If you haven’t read the first two posts in this series, I really recommend you reading them before you read this post. You can find them by clicking HERE.
Today we are going to talk about what it looks like to choose the “ easy way ” when things start to get hard, and your dream feels like it has turned into a nightmare.
Many times over the years, especially with the pain and heartache of our adoption journey, I have been tempted to take the “easy way out”. However my confidence and trust in the Lord has never allowed me to go too far down one of these paths, but I know, and have walked with many people – friends and family – who are on these roads.
Lots of things can happen when you chose the “easy way” –
You give up.
Things get hard, really hard and you think, “this can’t be God, where did I go wrong?” so you give up on pursuing your dream. I’ve wanted to do this about 999 times since we brought our daughter home, but what I see happen when people give up is that they wander. When you give up on your dream, you become a wanderer, looking for your next dream or your next calling.
And then you find your new dream, and the journey starts all over again – God breaks your heart, you go through the honeymoon stage and then it gets hard again, maybe even harder than it was the last time.
So you begin to question God, and you give up again. This pattern of giving up when it gets hard, will never get you anywhere, all it does is lead to a life of wandering.
I don’t know about you, but when I read about the Israelites wandering in the desert, I think “how could they have been so stupid?”. But how many of us have lost our faith for the hard things and end up wandering too?
You blame God.
Another thing that can happen when you choose the “easy way” is you begin to blame God. Believe me, I know it’s really easy to get mad at God when He brings something into your life that turns it upside down, I’ve been there. However, I’ve seen so many people take it to the next level and blame God for all the turmoil in their lives.
What happens when we blame God, is that blame leads to resentment and resentment blinds us, which makes it impossible to see how He’s moving, and the good things He’s doing in and through the hard things. Blaming and resentment also lead to opening doors for the enemy to lie to you and show you all the ways God has “let you down”, which then leads to even more resentment.
When I wrote this God showed me a picture of a train, passing through a station. The train ride represents your journey and He knows it would be easy to step off the train, and be done with the journey – and the pain it has brought you. But what He wants you to know is the station you’re at, isn’t the one He wants you to get off at.
The journey isn’t over yet and the station at the end is going to be bigger and so much more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Remember, the journey isn’t always easy but it is always going to be worth it.
You become passive.
Another thing I see happen when people choose the “easy way”, is that they become passive.
In your mind the dream didn’t turn out the way you thought it should, so you get frustrated and become passive. You accept the lie, “Who do you think you are, asking God for a dream? (The enemy scoffs at you) Your dreams aren’t meant to come true, you’re not worth it.”
And then time goes on and you are without at dream, or a purpose, so you start to wonder why God hasn’t given you one. But what’s really going on, isn’t that God didn’t give you a dream, or hasn’t tried since you gave up the first time, it’s that you are too passive to see what’s right in front of you.
You have become so passive, and believed the lie that you’re not worth it, for so long, that you probably wouldn’t even recognize a dream if it ran right into you.
When we partner with a spirit of passivity it blinds us from seeing what’s all around us. It’s like a horse walking around with blinders, they block the rear and side views so all they see is what’s right in front of them. When we partner with passivity, it’s like walk around with blinders, it’s impossible to see what God has done in the past and what he is currently doing all round us.
The last thing I’m going to talk about, that could happen, if you chose the “easy way”, is definitely more extreme, and while I don’t see it happen often, I’ve had people in my life choose this route, so I know it happens.
Total abandonment is what happens when you get done blaming God, and your resentment has grown so much that it no longer feels good to just blame God, so you start to blame the people around you. You become a victim and you partner with a very dangerous enemy that opens doors, and speaks lies to make you believe that you have always been the one wronged.
You decide it’s time for you to start a new dream but nobody, not even God, is going to tell you what to do, or how to live your life. You have decided you know what’s best for you, so you abandon everything, and sometimes that includes everyone that was affiliated with the dream journey you had been on.
The danger in ending up here is that you’re believing so many lies from the enemy, and even though everything looks good to you (because you know how to live your life without anyone) it’s a slippery slope. The truth is that we all need people in our lives loving and supporting us. You can’t do it on your own and when you turn your back against God there will be consequences to be paid. There is hope for healing but the further you walk away from the Lord, the harder the healing journey will be.
Obviously it’s silly that I call this four options the “easy way” because, as you can see, none of them are good ones, but in the beginning, they seem so much easier than the alternative. I would never judge or blame anyone for choosing the “easy way” because I think it’s human nature to go this route, and after knowing what the other option has lead me to, I can say there have been so many days when I wanted to get off the train and be done with the journey.
It’s hard, it’s really hard, but what I can tell you is that the Lord is in it. He’s in the pain, He understands why you’re hurting, He understands that your dream doesn’t look the way you thought it should, but He’s asking you to trust Him. Trust Him that He can see beyond what we can see, He knows how the story ends, all we can see is the here and now.
If you chose not to take the “easy way”, the other option is obedience. Next time we’re going to talk about obedience, and how it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. At any point you can hop off the train and choose to take the “easy way”, but if you do the hard work I can tell you it’s absolutely worth it.