you make all things work together for my good

two years ago i was way too arrogant for my own good. i thought that i knew what was best for my life. i knew what would be best for me more than god did. i knew that with my gifts and talents that if i worked hard, i could be good in pretty much any field that i wanted to go into.

the whole time that i was convinced of this stuff i felt god pulling at me. i heard him in my ear telling me that he’d given me those gifts and talents for a different reason. he was telling me that he wanted me to surrender completely to him so that he could use those talents through me and do something even bigger and better than i could imagine.

but that meant not doing it on my own.

and i could do anything i wanted on my own.

so i kept fighting god. i kept ignoring him. i kept on trying to do what i wanted to do. the thing is, it was working. i was doing really well. i was working a job that i loved. actually, i was working two jobs that i absolutely loved. i was able to make up a semester of school and graduate on time. i was dating a girl that i thought could be the real thing.

i felt good.

life was good.

shoot, i think i even looked good.

and then august 17th happened.

august 17th is the day that i lost pretty much everything. me and the girl broke up. one of the jobs that i loved, the one where i made the most money, went away. the job that i absolutely loved became a chore and not the fun that it had been. instead of being excited to go into grad school, i hated it.

i felt terrible.

life was horrible.

i didn’t look nearly as good.

everything that i had worked for, that i thought i deserved, was taken from me.

the next six months after that was a time that was ugly. it’s one that i wouldn’t wish on anyone. i went from being happy and fun to being depressed and annoyingly pessimistic.

i was too arrogant and prideful to submit to god. he tried for three years to get me to simply buy in to what he wanted me to do and i kept rejecting it and rejecting it. i thought i had something better. i thought that my plan was better than his.

on august 17th, god got tired of screwing around.

on august 17th, god got tired of my arrogance.

on august 17th, god took everything that was important to me.

god gave me so many chances to humble myself and do what he wanted me to do. he gave me opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to do it and i just wouldn’t so he took matters into his own hands and humbled me himself.

when you have nothing, when you’ve hit rock bottom, when everything is going wrong, you have no choice but to be humbled. you have no choice but to turn to god and give him everything.

he knew i wouldn’t do it on my own.

i sit here, two years later, and i can remember waking up before my alarm and going to the early church service that sunday morning. i remember jon duping saying, “sometimes you’re so emotionally invested in your own life that you can’t see what god’s trying to do.” i remember sitting in my living room as we were breaking up. i remember david mcdaniel coming over and singing dc talk songs and laughing way too much at that.

i remember that day like it was yesterday.

the past two years have flown by. i’m constantly amazed at the way god has been working in me and changing me. i look back and see how self-centered i was and it embarrasses me. i see how i would do whatever it took to manipulate things so that i got what i wanted and i wish i could punch 2008 jonathan in the face. i see how i put all of my happiness in a person and in a relationship and it makes me wonder how i could’ve been so blind and naive. i think back to the things i said about her in the weeks and months after and i can’t believe that i was that mean and hurtful and unforgiving.

at the same time, i look at all those things and i’m so incredibly thankful that my eyes have been opened to what and who i was. i’m reminded constantly that if i don’t check myself, that’s the person i become. i look back at all that negative and all of that hurt and i’m thankful for it.

yesterday i told my roommate that today was the two year anniversary of the break up. he looked at me and told me that was a weird thing to remember. for me, though, it was a huge day. it was the day that everything i put my faith in was stripped away. it was the day that changed the rest of my life. it was the moment that led to me finally trusting completely in god.

in two years i’ve completely changed. i’m nowhere near the person i was in 2008 and i’m so thankful for it. i’ve got a job that i absolutely love. i feel like every gift and talent that i was given was designed specifically for what i’m doing now. i’m dating a great girl. i’m making some awesome friends in a town that i like a lot more than i ever expected.

on august 17, 2008 i thought my life was over.

on august 17, 2010 i realize it’s only just begun.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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