“Then he said to them all, ‘if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up the cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
There comes a time in life when you encounter something that shakes you to the core and in a blink of an eye you’re left to make decisions you never thought you’d face. For me, it’s a season I’m walking through now. One that I know I’ll grow from, but not one that’d be my top pick of seasons.When I was younger, we played a game called MASH, which consisted of categories like future husband’s name, career, how many kids you’d have, the car you’d drive, etc. At the end of the game, the person you were playing with would draw a spiral and you’d say stop, and whatever number of lines you had in your spiral you’d count down MASH until you got to one letter. MASH stood for: Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House. Never once did my MASH game predict that I’d have a mortgage I couldn’t afford, face divorce at age 34, and pray every day that my husband would be alive when I woke up.
A little back history. I’ve lived in the same town for 34 years. It’s a town that’s somewhat my safety net that I don’t stray far from, except for that one time when I went off to college 300 miles from home only to find myself back within a year. I met my husband not long after that. We had our first child when I was 23. Even though it didn’t fit my ideal plan for what life should look like, it happened. I embraced it and learned to make lemonade from lemons. My husband and I waited almost an eternity before we got married. Another safety net, I guess, because in the back of my mind I thought if the going gets too tough, I can bow out with no strings attached. We had our second child not long after we married. A little less than a year after we married, I found out he had a hard–core addiction that could kill at any moment.
Again, this scenario didn’t fit into my MASH game at all. I didn’t choose this, and never thought I’d be faced with something like it. I came from a split family and it was like watching history repeat itself.
I’ve had a relationship with God since an early age, but the past few years my knowledge of who He really is has grown drastically. I couldn’t make it without Him. Last year was a rocky year. Every single day, I called out to God, begging Him to hear my cries for help. What I really wanted was for Him to magically wipe it all away and let me start fresh, which we all know isn’t how He works. It wasn’t until I started getting desperate for change that I heard Him. If you were to ask me what He said, I don’t think I could tell you. All I know is that I had a desperation like never before to give my life over to Him. Not just the parts I was trying to fix but every single thing. Do I have a plan? Heck no! I just take it day by day, trying my best to do what the Holy Spirit leads me to do. Do I understand it? Nah! Most days I wonder if I’m flying by the seat of my britches, thinking I am doing what I’m supposed to. I’ve decided that I’m going to live a faith–filled life and stop trying to fit all the pieces together before I make a move. I’ve tried it my way far too long and now it’s time to walk by faith and not by sight.
2018 is the year I am drawing closer to God like never before. It’s the year I’ll do the unthinkable. I will live like there is no tomorrow. I won’t let fear or the devil’s mutters dictate my life any longer. When I see that cross, I see Jesus, freedom, and a fresh start. This is the year that God will grow me not only spiritually but emotionally and in character. I will find my power, my courage, and my discipline through Him. I choose to no longer live in fear of what others might think of me or my situation. I will open up and accept the love and encouragement along the way and embrace the opportunity to pour love and hope into others that might be walking through something similar.
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, and at times we’d rather hide what we’re going through. If you haven’t heard anything else, I hope you hear this: You were made for this life. God created it and there is nothing too big for Him. If you’re facing something that feels like it’s consuming you, reach out to God, truly listening to what He’s saying and then do it! Next, find a friend or a group that will be your support and voice of encouragement. God will place the ones you need, just where you need them.
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Amy Cosby is a sinner saved by grace with a heart for God and a love for people. She is the wife to a daredevil tower climber, a mother to two preious girls, and the glue that keeps her office together at Alabama Power. She loves to laugh, spend time with friends and family, and she coaches cheerleading for the Moody Blue Devils youth cheerleaders.