August 5, 2010 jennyrain

Man Week @ the Rain: Grant Jenkins

Welcome back to “Man Week” at the Rain!

I have invited nine of my favorite guys to guest blog for the next two weeks. The topic I gave each of the men to blog or vlog about was:

“The stripping process of God” or “Living unmasked”

Today’s guest is Grant Jenkins. I landed on Grant’s blog a little over seven months ago and my heart instantly went out to him. Grant is right smack-dab in the middle of the “stripping” process as God is re-working (or should I say “working over”) some parts of his life. I have watched as Grant has had to unpeel his tightly-gripped fingers from the steering wheel and surrender to the passenger seat as God takes him on a journey that at times, is very painful for Grant.

He has stepped into these places with a transparent vulnerability that is allowing God to transform Grant’s heart and life in miraculous ways. So much of Grant’s story resonates with me and I know it will encourage you too.

Grant’s Blog: An Idol Heart

Grant’s Twitter: @anidolheart

I was so honored when Jenny asked me to participate in her #ManWeek series.

Honestly, it still amazes me that people are actually interested in what I have to say on any level. Sharing my journey in a public forum like my blog has been very healing for me personally. Then for my story to be resonating and finding an audience with so many people who I’ve never met is incredibly humbling. When it came time to write my guest post for Jenny, I’ve got to be honest, I once again found myself in a “middle” season where I’m living and walking out what I know will be my next series of blogs.

As such, I have had a terrible time trying to write about what’s happening right now. So instead of forcing it, I decided to share with you a post I wrote a couple months ago, which adequately describes the stripping process of God in my life, the transformation progression and also pretty much frames where I find myself at this very moment. The words aren’t new, but the message is still fresh and speaks to me every time I read it. I hope you are encouraged and challenged by this piece of my journey.

After walking away from my career and spending months trying to figure out what was happening in my life, I finally got hired and started a new job 7 weeks ago. I’m thankful to have this job, but I applied and interviewed for jobs that made MUCH more sense to me, but I did not get them. What I have now is NOT the job I hoped for, but it is the job that hired me. It was NOT what I wanted, but it is what I got instead.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

The past 7 weeks have been a bit of a blur and a series of one hard lesson after another. On almost a daily basis I come face to face with the deep-seeded entitlement that has been wedged in my heart for years.

Entitlement… It’s “what I deserve”.

Lately I’ve been trying to dig deeper into why my heart has struggled so much through all this. The truth is, I know exactly why: deep in my heart I think I’m better, think I deserve better and think I’ve earned the right to not have to work this kind of job at this point in my life. I’ve “been there” and “done that”. How’s that for honesty?

The idolatry of what we think we deserve is a thief, robbing us of perspective and truth in the moments God uses to deepen our lives.

There have been moments over the past few weeks when I’ve had brief glimpses of revelation and lucidity (bonus points for use of “lucidity”), but for the most part I remain clueless about where my life is headed right now. Some days I find myself being able to embrace the uncertainty of this season better than others, and some days my heart feels like it is in an absolute free fall. There are days when my heart is full of fear, simply because it is more prone to reach for ANYTHING other than God as an anchor and source of hope and security.

The other day I was hanging out with my friend Wes, who has quickly become a close friend of mine. I was sharing (er, venting) with him about how I felt about what all is happening right now, and I said (in frustration), “THIS just isn’t where my life is right now!” As if to say, “at THIS point in my life I should have THIS job with THIS income, THIS life…” Wes’ reply? “But Grant, this IS where your life is right now.”

@#$%@*!

Reality check.

He was right. Regardless of how I feel about where I should or shouldn’t be at this point in my life, and regardless of the expectations I have formed in my own heart about where I feel I’m entitled to be at this point, you know what? This is exactly where my life is right now, and being frustrated, stubborn and ungrateful isn’t going to change that.

I am learning that my entitlement makes me a slave to the expectations that exist only in my heart.

Sara Groves has a song called “What I Thought I Wanted” that beautifully underscores the heart of Proverbs 19:21.

I love the lyric where she says:

When I get to heaven I’m gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful

I am learning A LOT about my heart right now. I am learning things about myself that I don’t know if I would have ever learned had the bottom not fallen out.

I thought I wanted a job… but instead I am getting character

I thought I wanted a check… but instead I am getting change

I thought I wanted my story… but instead I am getting His

I often wonder if I would have had the opportunity to see this deeply into my heart had I gotten what I wanted. But I didn’t, and here we are. It is painful, but it is purposeful. Though the bleeding persists, I am grateful for the wound.

So, what I thought I wanted, and what I got instead leaves me broken and grateful.

Are you grateful for what you got “instead”?

