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 your paths straight. PROVERBS 3:5-6 

We once forgot to add sugar to our pumpkin pies. The rest of the Thanksgiving dinner that Jack and I had prepared for our guests turned out nice, but the pumpkin pies were a last-minute disaster. As you might imagine, we had to toss them out and start over.  

Working through your emotions and experiences so you can be present now involves many parts of a process. Just like in cooking or baking, skipping any of it sends you back to the start, most of the time. But understanding that the parts do make up the whole helps increase your willingness to walk through them. 

Another step in the process of living a fully present life involves acceptance. Acceptance differs from validation even though, at first, they may sound alike. Validation encompasses acknowledging your personal experiences, or someone else’s, as being valid. Acceptance stretches beyond that. Acceptance includes the surrendering of judgment, fault, and scrutiny. It can be hard to do. But it is a key part of the process of living an authentic and present life now. When you let go of blame and bitterness and the like, every moment becomes free to be your best moment. 

If you truly want to embrace your now—right now—you’ll need to do more than talk about what’s gone wrong or is going wrong or could go wrong. Acknowledging your emotions is step one. Validating them is awesome. But it is also helpful to push forward and tackle step two. Step two is, admittedly, a bit bigger of a challenge. Spiritual lingo calls it surrender. Psychological lingo calls it acceptance. My husband, Jack, well—his lingo calls it “part of.” It’s just part of. 

Regret, shame, and resentment are all forms of resisting the process. They are ways we carry out emotional resistance. What you resist persists. Acceptance frees you to embrace your now. Acceptance comes through trusting God with all of your heart and letting go of having to figure out everything on your own. God’s got it, and He will cause it all to work together for good when you prioritize Him and His will in your life. 

Jesus, enable me to trust You with all of my heart and mind instead of trying to solve it all on my own. I know You will make my paths straight and give me insights along the way. Amen. 

This is an excerpt from It’s All Good: 90 Devotions to Embrace Your Now by Heather Haira devotional now available on DaySpring.com. Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.