Written by Katie Pezzutto
“When we belong to Jesus, we’re finally able to make God look glorious in our lives.” – John Piper
I’m 26. By this point in life, I thought I would be working in a massive city center. I wanted to be living life as a well-respected reporter and actress. I wanted my face on bus stops and televisions screens. I wanted people to know the name of the great, the beautiful, the talented: Katie Pezzutto.
In many ways, I was on the fast track, catapulting god-speed toward my idea of success. I had almost finished my degree in English and Education, worked with magazines, signed with a modelling agency and scored an acting agent when I came flying off the track.
It took a nasty sickness to humble me.
It was the third day of my trip to Hawaii when a gut-wrenching illness decided to smash me across the face. I had just emptied my latest glass of ginger ale and Hawaiian chips into the toilet when I heard My Father’s voice.
“Kate, I don’t want you to finish your Education degree.”
“Excuse me. God, what?”
I was floored. These few words flew in the face of everything I had been taught. I mean Colossians 3:23! “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” Right? What the heck would my parents, husband and friends think? I was convinced they would all see me as the laziest loser on earth. I met God’s words with apprehension, pain and extreme distrust. I told Him to take His opinion elsewhere. Then I started asking questions.
“You’ve given me so many talents, gifts and visions for the future. I can’t just give them up. Right?” He stayed silent. But as I sat on the floor of the bathroom, I thought about the time He saved my life from an out of control eating disorder. I thought of His unrelenting passion, unwavering love and unconditional delight over me. Up to this point in my life, His crazy love for me has been nothing but palatable. He wanted the best for me. I knew it.
Still, letting go of the plans for my life hurt. Being a factophile, I needed to know that giving my ways up was what He wanted.
In the midst of my voracious digging, I figured something out: my life is not my own. When I dedicated my life to the Lord, I gave up my rights to decide what’s best for me. 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.”
Great-o. Just great-o.
To those of us who are ambitious and have our entire lives carved out, giving up your plans for your life can sound like a death sentence. It is. But it’s a death march to a life camp. In plain English, dying to yourself is one of the most refreshing experiences on planet earth. Through experience, I’ve discovered there’s so much freedom in it.
Since I decided to start my day giving my plans and desires to God, I am no longer defined by my ability to plan, execute and accomplish. I am not defined by what I manage to accomplish in this life. Instead, I am defined by God’s unconditional love for me. Romans 8:38-39, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I am learning to find deep peace in His presence alone and not look to earthly accomplishments to bring me joy. God and His presence are what fulfill the deepest longings and needs of my soul.
If you are putting your hope in a career idea, a relationship or a longing instead of clinging to Him, repent for having an idol above Him. Yeah, repent (a super unpopular word nowadays) but a powerful one nonetheless.
When you repent for holding your plans above His, the idea doesn’t hold you captive. Anxiety is replaced with peace. Striving with a sense of security and pleasure in the work you’ve been given. Like I said earlier, freedom blossoms.
Ultimately, choose to trust that His plan is the best one for you and that He will give you a life worth living. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Surrendering your life to His purpose for your life is one of the most powerful things you can do. Trust me.