We are not a military family.  However, living within the shadow of the Pentagon, we definitely live in a military community.  Many – if not the majority – of my neighbors, and/or those I interact with daily are connected with one of the military branches.  And ask any group of school-age boys what they want to be one day and there will always be more than just a few who dream of being a soldier.  An airman.  A ranger or a Navy SEAL.  Dream big, young ones!

The dreams and plans were similar for my own son.  Not long after graduation, he enlisted with the USAF.  Did everything go just as he planned?  Definitely not.  Was everything just as he had promised?  Again, no.  But one thing was certain.  Once he signed, he was an airman.  On the good days and on the lousy days.  On the easy, routine days and even on the hardest of days.  After he enlisted, much was determined for him.  Determined – as in, decided and established.  Not decided every morning or dictated by his feelings or opinion at the time.  So much of his life was determined as soon as he made that choice.

There is an old hymn that says, “I have decided to follow Jesus.  No turning back.  No turning back.”  As a young girl, I became a Christian.  As I “gave my heart to Christ,” I decided to follow Jesus.  I made a decision (much like my young adult son did) and that choice determined much for my life.  Has everything in life gone exactly as I dreamed or planned?  Of course not.  Do my feelings ever want me to waver on my decision – to make excuses to do less?  Oh yes, they do.  Have others disappointed me, hurt me, discouraged me or have I seen others “turn back”?  Sadly, yes.  But I’m not a Christian only on the days that feel good.  I don’t walk with Him simply in the convenient seasons of life.  And, thankfully, my walk with Him is a personal relationship and not determined by the actions or the faithfulness of others.   No, much is already determined for me.  Already settled and established.  What a gift!

In a world with so much uncertainty.  When so much seems out of our control. It can be a challenge – especially for a heart and life like mine that thrives on routine, stability and, yes, control.  However, I can have joy and a genuine sense of peace because my heart is fixed.  What is necessary is determined and under control (by my Heavenly father) and, because of that, the rest will be okay as well.

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:  I will sing and give praise.”  Psalm 57:7

Today’s Five Minute Friday prompt is determine.  What is determined in your life?  Have you determined to follow Christ?  I would love to hear about it.  Thanks for stopping by, friends.  Have a beautiful weekend.

7 Replies to “Determined”

  1. I so appreciate how you approached determined today, Jennifer. I really needed to hear this today! This is so true, “I can have joy and a genuine sense of peace because my heart is fixed [on Him].

  2. I am something inconstant
    and sampled many pews,
    Catholic and Protestant,
    and hung out with the Jews.
    I wandered through the Eastern list,
    and could not take my pick;
    Jain, Hindu, or Buddhist,
    and once I was a Sikh.
    But in this I was guided,
    though it sounds rather odd,
    and one day I decided
    that I’d follow the God
    who was always chasing me
    as I walked, like dog, from tree to tree.

    1. Ever so grateful that God continues to pursue us!! And that you made the decision to follow Him! Blessings to you this week, Andrew!

  3. Oh Jennifer, this is excellent. I love the way you used your son’s example to illustrate your faith journey of decision and determination. Bless you!

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