This morning I received a devotional from my coworker who God has used several times in my life to encourage me and speak His word to me. This devotional discussed not letting your past define your future. That is such a difficult thing for me. I constantly project my past onto my future. Usually they are negative things from my past that I believe will occur again. This form of thinking only results in more anxiety and yet I struggle to “turn it off”. I think most of us perceive life and circumstances based on our experience. If that experience was negative, it leaves a lasting impression. It becomes difficult to believe for a positive outcome when the experience has been negative, especially when that negative experience has occurred multiple times.
Recently I missed my friend’s birthday and left him a phone message the next day. I felt awful about the slip up and was hoping it wasn’t too big of a deal b/c we did get to spend time together prior to. But a week went by and I didn’t hear back from him. I thought, maybe he was mad at me and decided to end the friendship. That may sound like a drastic response to you, but because I have had that experience, that is my reality. Those are the kind of thoughts that automatically play out in my brain. I had to tell myself, “Nicole, you know this person. He is a sweet heart and not wired that way. He is not quick to anger or reject or harbor offense.” I told myself this but there was still a part of me that wondered. Well, I heard back from him this morning and it turns out he just now heard the message I left. This confirmed to me that my initial fear of rejection and negative thoughts were false. But this happens all the time. I’m only just now aware of these kinds of issues in my brain in this season. As I’ve become more aware of my brokenness and dysfunction I have gotten overwhelmed at the work and time involved in getting emotionally healthy. Then I heard a message this morning that encouraged me (after my friend’s devotional). The message shared that we are all given a certain amount of talents and we are all required to work with the talents we have to produce interest for the Lord. I have felt deficient in certain areas of life. I have felt the strongholds in my bloodline and have been grieved at the path it has taken to walk in freedom. Then I was reminded in this message that those who are given less are not at a disadvantage because they have the Lord to be their strength. They have the Lord to fight through and for them. Maybe others are given more at the beginning of life, but when you are given less, and work what you are given, your ending results in a greater outcome. I receive this message b/c I know the messenger has a similar story. He has a very rough background and yet has overcome so much in his life.
This morning when I woke up in my bed I was reminded that I am not alone. I was reminded that the cloud of witnesses surrounds me. My ancestors are encompassed about me, cheering me on and running with me. They were not called to walk this path while they were on earth, but they are walking it out through me. I know this is my part that will add on to their testimony and set the stage for the next generation. It is my desire to run the distance and cover as much ground as possible so that the next generation will have an even stronger platform to begin their race from.
If you struggle with your path and your journey, remember you are not alone. This is your time and your inheritance, to manifest the Father’s goodwill for you in the earth. And if you feel you were given less, remember, His grace makes up for any lack.
You can check out the message I was referring to here.
“Therefor since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”