Tag Archive | testing

Living Without The Reward


This year has been full of blessings.  A great roommate (shout out to Lianna), our cute little cat Benny and a host of social activities with lovely people who feel more like family then friends.  I admit I am spoiled with favor from the body of Christ.  So much of my journey has been walking closely with like-minded people who serve as friends, pastors, mentors, etc…  It is rare that I have felt alone.

I think God is specific in the gifts that He gives us.  I think it has to do with our calling and purpose and identity.  Those are exciting words right?  There were so many great men and women in the Bible with exciting callings.  But every time I read those stories I see that what makes them great is what they overcame.

I keep thinking about Sarah and Abraham.  Three years ago Holy Spirit hit me hard with a word regarding their story.  He showed me that my journey in waiting would be similar.  Surrounded by love and strengthened with His intimacy, I was encouraged.

That was three years ago.

It takes a unique person to wait on the Lord.  I mean really wait on the Lord.  Scripture makes it clear, when you wait on the Father, it is not by your own strength;  it is by His.

I remember asking Him why He had us wait, to which He responded, “So that I will get the glory”.  When things happen according to the “culture’s” time frame then its easy to say that man made it happen.  The world will say that there was no supernatural force or outside component aiding in the events.  But when Abraham and Sarah got pregnant at 90 and 100 years old respectively, who got the glory?

God.

This couple was blessed in the end like so many men and women of the faith.  God made it worth their sacrifice.  But before the reward came, there were many days the reward was not there.  There were many times of doubt and fear and loneliness, hope deferred and faithlessness.  These things happen while waiting.  It is in this in between state I find myself in.

Many of my friends do too.

The Word says that God is our reward.  I realize that Word was much easier to believe when I actually experienced His love and intimacy.  I can look around and see many kinds of rewards in my life.  Many areas of reaping.

But I feel more like Hannah these days:

1 Samuel 8: Her husband Elkanah said, “Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren’t you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?”

Hannah had a husband who loved her and favored her over his other wife.  She was a blessed woman but she desired a child and her husband did not meet that desire.  He was never meant to.  God put that desire in her for a specific purpose; to bring her closer to Him and to lead the children of Israel.

I do not know what my future holds.  I only know my past.  My past is full of met desires and amazing gifts and God’s faithfulness (in my life and the ones I love).  And I understand that even if He never did another thing He has already done too much.

But there is a place for living without the reward.  There is a place for grieving the sacrifice of “Lord, not my will but yours be done”.

And that is the place I find myself in.

SHALOM

The Process

Have you ever started on a journey or set out to achieve a goal that was going to take some perseverance and stamina? I remember starting undergrad. I was so excited about this new adventure of going to college. I shopped with my family to pick up the items I needed for my dorm. I got my hair braided so I wouldn’t have to worry about it for a few months. I said goodbye to my fiancé because I believed that going to school was even more important than our relationship. I was committed.  But senior year after being slaughtered in Accounting and Finance for two years I fought tears of fear that I just may not finish on time. I feared that God would somehow prolong my time in underground to prove some type of point.  At the root of this thinking I can see now that I didn’t trust Him. But thankfully He didn’t hold this against me. I graduated on time, passed my Accounting class and made my way back home to start the next chapter of my life.

Often these days I feel like I did my senior year of school. I wonder, “Will I get there on time?” It is easy to have faith and encouragement at the beginning of a new season but after a while most people run out of zeal.  I surely did.

I had a super encouraging conversation with a brother yesterday. He has been through his own set of trials and setbacks and is a little older. God has used him many times in my life. He said to wait for God’s best. He said that we are the chosen and that’s why God has been so specific with our course.  I appreciated his sharing but was honest in my response: “I do not like the process”, I said. “It feels overwhelming”.

I can see the patterns of mountain experiences before the valley.  I can see the trials that surface during transition periods, often in my career.  I can see the waiting inside the waiting inside the waiting; only to be followed with more stretching. I appreciate the blessings and the encouragement and the over the top manifestations Christ has given to endure.  But I sometimes wish we didn’t have to endure.


Yesterday, while talking to my brother I felt led to worship.  I was so encouraged in my spirit that I knew, this is how God is going to keep me moving forward.  He will keep encouraging me with experiences like these.

We need encouragement and hope to keep moving forward, otherwise why would we choose to?

I’m aware people can be extra moody during the holidays.  Those of us who are more sensitive can be even more so around this time.  Even still, I think its good to be honest about how we feel.  And its even better when we can do it with others who have walked this path and can empathize with its rocky course.

FuN selfie 😉 

SHALOM

 

 

Anyone Else Feeling Uncomfortable?

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Thinking back on my faith journey I can see in hindsight what God was doing and why He was doing it but while being in it, it looked like a mess. A hot mess actually. I was walking up the driveway to my home the other night and my landlord was on my heart. She had been laid off earlier this year and she and her hubby have been in a serious testing season. I prayed God would open a door for her. The way He had for me. Little did I know later that evening she and I would have a conversation about that exact topic­—her unemployment. I was blessed and encouraged by her perspective. She shared God was doing a work and stretching her faith. He wanted her to trust Him. She got it. I shared I have been unemployed several times now. I know it can seem like I don’t have much wisdom to offer when speaking to someone with decades on me but when You walk closely with the Author of life and follow His path, you can’t help but to accumulate wisdom. So, I shared what I had accumulated. I said that looking back, I can see that every time I was in between jobs or the work slowed at work, He was working in me. He was teaching me that my value, identity and worth are not defined by a position or a title. He was teaching me this world is passing away and I can only hold it loosely…

There are seasons to this life. There are seasons of high-highs and low-lows. Sometimes they can intermix. I know they have for me in this season…There are times we are blessed and times we are stretched and times we are both. There is darkness and there is light. We are not exempt from the darkness. We are not exempt from the suffering and in fact I think you can’t have one without the other in this life. Would we really appreciate the blessing if we had not first experienced the pain? Can a plant bear fruit unless it is first pruned?

I know the underlying theme of my journey has been to not be comfortable. To not be focused on the surface of what this life appears to be, but to go deeper. To live from the depths of what is underneath. What is unseen…

We are not all going to have this understanding. There are some of us who will live our lives for the temporary. We will choose this world and our own passions over the higher call. In fact, it is only those who are chosen who will supersede the notion of this world’s definition of humanity; selfish gain and ego pride.

It is only His grace that the chosen will choose the more.

The depth.

Him.

SHALOM

When God Is Silent (And You’re Single)

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Check out my FIRST guest blog post with Single Roots!  They are an AMAZING ministry and resource for Christian singles!  In this post I discuss mental health issues and being a Christian.  Often it’s taboo to discuss such topics but I believe freedom and healing come through transparency.  Click to here read more…