2013 was “The Year of Great Grace” according to the Word that came through the pulpit on New Year’s. Apparently, it was the year that we would receive our greatest blessing yet, and boy could I use that. Things weren’t exactly going the way I had planned when I signed up for this whole God thing, but if He promised to give me my greatest blessing yet then I would be willing to stick around a little longer. 2012 was filled with sacrifice, heartbreak and loneliness. I left law school because God told me to, I was jobless and living off complete faith to make it month to month coming face to face with eviction notices and wondering where my next meal would come from. I even experienced heartbreak through a break-up with a guy I thought sure I would marry. Needless to say, I needed some good news, and so I went into that New Year’s Eve service with my expectation on 10. Well, by the time the clock had struck 12 it was on 20 because I wholeheartedly believed that things were going to begin looking up for me after hearing that Word….And to a certain extent, things were…. I mean I finally got a job towards the end of January. It didn’t come with a base salary, but it was an opportunity and I was going to take it. Before I knew it we were halfway through the Year of Great Grace- the year where I was supposed to receive my greatest blessing yet-and nothing had really changed for me. In fact, I had suffered a few disappointments, but I put on a brave smile, served as unto the Lord at my church and tried to be content right where I was. I knew it really had to be the year of Great Grace though because so many great things were happening for everyone around me, so I just knew that I was next. People were getting promotions, moving away to different cities for big opportunities, getting in relationships and engaged, huge financial blessings, healings, supernatural debt cancellations I mean whatever you could think of it was happening for the people at my church. And I was genuinely happy everyone- partly because these were people I had come to know and love, and partly because I knew if God could do it for them then He certainly could do it for me and apparently He was in my vicinity. So I kept trucking along standing amazed by God because of all the things He was doing for my brothers and sisters in Christ all the while fully expecting that I was next. Then, came the biggest shake up yet. Apparently, it was my best friend who was next in line on God’s “list” because out of nowhere (it seemed) she had found the love of her life. Towards the end of the year she began dating her male best friend (they were strictly platonic before) and it was clear that they were headed to the altar…fast. On top of that, she let me know that her job was moving her to Pennsylvania, hundreds of miles away (807 to be exact). Here it was the 4th quarter of the year and not only did I feel like no progress was being made in my life, but my best friend was having what seemed to be the best year of her life and on top of that, she was leaving the city and getting married….soon.
So as optimistic as I was trying to be, I just could not hold it together any longer. Things were being shaken up all around me and I felt myself slowly creeping into a sort of depression and honestly- Can I be totally honest? I mean when am I not honest with you guys right? I was a little annoyed with God, maybe even borderline upset. This was a road that I knew I did not want to stay on however, and so it was time for me to act….quick! So here are some things I did that helped to get me out of my funk and helped usher me into my DUE season!
1. I got real- It’s no use trying to sugar coat anything with God. He already knows EVERYTHING, including our thoughts. He even knows what we’re going to say before we say it and what we’re going to think before we even think it so we might as well just lay it all out on the table before Him. You may be thinking: “Well if He already knows then why even bother?” Well, 2 reasons. First, this can be extremely therapeutic. I didn’t go to God with some deep prayer using scriptures and big words trying to be all spiritual. Instead, I spoke to Him as if I would talk to a good friend and just laid it all out before Him. I cried, I questioned, I probably even screamed and guess what? It felt good! It felt like a release, which is exactly what I needed. Sometimes we can just let all these things build while trying to put on a happy face for people and be a good sport, but on the inside there is so much going on. Get it out! Talk to the One who not only cares, but is able to do something about it. I think we we spend so much time talking to our mom, our friend, our pastor or mentor that we forget to take it to God first. By the time you’re done talking to all these people, getting all of these opinions you’re probably left feeling confused and even more empty than before. Try taking it to God instead-He’s seriously the best therapist. The second reason is because God cannot intervene in your situation unless you give Him PERMISSION to. I always hear people say “Well if God is God why didn’t he just stop this or that from happening?” Well, although He is sovereign meaning He can do what He wants when He wants, He is also a God of order. And this God has given us something called free will meaning He does not force anything on us and He lets us choose. God can do anything except lie/go back on His promise and covenants so since He has it set up this way His hands are tied unless we let HIm into the situation. How do we let Him in? Through prayer. By praying and telling God all about it, you are now giving Him permission to step in and intervene and put His hands on it.
