"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Reading a friend's post today, it made me think over whether I hold things loosely and allow God to do with them what He will, or whether there are some things that I consider mine, that I don't want to let go of. While friendships are something I have always struggled to hold loosely, I can see that is definitely something God is teaching me at the moment.
Thankfully, He has given me a success story that I can look back on and remind myself of God's faithfulness and how His ways are higher...
Since I was 7 years old, I have had the dream of becoming a professional orchestral musician playing the viola in orchestras in Australia and around the world. Everything was on track - I had always been the most advanced and accomplished musician in each school I attended, I was in the city, the state and the country's best orchestras much earlier than most and was always at the top of each. I was easily accepted to do a bachelor of music at university and offered scholarships to competing universities interstate to study music performance. I was already being privately tutored and doing workshops with some of the world's best musicians and playing professionally at 15 years old.
Music was something I absolutely loved - I could get lost in it, playing multiple instruments. Playing an incredible masterpiece of music, composed centuries ago, playing with a group of like-minded people, in complete harmony with each other, the orchestra as a living, breathing organism with everyone playing individually yet completely aware of everyone around them and how it all fits together. Perfecting this in a single performance, sweeping thousands of audience members into a new world with you - it's a high that's incredibly hard to beat. (Since then, I have learnt that corporate worship is something equally amazing in the natural; only made better by the fact that it is God whom we are singing to and making music for and that it is more - worship is an exchange of hearts; something an orchestra cannot achieve).
This is where my life was heading, until God stepped in. There was nothing wrong with that dream, but it was one which I was holding very tightly and would not release and God had other plans. Slowly He kept tapping on my shoulder and showing me a different path, asking me to hand over this dream to Him. After much resistance on my part, I stepped away from this dream and went where God was leading me - into school-teaching, then into missions on a ship and from there... where He leads.
Since this has happened, so much has changed in my life. I am headed in a completely different direction, but one I would not change for all the world. It is bringing me more challenges, more joy, more fulfilment and a closer walk with God than ever before. And since handing over that dream to God, He has since reshaped it, tweaked it a bit, and now handed it back to me. It looks very different, but still involves a life full of music - but now, He has given me the opportunity to learn new instruments I wouldn't otherwise have come to know, it is used to worship Him, helping others to worship Him, to teach others and build connections, to share and above all FOR HIS GLORY. What more could I ask?
Letting go was incredibly challenging, but infinitely rewarding. Once your life and all that is within it is touched by the fingerprints of our Creator, it will never ever be the same, but something more beautiful that can achieve more than you ever thought possible, because He works together all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Father God, thank you that you love me and desire to give me the best; and the best is what comes from you. Thank you for shaping my life into what you want it to be. I pray that you would help me to continually hand all things over to you, knowing that some things may not return to me, but what does will then be infinitely better and more than I can ever imagine. Please continue to shape me also, into the woman of God you have made me to be - in your hands all things are possible. When that process is not pleasant, help me to understand that it is you working, that I may accept it and come to embrace those times as you smooth the rough edges into what you need me to become. That I may always desire your best, that you would be able to use me and that in spite of me, your name would be glorified.