I will never take my kids out in public in their pajamas with lunch evidence still on their faces.
And then I did.
I will never let my child have french fries, instead of their healthy lunch, because it’s all they will eat.
But I did.
I wouldn’t ever have just two kids.
But I do.
I am 35 years old and I’m just now learning to “never say never”.
Remember An American Tail, Fievel says, “I will never find my family” and wise Henri says “Never…say…never”. So maybe slightly different context from the direction I’m going, but you get the point.
We’ve all said “I will never do _____!” and then had to eat our words.
I believe there are a couple reasons for why it always seems to be the things we say we will “never do” that we ended up doing.
First and very simply, it’s to take us down a notch. To humble us. To knock us off the “Me Ladder”. To allow us to not hold ourselves in higher regard than we hold others. To humanize ourselves in our own minds.
Before I was a mom, getting a child out the door, completely clean, in perfect attire, every hair in place and “presentable” seemed easy peasy. Why in the world would you ever not be able to accomplish this?
And then I became a mom. Priorities took over. Getting out of the house with enough diapers, wipes, bottles, and food was a big enough task.
It’s humbling to realize that the things you once criticized in others is the very thing you are doing.
Humility is the opposite of pride.
Pride causes us to see ourselves above others.
Pride causes us to say things out loud like “I would never do ____” and finish the thought in our minds with “because I’m better than they are”.
1 Peter 5:5 Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Being opposed by God is not a pleasant thought. But humility is a state of mind that is pleasing to Him.
The second reason I believe God often allows us to experience or do things we’ve said “I will never do” is because of this verse.
Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
I’m type A. I like plans. I like to know what’s coming. I like control. I haven’t always been the best with ‘go with the flow”.
So when I have plans and those plans make sense to me, I can easily go into a tail spin, (usually in my mind because that’s where most of my battles rage, but that’s an entirely different post) when Someone…GOD…has different steps for me to take.
Insert Type A freak out mode. Hold on a sec…”God, you have something else in mind? Something that I didn’t have in my plans? Something I said ‘I will never do’?”
But then there’s this.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Learning to let go of control. Learning to trust that God has plans for me that I can’t even imagine.
I’ve spent the last year living in this exact thought I’m writing about. I had a plan. I’d said “I will never do that” and for a year God has been breaking down my pride, messing up the corners of my heart and mind that held onto this thought -the space that held my plan. He began showing me exactly how “His ways are higher than my ways”.
Saying this was easy or fun would be laughable.
When God invades your plans, and you’re stubborn, it causes a battle. A battle of my will and His will. My plans and His plans. My way and His way.
I’m learning though, that battling His ways doesn’t yield a winning record in my corner.
He wants our hearts. He asks us for complete surrender. Only when we surrender completely is He able to fully show us the steps He’s determined.
When our pride is replaced with humility and we learn to “never say never” again, this is when God moves mountains. In our hearts. In our minds. In our lives.
It’s when His ways take over our ways and we discover life and blessings we never knew were possible.
Earlier this summer, our family, and by family I do mean family, because we did include the kids in on this conversation, made the decision to take our kids out of the great school they were in and homeschool them.
‘I will never homeschool my kids”. Words that had come from my mouth many times, as recent as this past year (eek, that’s humbling).
But here we are, two weeks away from doing exactly that. Books ordered, school supplies purchased, former school enrollment cancelled.
After a year of battling this, wanting to keep my own plans in tact, I surrendered to the call God has for us.
We very much believe this is a specific call for our family. Not something He calls everyone to and that’s so ok. We’re excited and looking forward to the many blessings that will come from being together more…a lot more…and the opportunity to grow in our parenting because of this intense challenge ahead of us.
The result of being in a battle of “my will and His will” and surrender on my end, is supernatural peace. Something that only comes from the Lord, knowing He’s in control and I’m being obedient. It takes the pressure off of me and puts it all on Him. The beauty of this is that I know He can take it.
Psalm 55:2 Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
So I’m learning to never say never because so often that “never” turns into “Oh but my sweet child, you must”.