Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!

WHY WE MUST BEGIN AT THE END

“This is where God has me.”

I find myself saying this a lot. And I find myself not liking this statement I make nor do I find myself liking the state I’m currently in. But…this is where God has me.

Some might argue that sentiment. This current state of life is NOT where God has me, but rather it’s where my choices have landed me. Or it’s where my lack of effort has put me. Maybe those things are true, but if God is sovereign—and I believe He is—then either way, this is where God has me.

It dawns on me that over the last five years or so, I’ve worked hard to create the life that I want. I have pursued paths, sought out different avenues, hoped and dreamed of the future that I wanted and believed would happen. Several times in the last several years I’ve charted my course, set the dial on “determined,” stepped up my game, and gone for it.

All of those things, however, have fallen apart. The goals haven’t been achieved, the dreams haven’t happened, the believing and hoping have come up lame and limping like an athlete who begins the race but never finishes.

And so I say…and keep on saying “This is where God has me.”

I don’t know how Paul did it when he said, “I’ve learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” (Philippians 4:12). I mean, I know how he did it in theory. But I’m not sure how he did in in reality. The very next thing he said was, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

I can do all things…

Doesn’t that sound like just another pep talk, motivational mantra, or bumper sticker to live by? Matter of fact, I just saw it on the back of a t-shirt today.

begin at the end

This is where I’ll end my rant. In all my pursuit, hoping, dreaming, and believing, I’m now in a place where I’m asking God, “Okay…what do You want?” If the paths I’ve chosen and the futures I’ve longed for have all ended up in derailments or detours, then I have to begin where Jesus ended when He prayed, “God, all things are possible for you…But please, not what I want—what do you want?” That was the beginning of the end for Jesus. Relinquishing what He wanted. Surrendering to what God wanted for Him.

Rather than ask God to take part in the story I’ve already written for myself, I’ll try to embrace the one He’s already written for me. Maybe if I can come to the end of myself, it will be some sort of beginning.

But until then…this is where God has me.

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4 thoughts on “WHY WE MUST BEGIN AT THE END

  1. Rosemary on said:

    In observing you and praying with and for you over the last few years, I have to disagree with your evaluation of yourself and your plans for your life. Every time you have sought a direction, I cannot even imagine that it has not been without much prayer seeking His guidance. That is the person that I have seen and heard.
    Maybe, just maybe His answers to your prayers have not followed the paths that you thought you might be on, It is where He had you because you WERE trusting Him. I have found that that no matter the circumstance I have found myself (over the past six years especially) it may not have been what I expected or anticipated, but because He is in it with me, my growth in my faith has deepened because I have had to depend on Him, listen to Him, love Him, follow Him in situations I could never have imagined. You, have imparted lots of lessons to others, Beth, over this time that you are referring to as a result of what He has been teaching you in each situation you feel that you may have created. You may feel that your goals were not fulfilled, but I am sure that His were. If, indeed, you did create some of the directions that you have taken, He has been there, He has used you, and He has grown you ever so much closer to Himself. And, yes, I will have to agree with you, we are where He has us—– as long as we are seeking His guidance and direction for our lives. I am blessed to have been taught much by you. Thank you and may He bless you with contentment.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Rosemary. You’re such an encouragement to me!

      There’s never a doubt in my mind that God is sovereign. He has me where He wants me. He uses me and works through me how He sees fit. And at the end of the day, I do think that’s pretty cool!

      The struggle comes when the things I want, hope for, long for, etc. don’t happen. But it all goes back to surrender. And I constantly hear God say, “Beth, just trust Me!” Easier said than done, but that’s the journey we’re all on, right?

  2. Letty Fenton on said:

    Dear Beth, Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts, doubts and positive messages. I would have left Gashland several years ago had it not been for your teaching and several other teachers. Maybe your personal dreams have not come to fruition, but you have inspired me to not give up on my church relationship and it is a very big part of my wellbeing. God is walking with us and holding our hands. Thank you for being Beth Armstrong!!

    • Letty, you bless my heart!

      Thanks for accepting the Beth Armstrong you have seen week in and week out at church. And thanks for sticking around. God has certainly blessed us. I’m so grateful for the family of God we have there. And that includes you, my friend!

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