I used to pride myself on, well, myself.
Fresh out of my first year in college I told a handsome young man I was dating, “Just so you know, I don’t need anyone.” I then gave him a litany of requirements for if he were to marry me including one hundred acres in my small home town. That should have made the California born-and-raised city boy run the opposite direction but God, who introduced us, drew us together and a year and a half later Matt and I said, “I do.” We moved into a remodeled goat barn in Whittier, California, on 0.17 acres.
I didn’t stop demanding things of Jesus and my new husband.
I wanted four boys, but I feared being a mother.
I wanted a comfortable life and a good job for Matt with lots of time left over for my honey-do list.
I wanted a friend, but I decided it was easier to do life alone.
Despite my self-sufficient attitude I desperately wanted my dreams to line up with Jesus’ purpose for my life, but I held on so tight they had no hope of seeing the light of day. I was like a princess in a castle tower surrounded by a moat and Jesus was a far-off prince. He was a good idea, the purpose of my desires and maybe even my existence, but I let my plans keep Him out.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)
When I surrendered my life to Jesu,s I kept a tight fist on my future. I bargained with Him, “I’ll follow you, just don’t send me to Africa.” I feared getting stuck in the black-and-white slideshows the missionaries showed at church once a year. To me they depicted a place where loneliness, sickness, and big bugs were an ugly reality.
One thing about Jesus is He is persistent and won’t let his daughters stay stuck for long. If we seek him He will open the door to a new and amazing life. He pursued me, issuing a challenge to let Him teach me how to love others and stop relying on myself.
Some of my dreams shrank and others have blown up bigger than I could imagine.
We have a five-acre mini farm in North Idaho close to town and our church family. He gave me something better than one hundred acres to hide out on.
God gave us four boys. And a girl. Not only that but He is journeying with me to the Africa I feared to bring home a son and a daughter. He taught me to be a mother!
Jesus crossed the moat of my heart and rescued me from my solitude.
Do you have a dream that needs rescued? Maybe Jesus wants you to surrender to His plan. I’d love to hear about your adventures with Him.
Jessie Gunderson is a recovering recluse and the mother of seven (soon), through birth and adoption. She grew up thinking she’d be a terrible mom. She writes, wrangles children and chases chickens in the mountains of North Idaho. Visit her blog at JessieGunderson.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.