Embracing God’s Plan for Your Life. A Guest Post from Austin Hanes!

I had the opportunity to work with Austin during my time at CSU. He is such a blessing to so many and a truly spirit-filled follower of Christ! Though he has many talents, he is a very gifted writer and I’m thankful that he agreed to guest blog for me today! Enjoy!

When Audi originally asked me to write for her blog I thought to myself, “what could I possibly have to say as a guest blogger…I am horrible at keeping up my own blog.” And after one of her last posts I thought to myself, “what could I, a 25 year old single guy, have to possibly say to defeated Moms?!?!” But then it came to me: defeat, negative self-talk and the like are not feelings that women feel alone; you might be surprised to know that guys suffer from defeat and negative self-talk too. The devil’s flaming arrows of negativity have no sexual, racial or socioeconomic bounds.

So here goes… At Christmas I bought this pair of red pants to wear to my company Christmas party. They weren’t like a burgundy or merlot color…they were RED. I thought they were the greatest thing on the planet! Well…for some reason I thought that people looked at me strange in them and so for the next 7 months, they lived on a hanger in my closet. A few weeks ago, I decided to pull them out and pair them with a blue gingham shirt (no this isn’t a style blog but stay with me).

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I looked like a hipster at a hipster Fourth of July party. Pretty much the greatest style choice of my life! However, more fiery arrows of self-doubt ensued and I said something in passing to my younger brother. What he said was so poignant and something that I don’t want to forget for a long time. He said something like “why be fearful of what man thinks when it is ultimately what God thinks that matters?”

We lead our lives comparing it with others based upon the Facebook status updates, Twitter tweets and Instagram updates. We are turning into a social media, one-up society. We no longer lead lives that we are satisfied with, but rather want more out of life and create a life that we want on our Pinterest boards. Is it wrong to want a better house or better clothes? I don’t think so; however, at what point are we taking our stylistic ideas and turning them into coveting after what others have? Aren’t we ultimately wanting a better life?

Your life is what God has blessed you with. Let that sink deep down. Your life is a blessing from God! Nobody else will have your life…and you will NEVER have anybody else’s life. It was planned out to be exactly how it is before the foundations of the world were even laid.  Sometimes the life that is in front of us isn’t the life that we would have picked for ourselves. Being cooped up in a house all day with a grumpy toddler, isn’t fun. Being cooped up in a cube while under stress at work, isn’t fun. But guess what: this is the life God has for you right now. Its beautiful once you embrace it and see it as a blessing, and thank God for that blessing. Just because you have (or had) hopes and dreams, doesn’t mean that they won’t come to pass just because of the current state of your life. During this current state, God can use you to speak life and truth into so many people’s life…you just have to be willing to accept where He has you and step out into the unknown of where He is taking you.

One of my favorite authors Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Searching for God Knows What), wrote one of the most profound things in one of His books that I have read in regard to this. He said, “Life is a dance toward God…and the dance is not so graceful as we might want. While we glide and swing our practiced sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is difficult to dance and learn, because its steps are foreign.” Our minds are unable to fully comprehend the beauty and plan of such an amazing Being. We think that we can take on life in our own strength, but it is at that point that we always will fail. Just like a potter who must mash his pot into a lump time and time again in order to make it exactly what He wants it to be, while we are learning to dance with God, our toes will get hurt and bruised; but this is what it takes to go from dancing like a white kid with absolutely no rhythm (such as myself), to dancing like world champion ballroom dancers with God.

I am my own worst enemy. I will break myself and hurt myself more than anyone else. I speak the negativity to myself because they are not words from God. Instead of saying that I am ugly, God tells me I am beautiful and made in His image; I am the bearer of His fingerprints. Instead of dwelling on all of the things that I have done to blaspheme His name, God tells me that they are forgiven and no longer matter; they are at the bottom of a bottomless well never to be brought up again.

What we wear, what we believe God would have us to do, how we believe He would have us to raise our children is between us and God; He is the only one we should look to for approval. Lets begin living life like we are a free people, purchased with the blood of a perfectly, sinless sacrifice.  Because it is at that point that we begin to truly live and love.

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Follow Austin’s blog at austinsmusings.wordpress.com. You won’t be disappointed!

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