There are a lot of things in this life that I cannot choose. I did not choose my body. I did not choose my parents or my siblings. I didn’t choose to be from Arizona. A lot of things have happened to me in life (scrapes, bruises, abuse) that I did not personally say, “yes, please. I choose that!” I have been powerless because of these choices that have been made for me.
I have been angry because of the sad things that happened in my childhood and the pain that I carried with me into adulthood. Relationships have been ruined. Ties broken. Bridges burned. I tried forgiving and forgetting and going about my business. Still, I find that I am living in reaction to my past. I am still not in control. All of these things are happening to me, in me, and around me that I can’t control, and I am trying my darndest to control it. To push back against these uncontrollables.
In my day to day life I am emotionally all over the place, terrible at time-management, go-with-the-flow, and filled with regret and remorse. I have bought into the lie that because I do not have control over a lot of things, I am not able to have choice. I do whatever I “feel” like in the moment and then regret that I didn’t do something more productive.
Psalm 25:11-15 speaks volumes to me on this:
For your name’s sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
There is great power in choosing the ways of the Lord. You abide in well-being and you have deep fellowship and friendship with the Lord. I have been trapped in the net of confusion, reaction, frustration, and striving. Constant striving. I have been striving for these other things that I think would go better for me than what the Lord has for me. I do not know better than the Lord. I cannot fight my way out of this net. I cannot use my strengths to eliminate the net. I need to look towards the Lord. Looking at him changes my perspective. It doesn’t eliminate the net. That net is still around my feet. If I choose to look at the Lord, I will see the ways that he has for me. In the Lord’s kindness he has prepared my path. He knows what is best for me. He has chosen the details of my life.
He chooses my path, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10).
God chose my parents. He chose my body. Psalm 139:13, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” In his kindness he has chosen my ways. He is constantly praying for me. Rom 8:27-28 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Choosing the way of the Lord leads me in his goodness. Scripture says that the Lord predestined those whom he has called (Rom 25:30). He pre-chose me to walk in his Spirit. He pre-chose my path. And in his grace he works all things for good. For my good and his glory. Choosing the path that the Lord has provided for me carries power. It carries freedom. I am able to build on that foundation.
Becoming Melanie Do was the best choice that I made two years ago and the best choice that I make every day. I choose being Melanie Do. Daughter of the King. Wife to Kha. Student at Southern Seminary. Educator at lululemon. Member at Sojourn East. Distributor and enthusiastic consumer of Young Living Essential Oils. Daughter to my parents. Sister to my siblings. Friend. Advocate. Leader. Wild. Free.
Kha and I have been growing wildly. We have been having SO MANY difficult, convicting, and sanctifying conversations. The Lord is leading us to read certain books, open up to others, and have deep, terrifying, and revealing conversations with each other and our friends. We choose our lives. We choose working full time and going to school full time. We choose photography and essential oils. We choose our big tumor-filled dog Abby. We choose to love each other in the difficult times. In the midst of fights, we choose each other. We might be staring at each other through glassy eyes or looking down towards to ground unwilling to accept being wrong. But we are committed to always choosing each other and fighting through the muck and the net.
We Do’s are committed to the Lord. We choose the ways of the Lord. All through his grace, love, mercy, and care for us. And we are thankful and full.