During the year 2016, I experienced many changes. I would say that it was a transitional year for me. While praying and seeking God I began to see how much was missing from my prayer life. I realized and acknowledged that I had a desire for God but did not pursue Him as often and as desperate as I needed to. I was ready to do more but had no idea what I would have to face. Below are some things that I have learned.
Trials will break you if you give up. I was hit with a major blow metaphorically. As I sought God more and prepared my ideas family, associates, and others turned away from me. I felt alone at times and as a result became discouraged. However, one thing I did not allow myself to do was give up. You cannot afford to release your integrity, your perseverance, and your drive.
It’s okay to be still. Not only is it okay, it is required. While drastic changes were taking place it was tempting to take matters into my own hands. I wanted to use my resources to call people out who had disrespected me and I wanted to defend myself. However, it wasn’t until I became still that I was able to gain clarity and assurance from God. In life, we are so quick to move that we sometimes miss the message behind it all.
You cannot skip chapters. You must take the good with the bad. As my mom would say growing up “This is not Burger King. You can’t have it your way.” You cannot skip your chapter of “ugly”. You cannot skip your chapter of “pain”. Babe Ruth, although known as a baseball legend, once held the record for the most strikeouts. Although some would view this as an embarrassment, Ruth once said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run”. His home run record is 714 during his career.
You do not have to have all the answers. Don’t try to. I have had a tendency of trying to fix all of my problems. Those attempts did not end well. When seeking an answer to why I was faced with situations I did not know the answer and that frustrated me. I had to fight figuratively and spiritually to stay grounded in my faith and truth.
Do not confide in people who are not going where God is taking you. I admit. I have done it. I had become so overwhelmed and ranted my frustrations to others. Some had no idea how to respond because my situation was unfamiliar to them. So my advice to you is this: Do not pour your heart out to everyone. Everyone is not going where you’re going. Everyone cannot give advice. Give it your frustration, your worries, and questions to God. Ask Him to place the right people in your life to confide in. People who will give you sound advice. Don’t be moved by your emotions.
Embrace your evolution. What we don’t realize is that we are constantly changing during the transitional season. The moment I went to continue living the way I was prior to the hardships I realized I had changed. I couldn’t hang around the same people, I couldn’t conduct the same conversations, and I couldn’t even dress the same. Embrace the new you.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19
Tests and trials challenged my integrity but I am glad that God was with me the whole way through. He is continually preparing me for something new. (Check out that rhyme!) Happy New Year! Welcome 2017.