God has a funny way of always providing the proper prior training to equip us to live a life of purpose & impact. At the tail end of 2022, I intentionally asked God to provide the specific scriptures He wanted me to use as guideposts for the new year. The first was Philippians 3:14: I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Then shortly after, Isaiah 50:7 and Galatians 2:20 were also added. I had no idea just how necessary these scriptures would be.
It has now officially been three years of really taking my faith walk seriously...which unfortunately coincided with the end of my marriage. However, despite the setbacks and obstacles, I have gained innumerable life lessons along the way. Finally, I have entered my season of birthing! All of the promises that God spoke over me in my hidden season--when I was deep in the wilderness and learning to embrace the beauty of solitude--are now coming to pass!
But before we celebrate and release the fireworks, let's make one thing perfectly clear: seasons of elevation are chockfull of suffering, affliction, and tests. I can't lie, while it has been one of the most fruitful times, it has equally been one of the most difficult seasons of life that I have had to walk through. None the less, I press on!
But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
(Isaiah 50:7 ESV)
"Seasons of elevation are chockfull of suffering, affliction, and tests."
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
One of the most compelling lessons has been learning to understand my own toxic habits and patterns of thought. I have had to wrestle with my own mind, contending for the life that God has promised me. You see, the closer you come to actualization of the purpose and destiny that God has predestined for you, the more everything else in your life seems to conspire against it. It makes me think of a line from one of my favorite pieces of literature--The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. In it, the author includes the line: "And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” While there exists some semblance of truth within the statement, the opposite appears to have the greater pull. Yet, the key difference needed in ensuring that the latter shapes one's experience when pursuing that which you desire most (in accordance with God's will for your life) is a question of mindset.
The truth of the matter is that our mindsets are the single-most determining factor of whether or not we are able to achieve the dreams and visions that have been placed inside of our hearts. If you can fashion your mindset in such a way that it is able to shut out all the extra noise and negativity and fix your face like a flint on doing all that is within your limited human capability-- and align that with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit-- then, you become unstoppable. There is no force greater than the power of a determined & made up mind. Never underestimate that fact!
As I deepened my walk with the Lord, I become more and more assured and resolute that I would not accept anything below the extraordinary life that God had promised me. My mind was made up. This caused my entire world to shift. Suddenly, the doors to my destiny had been opened. Destiny helpers came flooding in, opportunities seemed to be falling right into my lap without striving or any sort of extreme effort on my part. I stepped into the blessings of favor and ease. This was the start of my new beginning; my opportunity to re-build. In a word, it was my re-birth.
What occurs in our natural, physical world, always takes place first in the spiritual realm. Thus, the movement and momentum that I was witnessing being manifested tangibly had come as a result of the years, months, and hours of pushing, pressing, and praying for God's will in my life. Please know, there are no overnight success stories! While it is true that God is without limitations and He is capable of doing all things--far and above what we can ever think, hope, or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), concurrently, God is a God of process.
So much of our training as believers takes place in the space of waiting. It is in the wait that we learn to trust God. It's in the wait that our ears are trained to truly hear His voice, and not only that--but to decipher between the gentle voice of our Lord and that of the enemy, our own conscious, or other outside influences. The process of waiting allows the believer to be refined. He or she is given ample opportunities to turn away, give in to sin, or give up entirely. Waiting is a test of will. It is God giving you a choice to either believe what He said and trust Him fully OR find contentment in the familiarities of life and become stuck in the crippling mentality of mediocrity. The choice is ours to make.
So this was my walk. My test. My fight. My opportunity--to fully embrace all of who I was created to be and stand in the midst of the fire and testing to confirm the word that had been decreed; so that it might serve as an announcement to the world (and the heavenlies) that God is not a liar and that when He speaks a word, He is faithful to perform it.
With all that being said, my question for anyone reading is this: Have you made up your mind? Are you committed, determined, and fully persuaded that God can and will do all that He has spoken over your life? Do you truly believe Him? And if so, are you willing to take up your cross and bear whatever it is that comes with making such a vital decision?
For me, the answer is simple: YES.
I am laser focused of accomplishing and achieving ALL that my Father has declared. There is no question in my mind. I know who my God is. I know that He will not leave me or forsake me. Better yet, I know that He will not put me to shame. Because in fact, once He has declared a thing, it must be done. This is law.
And therefore, my dear readers, I leave you with this:
I am in my season of YES! And... I am fully embracing it!
- YES to His will!
- YES to His way!
- YES to His Favor!
- YES to His Mercy!
- YES to His Grace!
- YES to abundance!
- YES to Joy!
- YES to loving & serving others!
- YES to me!
I desire and deserve EVERYTHING that God has for me and I won't stop until I have it all!
All that I am or ever shall be is due only to the goodness and mercy of God. So, I'll say yes to all that comes my way this season--focusing on becoming the highest possible version of myself and leaving any and all distractions that would deter me from attaining that goal behind.
I began this post with a focus on time--3 years. In just three short years, my life has changed dramatically and I can truly say that it is no longer I who live, but Christ that lives within me. I gave up my life when I first made the decision to stop playing around with God and stop playing small. But, I cannot express in words how it felt to re-commit my life to the Lord. On Sunday, August 13th, the same week of my 32nd birthday (talk about re-birth for real!), I got baptized again at my church. That day marked the beginning of something new. I may not know all the details and I may not understand all the steps in between or the reasons for them, but this one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.