Not Like You Pictured

Nathalie MichelleNathalie's Notes, Real Talk, Self-HelpLeave a Comment

Close your eyes for a sec…come on, you know you’ve been looking for an excuse to get some shut eye in-indulge me. Close your eyes and remember the life you wanted, the one when you were a shorter version of yourself with no bills to pay and only your snack choices to contend with. What did you really want? A pony? A house filled with toys? All of the ice cream and cookies your guardians deemed were inappropriate for breakfast?

Keep your eyes closed. (I know virtually impossible if you’re going to continue reading, so multitask 😜). Let’s grow up a bit, past the awakened hormones, right about when you thought you had your entire life ahead of you and that 30 was old. What kind of life did you imagine for yourself? Where did you think you would be by now?

Now open your eyes, is your life anything like what you pictured? Is it better or worse?

What if you’ve been chasing an image God never created? What if your version of your life, is just that, your version? Barely two weeks into the new year, and I’ve been grappling with questions such as these as I have slowly been coming to the startling realization that I’ve been craving a life I made up in my head. I never imagined loss, pain, depression, loneliness, financial strain, broken promises (made by others and myself), or  let’s face it, the insanity that was the attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol and democracy last Wednesday. How could I? The picture I had in my head was a cross between The Cosby Show (sans scandal of course), A Different World, and Coming to America (marry a prince? yes please).

Your turn. What version of life have you been chasing or hoping for? Yours or God’s? It’s not wrong to dream and have goals and visions; the issue occurs when we don’t invite God in on the planning. The problem is when we try to take the brush out of His hand, so that we can create our own artwork. Instead of, allowing Him to lead us towards our great big dreams, understanding that we will traverse through undesired terrain. We tend to leave out hardship and tests, but that’s the very element needed to elevate and qualify us to truly see, and embrace the original picture in His plan.

So what keeps us from surrendering to God’s plan for our lives?

  1. ROI (Return on Investment)- we want a guaranteed, beneficial outcome in exchange for all of the time we’ve spent possibly going the wrong way. We stay in relationships and jobs longer than we should, we serve others and forget ourselves for so long it’s become a natural way of life, we want to end up at our destination, even if we’ve steadfastly been going the wrong way.
  2. BOSS(Y) mindset. We want it our way, on our time. A refusal to relinquish control or a modified attempt to establish our agenda over His, through disobedience, stubbornness, and/or the assertion that we know better than our Creator.
  3. FEAR. We’re terrified of the unknowns that come along with framing a new life picture that didn’t involve our opinion or interference.

Whew. Where to from here?

Let’s commit to putting down our “perfect” picture that resembles more of a child’s drawing in the eyes of the Master Artist, if we’re keeping it real-and turn our eyes and hope to the masterpiece He’s painted using every broken shard, forgotten testimony, and shattered dream.

We’ll dig deeper into some action steps on how we can do that in our next post, but until then, join me in taking inventory of what we’ve been allowing to take precedence over God’s plan.

We’re in this together.




From my heart to yours,



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