Something I am not good at. But today, God has made it clear that I am to wait.
The last couple of months have been life-changing for me. If you read my previous post written in March, you read I was in a frustrating season. I was praying and asking God to fix something and trusting that He was going to do it. But let me let you in on something. God did not fix it. God did not do what I asked Him to do and what I completely trusted that He was going to do. And as the months went on, it became more and more apparent that my greatest fear was going to become my reality. I tried my hardest to fix it myself and probably made things a lot worse than they were. I may have and probably did behave in ways that were not honorable to God. No, I did not do anything crazy, but I definitely did not honor God with my words, actions, attitudes and thoughts.
Towards the end of the summer, I was tired. I was exhausted and had nothing left. This inner battle that has tormented me for over a year had taken away my peace, my joy, my life. It caused disagreements in my marriage and led me to begin pulling away from everything. That is my defense mechanism…to tuck and run. And normally I try not to run, but this time I felt like God clearly said “I want you to run. But I want you to run towards me.”
So I did. I took some time to block out the noise and I consumed my mind, heart and soul with Jesus. For weeks I felt He was calling me to be deliberate about spending time with Him so I set out time after dropping off the kids to do my quiet time. I began to notice that this time would get interrupted with the daily tasks in my life so I began to feel God pressing me to wake up before everyone and spend time with Him. 5am was the time that He set in my heart. It took about two weeks to fully adjust. I would stay in bed too long and then some days I would not get out of bed until 5:30am. But I kept at it and decided to make this time a priority. Before too long, I began to crave this time and ever since then, it has become my favorite time of the day.
In August I began to sense God placing different areas of my life in front of me to be evaluated if you want to call it that. First, it was my prayer life. Then I began to feel like He was wanting me to look at my relationship with my kids and the way that I spoke to them. We began positive affirmations and prayer at night. Oh the stories I could tell you about how this has changed our lives! After this, I felt God telling me there were areas in my marriage that I needed to look at closer. So He placed a book in my life that challenged me to see the way that I love and respect Joseph.
Every couple of weeks, He placed something new in my heart and revealed an area in my life that I needed to test and examine. Last month, I began listening to a podcast by Jennie Allen called Made For This and the entire season was on building deep relationships. It was powerful! It made me see so much through God’s eyes and made me desire deep, real and raw relationships.
During this time, I began to read a book also by Jennie Allen called Anything. I’ve had this book for almost eight years. When I first bought the book, I could not bring myself to read it. I read the first couple of chapters and I became afraid. I really thought God was going to tell me to go be a missionary somewhere. I wasn’t willing to give up my life. You see, this book is about choosing to pray the anything prayer. Which means, God whatever you want for my life, that is what I want. I will give up and do anything if it will make you known to the world and glorify your name. So eight years ago, I tucked this book in my bookshelf and left it there. During the course of listening to the podcast, this book kept popping up in conversation until I finally felt God telling me I needed to get it out and read it. And I am so glad that I did. Because my heart was ready. My soul was ready. I was ready to pray the anything prayer. Reading this book was part of the process and journey that the Lord has me on.
So why am I sharing all of this with you. Honestly, when I first set out to start typing I had no idea what I was going to share. Lately I have felt that my words have left me. I have struggled to pray and write. My prayer is that God release my words, so here I am typing. And I am praying that what I am about to share will be God-inspired and will encourage and bless someone today.
After reading the book, Anything and firmly believing that I was ready to do anything for Jesus, I asked God to show me my next step. I was excited and I could feel it. He was going to do something soon! For the last couple of weeks I have begged God to give me a sign and to show me how I am going to fulfill this purpose that He’s placed in my heart. I am not going to lie, I have began to get a little discouraged. I started to battle some feelings of insecurity and wondering if any of this is real. Even Though I wanted to doubt God, He used my time in His word to remind me to keep pressing on. To keep believing and trusting Him. So I did. I refused to let the negative thoughts take hold of my mind and continued to press on.
