Birthdays. The days you’re supposed to demonstrate you’ve gained a whole year’s wisdom so that you can be allowed to advance to the next level. Nothing quite invokes extended periods of contemplation quite like a looming birthday and with my twenty-sixth merely days away I have a lot of burning questions on my mind, questions I need answered to prove that I actually learned something from being twenty-five and I am now ready for level twenty-six.
I’ve always had this feeling that I cannot shake that I will not be around for a very long time. My grand time line for my life does not extend anywhere past mid-forties and not because I’m incapable of seeing that far ahead but because at that age my life just goes black in my mind. Thinking about it now, I can’t help but wonder if I have been using this ‘premonition’ as an excuse to get things done and get them done right now! I do however acknowledge that this might be legitimate, but how can I know for sure? Is it even possible to know for sure?
I am a woman of many convictions and I absolutely cannot cope with doubt. Doubt tends to cause some of my very unbecoming character flaws to rear their ugly heads for all to see. So quite naturally I do not appreciate it very much when I have to spend time, least of all weeks doubting and doubting my own beliefs no less.
There are three things I am certain of in my life:
1) God is the author and finisher of my fate and He knew exactly how every second of my life would play out before I even took my first breath,
2) God is merciful, loving and compassionate and He is the definition of the word good, and
3) I have a flair for the finer things in life and therefore was never destined to be poor. Yep it’s true! I make no apologies for it!
I am absolutely convinced that all three of the above are true. Number three I have known all my life and have held onto through the darkest times in my family’s life. Even as I slept on floor, didn’t eat meat for sometimes weeks on end, only received new clothes once a year, I still knew that I was not destined to live like that and I knew it was going to end. I remember when I was ten years old my father said to me, quite prophetically, I would never amount to anything in life and I would forever be poor because I am too extravagant. Weirdly I did not believe him even though I believed him when he said I was stupid and wouldn’t get very far in life. Through my parents divorce when I was twelve when we had to start from scratch, the conviction was there. I think it is therefore safe to say it’s one of those knowing beyond a shadow of doubt situations. But where did such an unshakable belief come from?
I still remember having to scrape my bottom lip off the floor when I heard a pastor say, “Not all good things and not all good thoughts are from God.” I thought he’d lost his mind but as I sat and listened, it all began to make more sense. You see, the devil’s been a scam artist for ages now and has evolved in his trickery. He knows that he is more likely to fool us with a lie that appears good and feels good and right rather than one that feels wrong. I don’t think I am the only person to have been in a relationship that was ultimately wrong and I even knew it was wrong but was still in it because it felt to right! This revelation of course opened the brimming box of questions that led to me doubting my intentions, decisions and beliefs.
About two months ago a close friend asked me how you know if you’re destined for something and whether it is possible that some of us are destined to not of have our heart’s desires fulfilled. Almost immediately, I told her that that was ludicrous. I was of the belief that God doesn’t put desires in our hearts that He would leave unfilled, this belief I had picked up from a sermon I had heard a while back. Rather than being laid to rest at that point her question haunted me, two months later it is still haunting me! It is not that I necessarily think my original response was wrong, I do however think there are multiple options that I had not considered.
The first being; if satan was capable of deluding us with seemingly good things what would stop him from trying to lead us astray with good desires? Mine for example is to be married and be a good wife and mother. I can honestly say that that is my heart’s biggest desire. One day I started thinking, what if the enemy is using my desire to drive a wedge between God and I? Could he be somehow standing in the way so that I can discouraged and start doubting the truth of scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11? Within days my thoughts jumped to the other end of the spectrum…why was I so convinced that it was supposed to be? Could I not tell from all my failed relationships that God was trying to tell me something? I soon realised that I was caught in the depths of doubt!
After weeks of contemplation, presenting arguments back and forth in my head, I think I am finally ready to deliver a verdict. There a millions of things that we were predestined to do all of which we will do. Then there are things we believe we were destined to do, these may or may not happen. Sound like I am still stuck sinking in the sea of doubt? Let me clarify further. As humans we have a finite view of the world, God does not! What we do not understand is that we are eternal beings and part of what we were predestined for was never meant to unfold on this earth. Whilst things that we predestined for WILL happen, there is no certainty for the desires of our hearts, they will however fulfil their purpose in our lives. I’m a firm believer that every experience and non-experience(if I can call it that) serves a very specific purpose in our lives some purposes we will never get to grasp simply because we are human.
Some things are just not for the human mind to comprehend and I think at some point we need to reach the point where we are willing to stop trying. God is the only one who knows things ‘beyond a shadow of doubt’, we just don’t have it in us to comprehend the space that exists beyond a shadow. Whilst I remain convinced that I was never destined to be poor, I think it would be quite arrogant to think my beliefs will alter what I have been predestined for so spare a thought and a penny should it one day turn out I was wrong.