The remainder of the year is going by quickly and in less than two weeks before its end, some wonder what the New Year will usher in. Many of us don’t know what or where we’re headed in life while others may have taken many different directions trying to figure out this thing called life.
I began to reflect on my life and how this year has been a long journey filled with heartbreak, pain, disappointments, and tears yet I couldn’t help but rejoice in the things I’ve managed to learn about myself during particular seasons in my life. I may have met with hard times, challenges, and strife, but I am grateful for each experience as it dramatically changed my life.
A long time ago, 11 years to be exact, I created personalized multicultural heritage designs and started a book that remained hidden in files I put aside because of challenges I faced. Things changed, of which I had no control. It was as though I lost all control. I felt why bother. I didn’t have the financial resources to back up my plan nor did I have the mental or physical capacity to delve into the project to complete it. So I left it.
I became ill around that time and lost significant use of my hands without experiencing difficulty, pain, burning, numbness, and just downright discomfort. For years it rendered me hopeless. Every day I found myself in tears. Every entire being of my body burned and hurt for months, days, years. I became frustrated with my life and kept asking God, “now what?’ I was impatient and wanted everything to work as fast as it could so I could live a life I had become accustomed to.
But you see God had other plans. His plan was not my plan. He took me from a place where I thought I had everything to a place where I lost everything. I didn’t have much money, no job, and a meager income to support myself. I lost hope in myself.
I was mad and took my frustration out on God and said to him, “Okay God, what you expect me to do with this? I don’t have a life. I don’t have a car, a job, and I lost my house. All I have are the clothes on my back. And now I have to start all over again. How am I supposed to get those things back?” I thought, “Why is this happening to me?”
For years, I kept looking for answers to questions I knew He had already given me. But I kept missing it. I didn’t want to face it. I was a very independent person and with the changes I encountered I had to learn to depend on others. Feeling sorry for myself as I cried out, “poor me” because of my suffering. I hated the life I was living. There was nothing I liked about this new life I had been given. But there was something God needed me see in it; a lesson I had to learn from it.
Over a year ago, I started recording my thoughts and under the advice of my children who created an account for me on social media that grew into a few, I began to post things I would learn about God and wanted the world to know too. Although my situation and circumstances had not changed as I’d hoped, I noticed things around me began to change. That began with me. There was hope.
As I would speak about God, I started looking at life differently. I began to learn lessons from Bible readings and Bible teachings. My walk and my relationship deepened with God undeniably. I thought as I laughed to myself, “This is the very thing I kept running from for years because I thought I’d lose myself. So…this is what I’ve been missing?” Thank God I am no longer running from my assignment and my calling. What a blessing!
At times, I may have had no money or only two nickels to rub together but I was content because God was preparing me for better. He said, “Dear child, I know your future. I have plans for you. Plans to prosper and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).
I’ve had writers block for months because of severe headaches but have been recording my thoughts. As God allows me, I meet each challenge with a new attitude. That’s a good start. 🙂 God is paving the way. No matter what my situation may look like, I look forward to each day.
A few months ago God began opening doors for me. I can now see clearly. I have a new release on life. God changed not my situation but changed me in it. I’ve learned to have patience, am compassionate about others, and no longer easily lose my temper. I rely on God and God only for provision. Even when things don’t turn out as I expect. I may not have much but as long as I got King Jesus, that’s enough!
My future success in things I hope for look promising since beginning this journey. God is making ways out of no ways for me to complete the journey. I’m just waiting on instructions from Him to move forward. While waiting, I thank God and am grateful for every experience.
I’ve learned, sometimes when life happens and we don’t understand why, its God saying to us “not yet.” “It will come in my time.” There are things he must perfect in us, so that we are prepared when he elevates us. Whatever you may be going through, don’t give up.
Just as God is preparing me, He is preparing you too. He’s perfecting the gifts in you. And in his timing, he will elevate you. In your struggles, God is preparing you for better. Be thankful for every experience. Your latter will be greater.
Be blessed! -JD
Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (NKJV)