I feel like half of my world has been turned on its head this past week.
It’s as if my life were a puzzle and someone just came by and took a third of the pieces. It’s funny how much of a void one person can leave behind. With my boyfriend, left his family, and church, and everything I thought was in store for our future. And as much as it has hurt, and as many tears as I’ve cried in the past five days, I’m actually pretty grateful. It’s caused me to really lean on God and His word and it’s allowed me a wonderful opportunity to take off at a dead sprint pursuing Him and only Him.
Between what God has laid on my heart and the people He’s delivered to me, I am learning how to really renew my mind and overcome my negative thoughts, so that when the enemy comes to attack me and take from me, I can really pick up my shield of faith and be the conqueror I know I am through Christ Jesus.
The first Scripture that has really been given to me to lean on has been Jeremiah 29:11; “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” I feel as if this has become a bit of a Hallmark scripture, which is why I guess it hasn’t really stood out to me much before. It’s like the song on the radio that just came out a few weeks ago. It doesn’t matter how great it is, if the radio station plays it 6,000 times a day, you start to forget how wonderful it really is.
I trust that the Lord God cares for me and loves me. I know He’s forgiven me for all of my mistakes; He’s granted my grace for every transgression. And I know everything He says is true. He’s the Master of the universe, He tells the stars where, when, and how to shine. He knew me before He formed me in my mother’s womb, He set me apart and appointed me a purpose (Jeremiah 1:5). He certainly knows what He’s got planned for me and because He loves me SO much, He’s planning nothing but good things. God never promises us no pain, but He provides us comfort through our pain, and through this, I am so comforted knowing that no matter what happens with this one particular man in my life, God’s offering me hope and a future and prosperity.
The second thing that has been hugely comforting to me through this difficult moment in time is Romans 8:28: “We are assured and know that, in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.” I guess this one means so much to me for many of the same reasons the last one does, but the reason I repeat it to myself over and over and over again is because of something I heard Creflo Dollar teach on it once. He was preaching on how to never hurt again and and this is how he shared it: he said, “‘We are assured and know that, in AAAALLLLLLLL things…’ Did you hear me ladies. Let’s say that one together. ‘AAAALLLLL THINGS (not some, not most, but.. AAAALLLLL THINGS) God works for the good of those who love Him…” Literally every time I begin to think negative or poor thoughts and I’m tempted to let it overtake me, and God provides me a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) by reminding me of this promise He made, I turn myself into a broken record of Creflo Dollar. The Lord will indeed work all things for my good, even if everything seems to fall apart.
And the third big one that I have been facing is sadly the most difficult of them all to really let into my heart. James 1:2-4. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I know that this life is going to be one of constant growth; like a painter with canvas or a widdler with wood, God is creating me to be the dwelling His spirit can truly live in and through (Ephesians 2:22).
In John 15:2, it compares God to a gardener; He prunes us and cuts off every branch that bears no fruit.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched anyone who gardens go through and prune a tree of its dead branches, but they are taking a big ol’ pair of scissors and cutting them off. Scissors are sharp. There’s a big snapping noise. All I can think is, “Man, that’s got to hurt.” Imagine just one of your arms getting cut off because it bore no fruit. Not pretty. Talk about a trial, you know? Yet in James 1, it tells us to be JOYFUL about this process. When I get down and out about everything I’m going through, this just reminds me that what doesn’t kill me, is only going to make me stronger. This is a part of the constant growth that I will face for the rest of my life and I should be glad that God is working such things in me; pruning me, molding me into someone who can persevere, creating a mature and solid Christian woman who will lack nothing. It takes me from the bottom and fills me with such encouragement and makes me thankful for this experience and brings me to the point that I can really start to praise His Holy name, right smack dab in the middle of this storm.
So many things are going on within me and I just know that no matter how hard it gets, God is with me. He promised never to leave me or forsake me. I can lean on Him and I can count on Him. He’s got a plan for me, I have a divine purpose, it’s a good one, and He’s going to make me something great. I’ve got the faith, even just as small as a mustard seed sometimes, but this mountain is going to jump. I will overcome and conquer this all through my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus who gives me strength. I can face giants unafraid, I can step out onto crashing waves confidently, and I can stare the devil straight in the face and call him out as the liar he is.
I have this shield of faith and I will not be shaken.
By the grace of God, I will overcome.