Sheesh, well, where do I begin?
The last month-and-a-half for me have been nothing shy of a roller coaster ride. If you’d asked me in January of this year if I saw things unfolding the way that it did, I would have vehemently denied it all.
But I am here. Unlearning and learning things that I used to know, but no longer know about myself anymore.
And people can guess and speculate all they want to, but they’ll never know the exact and whole truth about what has been going on in my life recently. They’ll say they have the right answers, but ultimately, they’ll never know the emotions I’ve gone through, the prayers I’ve prayed, the sacrifices I’ve made in order to be the person typing this out to you now.
I can paint a very vague picture for you though: I’ve recently moved into a new, one bedroom apartment with my dog Patches, who is showing signs of kennel cough due to a recent boarding situation I had to place him in so I could go out of town for a weekend to get away. Things are still piled up everywhere in the apartment as I unpack. I dropped a significant amount of money on groceries and things for the apartment, and I am fighting anxiety that is caused by being misplaced from habits and things that I’d gotten used to being around and having.
Frankly, it is partially my fault for being in this situation. I disobeyed God, and I can see these things as consequences, and I can hang my head in shame or guilt, OR I can see all the ways in which He’s redirecting me for greater things ahead. It doesn’t mean it hurts any less; the pain is still there, and some days or even times of day are better than others.
Yet I have truly been blessed with such supportive family and friends who are willing to listen to me, show up for me, and help me through this season of my life.
“Let the Praise Begin”
The circumstances that have brought me to my current situation have also brought me back to God in a way that I haven’t felt in a while. Truthfully, my relationship with God felt very stale for the past year or so. I was still attending church, but not as much. I wasn’t hearing from the Holy Spirit, but was more-so depending on my own feelings to make decisions. I began changing my identity to fit into the world’s mold of what was attractive and acceptable instead of what was godly and righteous.
Recently, I have been back in my Bible, seeking God’s Face, praying daily, worshiping and praising Him at all times of day, and not just in church or on my rides to work. I enrolled into a Bible study program that my cousin Brittney is partially leading, and I’ve encountered more wisdom from God by listening to these women preach and teach straight from the Word of God, and meditating on it daily.
Last night, I cried as I listened to the message Bianca, one of the leaders of the group, spoke about. I was convicted in many ways about my past behavior, and encouraged that there was no condemnation in Christ. I was also challenged to seek God’s Face, and not His Hand; meaning, yes, I can bring my desires before God in prayer, but I shouldn’t be going to Him just to gain those things, or hope He gives them to me.
After meditating on the Word given to me last night, I prayed a sincere prayer this morning, repenting and asking for forgiveness, surrendering my desires, and praising God regardless of the outcome. I brought my couple of concerns to Him as well, one being Patches’ sickness, and the other my financial situation. But I had faith that God could and would heal and provide.
On the way to work, I listened to this song by Fred Hammond (who I’ve been putting on repeat a lot these days) titled “Let the Praise Begin.” The choir sings these lyrics in the chorus:
“Are you ready for your blessing?
Are you ready for your miracle?
For the chains that come from the enemy
Are utterly destroyed when the praises ring.”
Now, of course, I sang these lyrics in faith and expectation that something would happen. I didn’t know when, I just knew it would. And you know, my dad even told me this past weekend that, when I continued to obey the Word of God and where He was leading me, He would act quickly; He doesn’t desire to leave a child of His wounded for too long.
Remember when I said I prayed this morning for my financial situation? Would you believe me if I told you that while I was working, I got a text notification from Zelle saying that I got paid from my editing boss the EXACT amount that I spent at Walmart for groceries and things for the apartment? I can’t even type this without crying in joy and awe and just gratefulness to Jesus for quickly providing for me LIKE THAT.
Like…GOD IS ABOUT ME LIKE THAT!!!
And it wouldn’t surprise me if I got home today or woke up tomorrow, and Patches was cured of his sickness. Why? Because God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and can and will do the things within His will. It’s not to say that He will do everything in ways that we desire all the time. But WHEW, when we just put our faith in Him, and surrender the worry about it? MY GOD!
I tell you this to brag on the Lord, not me. Because earlier this week, I was questioning whether my faith was even strong enough to move mountains like Jesus said His disciples could do. So, it isn’t about my faith, but about Who God is! And I praise Him! I praise Him even if Patches is still sick by Thursday, and I have to take him to the vet. I praise Him even if He decided to take that money away from me tomorrow because it truly belongs to Him.
I believe when I prayed this year for God to increase my faith, He decided to take me on this journey to do just that. And while it hasn’t and still isn’t easy at all, there’s no place I’d rather be.
Blessings to y’all! I pray that this touched someone who’s in their own situation. Trust God. Believe He can and will do it! 🙌🏽