Not a slave to circumstance

Edit:  Originally Posted on 1/29/2016 on jordynschirripa.weebly.com

Yesterday was just one of those days. One of those days that is a mixture of good and bad, frustrating and fulfilling, busy and hard all at the same time. It was a day where I made a zero on a quiz because I forgot to do my reading. I went nonstop from 8 am to 12am without eating dinner, and when I finally made it to my bed I couldn't help but feeling tired and a little defeated.

I was frustrated with myself for doing poorly on my quiz thinking about why I didn't stay up until 1 am the night before and finish reading that chapter for class. I felt disappointed in myself for not eating healthy and getting in a workout during the day. I was crushed by the pressure of the fact that fifteen people asked me throughout the day what I am planning on doing this summer and I didn't have an answer for any of them. I felt guilty for not loving my roommates the way I should have in my rush and frustration. The list goes on and on and on...

All of these thoughts flooded my head as I lay in bed at the end of the day. I felt like a failure, and I definitely had the attitude of one. For a while I let these thoughts eat at me. I thought the problem was that I had failed, that I hadn't read my Public Relations chapter, I thought things would be different if I had just eaten an apple or maybe jogged a few miles. I thought that I probably wouldn't feel this way if only I knew what I was going to do this summer. I thought wrong.

This week I started to do a study on the fruits of the spirit. So at the end of the day, as I was laying in bed, I realized that in my running around I had completely forgotten to look at that day of the study. Ironically enough, the topic for the day ended up being on the fruit of the Spirit none other than Joy.

Joy. It hit me like a brick wall. Because at that moment, laying awake in my bed at 12am, I realized that my problems were not a result of failing a quiz, not working out, or having no clue what I am going to do this summer. My problem had to do with the orientation of my heart. And as much as I didn't want to admit it, I was letting my circumstances control my attitude. I was looking for Joy in all the wrong places all day long. I was trying to find satisfaction in my grades, my ability, and my relationships rather than from the fact that I am loved by the sovereign God, the Creator of the universe, the Lord of Lord and King of Kings. And He doesn't call me to have my life together on my own. He doesn't call me to take the creation and place it above the Creator. He doesn't call me to live a life of independence from him. 

You reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy; 
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.
salm 16:11

"In your presence is abundant joy"
ow.

In fact, He calls me to do the exact opposite. He calls me to live in utter dependence on Him. He invites me to be in constant communion with Him, so that I might experience the abundant joy that He has to offer. Imperfect, arrogant, and sinful, He gives me the opportunity to relinquish my false sense of control and come up under His authority for my own good. 

I now see that if I would have stopped focusing inward and just looked up and away from myself I could have been freed from the pressure I was placing on myself. By acknowledging the fact that I don't find my joy from the things of this world, good or bad, I can experience the precious freedom that comes from knowing the sovereign God. I can be free to love, serve, and extend grace to others.

Today, I am thankful for a new day. A day where I don't have to be a slave to my circumstances. A day where I am able to rest in the presence of my Savior and experience the genuine joy that comes from full surrender.

Jordyn Schirripa