Have you ever been driving down the road with your significant other and hit the passenger side imaginary brake? So often, when I grasp the door handle and stomp on that imaginary brake, my husband chuckles and claims “I’ve got this. I am in complete control!” Funny! He thinks that HE can prevent or stop a car crash. As much as we think that WE are in control and can handle everything in our lives, sometimes we are reminded that the Lord is guiding our life and He is in control. Hi! I’m Bridgett! And, much in the same way that my husband thinks that he is in control, I am also guilty of “control”. I used to think that I was in control of my life. Two years ago, my life was interrupted with a skin cancer diagnosis. I was 34 years old, a mother of two and happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I also had an amazing career where I spent more than ten years working hard and climbing the corporate ladder. I was so focused on my career that many times I shooed my son away so I could sit at my computer and get a few more hours into my already 10 hour workday. To say that my diagnosis scared me is an understatement. And what scared me the most is that I realized that I was NOT in control of whether I live or die? In a simple second, everything can change…my life could end. Was I ready for that? NO! When I received my cancer diagnosis, I didn’t have a personal relationship with God. Sure, I read my kids bible stories and attended church on the important Sundays. You know what I’m talking about. Christmas, Easter and…I guess that’s about it. There’s nothing like the “C” word to scare you into evaluating your relationship with God. Upon realizing that I was not in control, I started searching for my faith and the One that truly is in control. I read books and researched the Internet. (Don’t laugh!) It was like writing a term paper. I would read and take notes. The research helped but I decided it was time to start speaking to people in my life that were obviously living their life for Christ. So, I continued my faith-finding journey and confided in some wonderful people. I shared my fears and my future hopes. It’s hard to admit that you don’t quite feel close to God and haven’t made a relationship with Jesus Christ a priority. Amazingly, they all told me the same thing. They told me that I had to let God love me and trust Him. What did they mean “Let God love me?” What did they mean, “Trust in God?” I was a headstrong, opinionated, highly ambitious woman. I didn’t “let” anyone do anything that I didn’t agree with and I didn’t “trust” easily. My oldest friend (not old in age, but number of years of friendship) encouraged me to travel with her to Swaziland, Africa the year after my skin cancer diagnosis. I had undergone surgery on my face to remove the skin cancer and had received four benign biopsies. So, I really started to think hard about going to Swaziland. I had a lot to be thankful for and maybe I would find God there. That’s what a mission trip is for, right? In July 2011, after a windstorm of the enemy’s obstacles (illnesses, passport issues, etc.), I continued on my faith-finding journey to a country 9,000 miles away. While serving in Africa, I met the happiest, most faith-filled people that I had ever met in my life. Their songs of praise and dances in His glory were contagious. I truly felt the love of Christ and completely surrendered myself to Him. After returning from that trip, I gave up control of my life because I trusted Him to have a better plan for me.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6After Swaziland, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with the voice in my head. The voice of the Lord was whispering to me and He told me to quit my job. The job that had been #1 in my life was no longer important to me. All I wanted to do was to feel God’s love and work for Him everyday. I am a planner. I write to-do lists for everything from daily itineraries to cleaning tasks. I couldn’t imagine actually quitting my job with no plan for my future. What would I do? How could I quit without another job lined up? Did the Lord really have a better plan for me? How would I pay my bills? Without answers to these questions, I quit 12 hours after I heard the voice of the Lord. I quit my job of 12 years. I completely trusted in the Lord even though none of it made sense in my head. Check back later today to see how I got involved with Philanthropy!!! Next up, Part 2 ‘God led, I followed’
Blessings in Him,