***

From Jenny: Hey guys – got any girl-related questions? Pop on over to my friend Joy’s blog and ask that question about us women that has confused you for decades. I guarantee you, Joy will give you a great answer!! You can access Joy’s blog here.

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jennyrain

I break things and trip a lot. I like to chase things like dreams, goals, ideas, and raindrops. I create things with words. Writing has been an outlet since I first discovered the magic empty space of a journal. Words dance around in my brain and often land amidst scraps of paper, find their way into journals, or etch themselves into blinking pixels. I hope my words fall like rain on tender souls in need of refreshing. Finding photos in random moments helps me share stories. During a trip to Africa the perfect trifecta of my first DSLR, mission trip, and dream-location happened and my love of photography became a reality. I'm currently writing my first book, "Will They Laugh if I Call You Daddy: Growing up with 2 Dads in an Evangelical World," I'm a board member for One Million Kids, and I believe that every kid of an LGBT parent should have an opportunity to #ChangeTheConversation with their story. My bio remains in process because I am.

Comments (12)

  1. “Are you grateful for what you got “instead”?”

    The hard truth is that my answer is “sometimes”. But it’s getting to “most times”. The more I accept it, the more I can see how His version of my life is way better than mine.

    Thanks for sharing the working over God’s doing in your life, Grant! I can identify with so much of it right now.

  2. “Are you grateful for what you got “instead”?”

    The hard truth is that my answer is “sometimes”. But it’s getting to “most times”. The more I accept it, the more I can see how His version of my life is way better than mine.

    Thanks for sharing the working over God’s doing in your life, Grant! I can identify with so much of it right now.

  3. good post. you really got me thinking… i’ve received a whole lot of “insteads” in my life. i thought i knew who i’d marry when i was just a freshman in college; instead, a bunch of years later, i got a lady much better. i thought i’d be a campus minister and live in the united states; instead i was called to be foreign missionary. i wanted to stay in china and work there; instead i ended up in tanzania. wanted a baby boy; got a girl. straight hair, or even curly; got wavy. i could go on and on.

    but i am truly thankful for all of my insteads. God has blessed me greatly. i wouldn’t trade a single one. except for the hair.

  4. good post. you really got me thinking… i’ve received a whole lot of “insteads” in my life. i thought i knew who i’d marry when i was just a freshman in college; instead, a bunch of years later, i got a lady much better. i thought i’d be a campus minister and live in the united states; instead i was called to be foreign missionary. i wanted to stay in china and work there; instead i ended up in tanzania. wanted a baby boy; got a girl. straight hair, or even curly; got wavy. i could go on and on.

    but i am truly thankful for all of my insteads. God has blessed me greatly. i wouldn’t trade a single one. except for the hair.

  5. “Are you grateful for what you got “instead”?”

    In all honesty, right now, no. When I get to the other side of this and can perhaps see God having moved in my life I will but right now in the midst of my nothing I’m not really that grateful for the circumstances. Grateful He’s here and with me, yes.

  6. “Are you grateful for what you got “instead”?”

    In all honesty, right now, no. When I get to the other side of this and can perhaps see God having moved in my life I will but right now in the midst of my nothing I’m not really that grateful for the circumstances. Grateful He’s here and with me, yes.

  7. Your stripping process resinates with me on so many levels, being in the same season of my life. I can’t always say I’m grateful for the “instead’s” but what I do know is those outcomes draw me closer to Jesus… I see that it is still Him at work wooing and pursing my heart. That He has something better then I can imagine ~ even in the painful peeling/shedding.

    One of my absolute fav. posts you ever wrote and I’ve shared it with many, many, many people is the one about the olive oil process. That one hit’s home… straight through to my heart!

    Keep writing… God has much for you!!!

  8. Your stripping process resinates with me on so many levels, being in the same season of my life. I can’t always say I’m grateful for the “instead’s” but what I do know is those outcomes draw me closer to Jesus… I see that it is still Him at work wooing and pursing my heart. That He has something better then I can imagine ~ even in the painful peeling/shedding.

    One of my absolute fav. posts you ever wrote and I’ve shared it with many, many, many people is the one about the olive oil process. That one hit’s home… straight through to my heart!

    Keep writing… God has much for you!!!

  9. Grant, I can relate to this so well–thank you for putting it all out there. I’m in a season of SAYING I’m grateful for what I have…but I’m not sure I actually believe it. God knows that. I am still fighting for control over situations that are ultimately His. I’m thankful to have the Lord as my teacher and pray He gets through to my heart like He is getting through to yours.

  10. Grant, I can relate to this so well–thank you for putting it all out there. I’m in a season of SAYING I’m grateful for what I have…but I’m not sure I actually believe it. God knows that. I am still fighting for control over situations that are ultimately His. I’m thankful to have the Lord as my teacher and pray He gets through to my heart like He is getting through to yours.

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