Trusting God So You Can Make Better Choices
Surrendering Your Will to God’s Perfect Will for Your Life
by Joanne Troppello
I’ve been watching sermons by Andy Stanley on his YouTube channel while I do my PiYo exercise routine each day, and also at night before I go to sleep. I don’t always get to watch an entire sermon at one time, so it takes a bit to get through a series. Right now, I am on the final sermon of a 6-part series on making better decisions in your life. There has been a lot to digest from this sermon series.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I’ve made my share of bad decisions in life. One huge bad choice was deciding to date someone who shall remain unnamed – even when I knew in my heart that God told me not to date him. I went through a lot of bad things with that relationship that could have been avoided, had I obeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit.
However, God is good. He kept trying to reach me and get my attention. Things got bad, but before they got extremely bad and dysfunctional and abusive, I finally got woken up to what God had been telling me. Some time later, I went out with my husband and the rest is history.
God had been protecting me through my disobedience, but I still had to suffer emotional and physical consequences from my actions. Yet, God knew. He warned me through the Holy Spirit and several close friends and family members.
During that time, I had felt like I was in a fog. I was in my flesh and didn’t want to heed any of the warnings. Thankfully, I finally listened before I had gotten too far down a dark path.
Surrendering Your Will
I remember the moment when I had to surrender my will to God’s will regarding this dysfunctional, abusive, and codependent relationship I was in. I was outside my apartment and sitting on one of the swings in the playground area. I kept swinging aimlessly, telling myself that I couldn’t live without him – even though I knew how he had been emotionally abusing me all along.
My friend called me and urged me to stay strong and do what I needed to do – which was break up with him. I told her that I couldn’t. I didn’t want to be alone. I couldn’t be alone. She had been in an abusive relationship as well. She recognized the signs and knew I needed to break away from him and the hold he had on me.
I told her that I would do it. I just needed a little more time. A few days later, I was driving from my apartment to his house. I was at a stop light and started to feel like I just couldn’t go through with it. I had decided that I was going to turn the car around and go back home.
Just as I made that decision, my good friend pulled his van to the same stop light. I was in the left turning lane and he was going straight ahead. He opened his window and asked where I was headed? I was near tears and said I was going to do it. He knew exactly what I was going to do. We had spoken prior to that day about how I needed to break up with my boyfriend. He also knew how hard it was for me to do this.
He rested his elbow on the van door and leaned his head out the window. He said I should stay strong and do what I know I needed to do. To this day, I am still amazed that he happened to drive up to the same light at the same time I was there – on my way to break up with my boyfriend – exactly when I needed encouragement to go through with it.
Yet, I shouldn’t be surprised. God had always been with me. He gave me the strength that day to do what needed to be done. He had even cared enough to send reinforcements at the exact moment He knew I was faltering in doing what was necessary – so I could heal emotionally and physically – and then begin a healthy relationship with my husband. This July, we’ll be celebrating 17 years together!
The following statement from the Andy Stanley sermon that I listened to today will stay with me for a while.
“Your superpower is your ‘respondability factor’.”
Now respondability is not really a word. However, it totally fit his point, that the way you respond or react to people and situations can advance you or cause you to retreat down the wrong path. God will help you and me utilize that superpower (through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s guiding hand) as we remain open to their leading in life.
How is your respondability factor?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.