2. I got grateful- It can be hard to be grateful when you’re in a waiting period. This is because we tend to focus on what we do not have instead really taking the time to appreciate and meditate on what we do have. So, two things helped me with my gratefulness. I would see, hear about or just think about people who were in worst off situations than me-there are people going through some real life stuff ya’ll. There are people who have lost children, spouses or loved ones, people who have just been diagnosed with a terminal disease and don’t have Jesus as their hope, people who are starving, people sleeping under bridges all types of tragic situations. When I thought about all of this or I would hear about something like this you know what happened? My PERSPECTIVE changed. Perspective is everything! Suddenly, the fact that I didn’t have a man or I wasn’t making as much money as I would have liked to just didn’t seem as important, and I began to THANK GOD for all that He spared me from and all that He has done for me. I was safe, I had a home, a family and people who love me. These are all things that we can easily take for granted, but I challenge you to change your perspective and try to see things from someone else’s vantage point. I promise it will change the way you think because we all have something to be grateful for as long as we have breath in our body. Speaking of perspective, the second thing that always helps usher me into gratefulness and helps shifts my perspective is praise and worshiping. I just love artists such as Bethel Music, Kari Jobe and Hillsong because their lyrics are like love songs to Jesus and will help usher you into the very presence of the Lord. When you encounter Him through worship, I mean really encounter Him in the privacy of your own home, not because you were pumped up at church, I promise you will never be the same. Everything else pales in comparison to the majesty, wonder and love of our King. You will find peace, safety and joy there. I challenge you to lock yourself in your room, blast some worship music and just pursue His presence-He will meet you there.
3. I got empowered- Now this here will change your life, but unfortunately I can’t take credit for this one. My amazing hubby made me do this one day when I was having a hard time believing God and having faith after getting some not so good news. He told me to write down 2 things I know for sure and 1 thing that I know for certain. In other words, what are 3 things that I know are true without a shadow of a doubt (from scripture). Now, if you’re not sure then you’re forced to go searching the Word of God concerning whatever the situation is in your life and what begins to happen is you are strengthened by God’s Word. God’s Word is where all the power is. It is alive and active, sharper than any double edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). If there is anything that is going to activate, change and cause some things to manifest and shift in your life, it is the Word of God. Now that doesn’t mean you go rattling off any and every scripture just because it goes with your situation. Instead you choose the one(s) that really resonate with you and get it rooted and grounded in your heart-that’s what’s going to cause real change. A person can know a thousand scriptures and there’s no power behind it because there’s no real revelation. On the other hand, a person can not know any scripture except one that they really really believe with all of their heart and they have more results because they actually BELIEVE it. So you write it down on index cards or post-its and place it in places where you know you frequent such as the bathroom mirror, refrigerator door etc., and you say it out loud every single time you see it. What will happen is faith will begin to rise on the inside of you and come pouring out of you. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Now I didn’t have my hubby back then (obviously) to tell me this during that season when I felt stuck, but I did have this one scripture that I believed with my whole heart: Galatians 6:9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in DUE SEASON we shall reap if we faint not. You could not tell me that God did not see every single sacrifice that I was making- how I chose not to date random guys just for the sake of a good time, how I served with all of my heart, how I obeyed Him in the small and the large things whenever He would ask something of me. So I stood on that-and it sustained me like only God’s Word can; it was my bead and my water-my manna from heaven until the milk and honey came.
And when it was time boy did it come! 2013 came and went without me ever getting “my greatest blessing yet” or did it? Maybe the sowing, the serving and the sacrificing WAS the blessing because 2014 sure was a game changer. Back to back, one after the other,every thing that I longed for began manifesting right before my eyes. I mean some of the stuff that happened ya’ll probably wouldn’t believe if you experienced it yourself. It was an extremely supernatural time for me, and it felt like the windows of heaven had been opened up for me. Me and my now husband started dating, I got a job that put me on the cusp of 6 figures when before I could barely make it paycheck to paycheck, my family began coming to God and we began developing better relationships I mean God was really showing out. Proverbs 13:12 says hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. So I know it may be hard while you’re waiting for that relationship or whatever it is that your heart desires, but you may as well get good at it because there is always going to be something to wait for. Life is 90% the journey and only 10% the destination, so enjoy it! If you would take the time to do all the things I mentioned, you will look up and realize that your best moments are actually the ones you are living right now.
Still Hidden in HIm,