For a while, I was wandering. I was in the middle of a metaphorical desert with no horizon in sight, grasping at the sand in hopes of finding something of substance, something stable that I could hold onto for support. I must have walked circles around the same small area for a very long time. There were no roots and no value to what I was doing. Occasionally, only for a short moment, the lightbulb would go off in my head and I thought ‘surely, this time I have figured it out,’ but my heart had not yet changed.
But Jesus. He was there, patiently waiting with open arms for me. He didn’t give up on me because I am worth it to Him. He watched me lovingly as I ran out of fuel and energy.
I was lost and very confused about the direction that my life was heading. I was discontented, it was as though I had an insatiable hunger for meaning which led to residual emptiness in my life. I kept trying to satisfy that emptiness through the wrong things, which left me feeling even emptier. I was regretful, feeling as though I had wasted time, resources, and opportunities. I was fearful of making mistakes, failing, surrendering all to God, being inadequate, not being good/talented/smart enough or enough in general. I had grown weary, losing my motivation because I didn’t want to fail. I was timid and apprehensive to start anything. I was exhausted from exerting my energy in the wrong places. I was worn out because I kept thinking I was trying ‘everything’ I could. I had paralyzed myself by my negative emotions, being consumed with worries that I would have problems forever and never feel ‘normal’ again. I was discouraged from it all and feeling inadequate, because how could I possibly ‘feed’ others if I couldn’t ‘feed’ myself. I was done. I was plain unhappy and my soul was continually unsatisfied.
Things hadn’t clicked for me with God because I kept approaching my faith half-heartedly. I was afraid of leaving my life at the feet of Jesus because I didn’t want to relinquish control. That in itself reminds me of how disillusioned I had become because I was trying to hold onto all of the things that were actually weighing me down. I would pick up my Bible and read, but not absorb or apply the truths there. I was not faithful, intentional, or diligent about it. I didn’t dig. I kept falling into old sin patterns because I didn’t have much self-control. I was scraping by on the bare minimum with prayers that were shallow and inconsistent. Rather than guarding my heart and mind, I had fed them with garbage and negativity, such as the news, gossip, time spent with the wrong people, my negative inner monologue, the wrong entertainment and media, rather than with the life-breath that comes from God. My room, desktop, workspace, inbox, and mind was a big huge mess. There was physical and mental clutter everywhere. I had no room to think, and I left no room in my heart or life for God to work.
But Jesus. He MADE room (he’s the best contractor around) and he started working in those little spaces.
My heart was heavy and my thoughts were negative. I had a short temper. I obsessed about my circumstances, they consumed me – because I allowed them to. Since my heart was heavy and weighed-down, the words that overflowed from it were self-centered and uninspiring. My words reflected the messiness within me. I was not speaking life.
But Jesus. He placed the right people into my life to speak life into me during my darkest time, even when I wasn’t speaking words of life back to them. He did not just bless me with half-hearted generic advice, he blessed me with a team of family members, friends, small group sisters, and an online community who continued to pray for me and guide me spiritually out of the rut. They didn’t get frustrated with me and they didn’t give up either. They are a perfect example of God’s love.
I felt like my dreams were a virtual impossibility and that I would never be able to ‘catch up’ to the those who were on a traditional college route. By my standards, I had done academically poorly during my two years of college and my dream jobs were never going to happen because the right doors couldn’t possibly open after the time I had wasted.
But Jesus. He planted a seed for me with dreams and passions that left my heart bursting at the seams with excitement. He gave me the confidence to start with my shop and blessed it with sales. He placed the right resources, the right women and their blogs, a glimpse at my dream jobs (jobs that are held by Christian women too, which is even better!), and He fired up my heart to reach wildly for those dreams.
I finally at the end of 2013 I started to pray boldly, asking God to change my heart and mind. It wasn’t an obligatory half-hearted prayer, it was a bold and sincere prayer that I have continued to pray. I sincerely meant it too. I was ready to truly surrender all to God: my heart, mind, future husband, past relationships, friendships, family, career, blog, shop, injury, possessions – everything. I was desperate for relief and a complete change. I was done with holding onto the broken pieces of my life. I wanted to clear out the clutter and make room for His beautiful plan.
Praise Jesus. He answered.
I started to feel different. I began to feel more level-headed and I started to have a more clear perspective on life and my circumstances. Rather than seeing my current position as a discouraging and murky mess, I started to see hope there instead. I noticed specific problem areas in my life, and I started taking action to change them. I reminded myself to never become complacent, but to always work towards growth, clarity, and true fulfillment in God. I started to forget all of my fears and worries, especially pertaining to my back injury and the potential for surgery. God replaced my reservations with excitement and He gave me the focus and energy to start chipping away at the mess around me. I began to start every day at the foot of the cross, reading scripture, delighting in His truths. The loud and obnoxious, consuming voices in my head diminished. I began to experience true peace and contentment. I began to feel the life-breath of Jesus and the joy that comes from a relationship with Him. This is just the beginning dear friends.
God is working a beautiful story out of my circumstances, and He can do the same for you.