2017 is drawing near, but tonight, my mind is stuck in the past.
I’m right back to a blog post I wrote in 2014 on my “one little word.”
Do you do that?
Pick a word at the beginning of the year that encompasses all you want to do, be, and change that year?
I’d never done it before then, and I haven’t done it since. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it. There just hasn’t been a word I’ve found that could top it. My word was “surrender” and considering I’ve never mastered it, it just didn’t feel right to move on from it, so I never picked a new one, but I didn’t really push towards that one either.
I just settled.
I came into agreement with the enemy that I was stuck. That this was my life. That I wasn’t strong enough. I came into agreement that I would never change, my life would always be the same, and I would never accomplish any of the amazing things I’d been dreaming of since I was a child. Even though I had unwittingly come into agreement with the enemy, I never gave up hope.
There were so many nights I’d lay awake wanting to scream at God.
“WHERE ARE YOU??? WHY CAN’T I HEAR YOU ANYMORE???”
But as Steven Furtick says, “God can’t bless closed hands.” The Lord waits for you to come to Him so that He can show you His love and compassion. (Isaiah 30:18) I wasn’t in agreement with Him. I was in agreement with the enemy. I was more focused on fear, doubt, and worry than I was on the promises of God. I was focused how impossible it was for me to fix it, forgetting that if I could fix it, I would have no need for God. I stopped doing what I could do because I forgot that in order for God to do His part, I had to do mine.
God is gracious when we ask for help (Isaiah 30:19), but He will not step in until we stop trying to accomplish things in our own strength and hand them over to Him – now again that doesn’t mean we sit down and do nothing. We have to do our part. We have to get out of agreement with the enemy, get back into agreement with God, follow the path He is leading us down, and trust that whether or not it makes sense to us in the natural, God has a plan and works all things together for good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
That doesn’t mean that the situation or circumstances will always be good, but God can bring good OUT of them.
For the past few years, my walk with God hasn’t looked that great as I was in the midst of it. I felt alone. Angry. Afraid. Ashamed. But as I look back on it now, I see a woman who never lost faith.
I doubted myself, but I never doubted Him. I knew He was there. I knew He was good. I continued to try to bring other people into a relationship with Him and told them about how good and loving and forgiving He was even when I doubted my access to that love and forgiveness. And I guess that doesn’t sound all that impressive, but for me, it’s a big deal. 12 – 13 years ago, I wasn’t even sure if there was a God.
So even though, it didn’t feel like it as I was going through it, looking at it on this end. Feeling like I am finally moving on to the next step – that next level in my walk with God – as I look back over the past few years, I have to admit that they have felt a lot darker than the years when I wasn’t even sure if God was real. They’ve been a lot harder even though I have everything in life I’d ever dreamed of – a wonderful husband, 3 beautiful, healthy children, a nice house and car, vacations every year, loving friends and family.
I have had so much more to be thankful for these last few years than I ever have in my life, yet somehow they were the most difficult. And I doubted myself, but I never doubted God.
I think maybe that was the lesson. Maybe that was the test.
When was I going to fully believe Him – not just IN Him, but HIM? When was I going to believe that what He says about me is the truth? When was I going to believe that He truly goes before me and makes a way? That He designed me for a specific purpose that no one else can fulfill? When was I going to believe that the gift He had given me to share with the world was truly worth sharing?
How silly of me to think it wasn’t.
Because the gift didn’t come from me. It came from HIM.
He didn’t ask me to purchase it. It’s already been bought and paid for by HIM.
All He’s really asking is for me to deliver it.
I can’t promise I won’t take some wrong turns and maybe even get a little – or even A LOT – lost along the way, but at least I’m learning to follow directions instead of just focusing on figuring out the address…
Tomorrow’s post focuese on the “how,” but for tonight, I’m just going to enjoy getting back to the “WHY”…