This last year, has been absolutely amazing. Not without turmoil, or worry, fear, or sadness, but full of God and transformation, in spite of everything. Our Pastor recently preached a series on Seasons, and the first week, he said, “God’s greatest purpose in all seasons is transformation.” Wow. As I listened to these messages, it caused me to look back on the seasons of this last year. Just like you, there have been good/easy seasons and hard/bad seasons. Romans 12:2 says, ” Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” I had to know, did I conform or was I transformed? I was so relieved to see three major areas of transformation in my life.
The first thing God wanted to transform in me, was my willingness to obey Him, even when I wanted something different. I tend to spend a great deal of time telling God what I want and what I think should happen. For quite some time, I really thought I knew what was best. Yeah, you can see where this is headed.
About a year ago, I was earnestly praying for a few things I knew must be God’s plan. What I did not know, was God was getting ready to ask me to be obedient in a very hard way. God asked me to quit my full time job, leave my full time income, forego what I thought was my 25 year plan (seriously, 25 years). God began to show me, that my 25 year plan, included methods and philosophies I did not agree with. After a few months of hints from God, I was finally point blank asked, “Are you with us?” I stepped back and realized, “No…I am not with you…and I am ok with that.”
After the step of obedience, trust was the next phase of transformation. I left a full time job and knew God was asking me to be still for a time, so I would be staying home. Our bills had not c.hanged…my husband’s job was going through changes and his income was incrementally decreasing. Despite my fear and need to fix everything, God kept asking me to trust Him.
The problem was, I kept forgetting the lessons God was teaching me. Over the year, fear would creep in, and I would begin to worry about money, and God would have to again ask me to obey. However, the Bible is very clear, obedience is the key to this walk with God. First Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
As I would again obey the call to be still and wait, my trust would be strengthened. The biggest moment came when I started interviewing for an incredible job, with our amazing, new church. Listen friends, this job was perfect for me, I would love it, I was called for a second interview, let’s be honest, they loved me (at least I like to think that). As I began to pray, God very clearly said, “No.” He was asking me to stay home, and continue to use my home to build the Kingdom, and be still. This time however, I quickly listened.
This is where I saw my last transformation. Our financial situation was still bleak, I was still being asked to stay home, I said no to an incredible new job with a great organization and great people…and I felt utter and complete peace. I finally knew, I was right in the will of God.
As I looked back on the previous year, I was thankful for the hard things, I was thankful for the stretching, I was thankful for the growth. Just last week, I was given another great job opportunity with a Pastor friend, and I wrestled for four days (my best friend told me I was acting crazy), but, I knew the answer was no. I knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing, I trusted God fully, and I had peace, just as God has promised so much in the Bible. “The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11.
Here we are, the third week of 2019 and God is already moving. My husband just got a new job, I fully understand God’s provision of moving me, three nights each week we have Bible studies in our home, we have more room to love people than ever before, and I am completely content. Not because everything is perfect, but because I am finally completely obedient. Completely trusting. And completely at peace. I know this means, God is probably going to shake things up and make us grow again (there’s a pattern), and I know there are big things ahead for 2019, but I am excited!
Friends, I am not here to brag or boast. This has been a hard year in many, many ways. I have shed many tears, felt betrayed and alone. I discovered who my real friends were, and I leaned way in. I also began to chase after God with every ounce of my being. I want to encourage you, if you are in a tough season, ask God, what am I supposed to learn in this season? Do not waste this season. Be mindful of what you are planting in the soil of your heart. Open God’s Word, spend time with Him, and worship…worship non-stop. Invite the Holy Spirit into your season, and pray for discernment and wisdom. Be ready to obey, and trust. Like me, you may notice your season ending with peace.
Thank you so much for reading today. If you are finding yourself in a tough season, I would be so happy to pray with you. Until we meet again, chase after this God of ours.
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