This morning I read about the story of Joseph. God gave Joseph a dream. He shared that dream with his older brothers and they didn’t like it too much. I mean if your younger brother came to you saying that you were going to bow down to him how would that make you feel? So they sold him and told their father that he was dead. I’ve heard this story referenced twice during the last two months and this time, I got it. You see, Joseph had this huge dream but instead of trusting God’s timing, He decided to go spill the beans to his brothers. I wonder now what would have happened if he would’ve waited on God to make the dream come true instead of prematurely sharing it.
It took twenty years of waiting on this vision. And those years were not peachy. You can find the story in Genesis 37-50. During those years, Joseph had to choose to trust God. He had to….wait.
So as I sat there this morning I realized that God’s message for me today was that I am to wait. And as if I didn’t hear Him clearly the first time, I was listening to a new song a friend recommended and when that song was over, guess what the name of the next song was…. Wait for you. And! Do you want to know what the name of the next song was? Wait Upon the Lord!! I literally said, I get it now. I gotcha God. I will wait.
I will wait and trust that this dream that I have will come to fruition. I will wait and trust that even when I don’t see Him or feel Him He is certainly working. I will wait and trust that everything that I have gone through has been for a purpose and that there will be good that comes from it.
My frustrating season didn’t end the way I wanted it to end. But I can tell you today that it ended the way it was supposed to. It began a refining process in me and ultimately brought me to a place in my life where I could pray… anything. I could confidently tell the Lord that I was willing to do anything for Him. This refining season was a little overwhelming. Well who am I kidding, it was very overwhelming. Every couple weeks, feeling like something else came up began to make me feel a little bit like I was trying to overachieve at the “christian life.” So I asked God to check my spirit and asked God to show me if I was doing this for the wrong reasons. In a podcast that day, they were talking about this very thing. We wonder when we will feel like there’s nothing in our lives that needs work, but the truth is we won’t experience that on this side of heaven. This is called sanctification. Becoming more like Jesus. And then I knew right then that I was on the right track.
Friend, I don’t know what you are facing today. I am not sure what your past, present or future hold, but I can tell you that if you run to Jesus with your whole heart He will embrace you in His arms. The process will not be easy. It will hurt some days and other days it will break you down to tears. But if you are willing to go there. If you are willing to tell Jesus that you are willing to do anything….He will bless your socks off. And I am not talking about material blessings either. I am talking about a life so in love with Him that your heart just aches to spend every minute with Him. Whatever your burden, let it go and let God take it from you. You may not see it today, but good will come from your hurt. Joseph’s dream was fulfilled. God did it. But he had to wait. And in that wait, God changed Him and molded Him into who He wanted Joseph to be. And He is doing the same with you and with me. He is preparing us.
We go through struggles and have a hard time trusting that God has a plan and that all things will work out for the good of those who love Him. But I believe that with the innermost parts of my soul. When I lost my dad, it hurt to say that something good would come from it. But oh how much good has come. It has shown me the importance of leaving a legacy for my children. It has taught me the importance of praying. And it has ignited a fire in my soul to fulfill the purpose that my dad saw in me. This purpose that God has placed in my heart. But I didn’t see that good until I surrendered and trusted Him fully.
You may be in a waiting season, too. I know the waiting can get exhausting and lead us to possibly questioning if this is all worth it. But I want to encourage you to press on. Keep trusting God during this season. There is something He wants to show you. He wants to teach you something. In my season of waiting, He has opened my eyes to areas in my life that I had not surrendered to Him. He has began to free me of many things that were holding me captive and keeping me from living free. Even in the waiting, we are fulfilling our purpose and that is to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind.
So let go today. Surrender to Him and choose to trust and wait.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Is. 40:31
Dear Lord, thank you for your word today. Even though at first, it wasn’t a word that I really liked. You have shown me that even in my waiting you are working. I pray for anyone today that is struggling with their current season of life. Life is hard and everyone is going through their own battles. I pray that you will draw them close to you and comfort them with your overwhelming peace. May they feel your love today Lord. May you use this season to refine them and make them more like you. Thank you for loving us so much that you are willing to let us find our way back to you. And when we do, you accept us with open arms. May we run to you, Lord. May we surrender and depend on you to renew our strength. Thank you Jesus! And it’s in your name I pray, Amen