Christ. If you do write a blog, I would definitely be one of your readers! Do it!

    Su Lee

  4. Just Julie says:

    Two blog readers on board now…yes! I’ve long thought that it would be wonderful for Su and Kay to meet. God bless you both today. xoxo

  5. Janet Skoglund says:

    Thank you Kay for being so transparent and Julie for your encouragement to let Kay know that she is a gifted writer and I would be a reader also. I have always enjoyed her comments and have prayed many times for her and her husband, Alan. I so appreciate this time together on your blog and know from experience that sometime we hold the line for others whether they are family or friends. The line I am talking about is a life line of prayer. Standing on the wall or in the gap. Miles cannot separate the love that Jesus wants to pour into the lives of others.

  6. Just Julie says:

    What beautiful, encouraging words you’ve given us here, Janet. Thank you. I know you have prayed for Michael and me as well, and I know Kay will be so touched to read of your prayers for her and Alan. You are a blessing, Janet… xoxo

  7. Kay in Cornwall says:

    These comments have made me feel so loved. Thank you. 🙂 xx

  8. Nancy says:

    Planning for your future isn’t bad like retirement planning but sometimes what you plan sometimes doesn’t happen. I’m recently widowed and my future is not what my husband and I planned but I am very grateful that God brought him into my life on His agenda. On my agenda I might have married somewhat totally inappropriate but God didn’t allow it. We had 30 wonderful years together and God was with us everyday. I now trust in God that he will lead me to where He wants me to be. Like you say there are surprises. My daughter recently married and I have a new son in law who loves her very much. He told my husband at the wedding, she is my life. Wonderful blog.

  9. Just Julie says:

    Dear Nancy, With just a couple of exceptions, your comments fit my life to a tee. I pray these days of missing your husband are softened by good memories and the sure hope that God has joy and good plans for you ahead. Thank you for stopping by here…. we understand so much of what the other has gone through… xoxo

  10. Linda says:

    This song came to my mind immediately as I read Kay’s post…
    “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”….sure hope you can access it :
    http://youtu.be/PWKZVbG9egQ

    It breaks my heart knowing there is so much pain & suffering in this world….how blessed we are to share our hope & love for Christ with those who don’t know His comfort. God is faithful & longs to see all His children in Heaven …..that is His ultimate “agenda”….one our Lord paid a great price for us so we could experience His everlasting never ending love. Until that day we need to be Jesus for one another ….in prayer…empathy & encouraging one another . So ….thanku Kay ….& dear Julie for this “platform” to do so…

  11. Just Julie says:

    I have never heard that song, Linda. Just beautiful…of course it brought tears. Your words “until that day we need to be Jesus for one another” are so true. It seems like the folks who have Him living inside of them are the ones who bring the most comfort and hope. You are always one of those, dear friend. xoxo

  12. ganeyda says:

    Kay, I sniggered along with this because I am somewhere I never meant to be, never imagined, never wanted, because God did eventually persuade me to hand the driving wheel over to Him. The placid duck puddle I wanted for myself is more one of those wild carnival rides now. Exciting for sure but ensures I hang on tight to my saviour also. 🙂

  13. Just Julie says:

    Yes, His most recent agenda was certainly not something you were thinking of when you were holed up with a book and two cats, enjoying some quiet, was it Ganeida? (I like the old spelling.) Sort of funny, in a way. And sort of awesome. xoxo

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