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I was 28 when my hopes that I could stop searching the world for love and fulfillment were dashed yet again. At 28, I had traveled cross-country with my loving earthly father with all that could fit into my car – the rest would come soon after us in an express pod. In another long story of my somewhat youthful optimism, I came back a day later to an empty apartment, my gracious father setting up the WiFi and shower curtain before he left hours earlier. But that story is for another day.
When I was just 28, I had a lot of plans, but I had already done more than the average picnic Bear. I was happy to strive for more, in fact, I often sought it out when my life felt “boring” and if you’re not the type, I’m sure you know the type. My current plan? Successfully complete my PhD program while integrating into a new life in Denver with my new dream job.
Little did I know that a few months later my father’s father would die. It was heartbreaking to say the least – I had grown close to my grandfather as he sat in a nursing home, watching whatever tv set on volume 110%, and craving McDonald’s apple pie and coffee. Whenever I had time (admittedly, less frequent than some but much more frequent now that he was stationed in my parents town), I would bring him a pie and coffee and chat about life for a couple hours. Again, another story for another day, but I encourage you to take the time when you have it.
The day I found out he died I was at work. As a bona fide workaholic, I asked to stay and complete the day, knowing there was nothing I could do on my end until plans were made to travel back home. Knowing I would probably get severely depressed, I didn’t realize I would take on so much guilt and blame for his passing.
So imagine my surprise when a new Denver friend invited me to a church service and I nearly bawled my eyes out and had to compose myself along strangers? I wasn’t prepared to feel this – however many services I had been to in my life, God had never felt so real and so accepting. In my teens I left my parents faith(s?) and though I did a lot of searching, both soul and religious, I could never find the “suitable” answer to my questions. I gave up and pursued formal education and love and weightlifting, and they could challenge the notion that I wasn’t enough, but only for so long.
When I finally released control and wanted to feel small compared to a God big enough to love all my flaws and know the journey I would take to fix them in order to live like Jesus Christ – the trajectory of my life changed forever.
Proverbs 19:21 NIV
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Reflection: When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, how did you feel about releasing control of your life?
What do you think?
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