Thursday, November 22, 2012

Birthday Surprise. It's Stephanie!

My favorite holiday is here and with it a very special post by one of my favorite people. For those who don't know Stephanie, she is vibrant, enthusiastic and encouraging. And to those who know her, we can all say we are better people because she is in our lives. May this special Thanksgiving post speak comfort and joy to your heart. 
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[photo credit]
To be completely honest, I wanted to decline Raquel’s offer when she first asked me to be a guest blogger. Why? I let fear paralyze me at that moment and I had no idea what to write about, BUT I heard a firm response from God, “Yes, you WILL write and you WILL share what you have learned!” I immediately knew exactly what He was talking about. So here it goes…


Back in February, I attended an amazing conference. Prior to this conference, I was ecstatic to volunteer and serve at the conference, but God gave me a clear “No!” I was crushed and confused because my heart’s desire is to serve others, but I knew that God wanted me to be still, sit back, and hear from Him. It would be me and Him, nothing else!

Throughout the conference God was moving in my heart. The night Hillsong United led worship, God revealed something to me. You see, God exposed  the ugliness of my heart to me and unfolded a deeper layer that I had no idea was lying inside of my heart. I knew then this was one of the reasons God wanted me to sit out, and not volunteer at the conference. I suddenly broke out in tears and felt my knees suddenly collapse.  I felt ashamed and embarrassed. God revealed to me that I was angry. Angry with Him! “What?!? How could this be? I’m so head over heels in love with Him! How could I have been angry and in love with Him all at the same time?

Rewind …

Way before attending this conference, I had been trying to pass one of the tests to become a teacher. It had taken me a little well over a year to pass it. While many eagerly waited to start the New Year, I was taking into the New Year a heavy burden of frustration. Throughout that time of test after test, I felt like I done everything humanly possible to pass. I bought books, hired tutors, listened to cds, attended workshops, and more. My next train of thought was, “My failing MUST be because I’m not spiritual enough?” (At this point, I had no idea where my head was at.) I then proceeded into trying to do all the “Christian stuff” so that I can hopefully gain God’s favor and mercy to pass the test. (Side note: This is so far from God’s truth…We do NOT have to gain His love, it’s unconditional nor do we have to work to receive His favor/mercy/grace) I fasted. I prayed. I went to church. I sought Biblical counsel. I read my Bible. I had done anything and everything. I knew for sure God was going to hook it up and open the door for me to pass. Yeah, NO! The next time I went to take it, I read in big fat letters, “Not pass!” “What? God, how could this be? You MUST be mad at me!”

Fast-forward to the conference …

“Angry? Why would I be angry with God?” It then dawned on me that I was angry because the thought of God forsaking me, and not giving me the desires of my own selfish heart, had been lingering inside of me. I had been feeling let down by God. I felt like my prayers were hitting the roof and not heaven. Why wouldn’t God turn to me and allow for me to pass the test? “C’mon God, You created everything in 6 days... Can’t you just make it happen and allow this miracle to take place?!” I would have never imagined, in my wildest dreams, that I would reach the point of being angry with my God.

After I left the conference, I confessed to my boyfriend all that I had been hidden in my heart. We prayed, and I instantly felt God’s love and healing hand over my heart and life. God’s faithfulness revealed to me yet once again. “CONFESS your sins to each other and pray for one another so that you may be HEALED.” James 5:16.

Thanksgiving is here! What am I thankful for? Well, I’m thankful for God’s strength. He gave me strength to push forward even when I thought I could not take one more step or one more test. I took that test 7 times! If it was not for Him, I would have easily given up probably after the 3rd time of not passing it. I was stubborn (hence me having to take it 7 times) and God wanted me to gain radical faith in trusting Him with my life even when things don’t “fall in place.” I’m thankful that though this sin had been residing in my heart, God’s love did not change.

I learned many things during that season of my life. I can honestly say that though storms may come, and they will come, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. I encourage you to dig deep and pray even when it seems as if you can not mutter out a single word to God. Prayer not only changes things, but it changes YOU!

“BE THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, 
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need and THANK HIM for all he has done.” –Philippians 4:6

“When everything seems like it’s falling apart, 
that’s when God is putting things back together just the way He wants it.” 

One last thing, though God did not answer my prayer on my timeline to pass the test, He did do something far more imaginable. He gave me the gift of faith! Faith to truly trust God with my life, with my future, even when all else fails.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Scarleth said...

Great Post on God's Faithfulness. Even when we cannot see, He see's and understands us.

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