He’s African and us Africans in America have to stick together. #WeAllFromAfrica
He’s a savage, the guy does not give a CRAP about what you think or say, he’s committed to being himself.
He trusts the process.
You need people in your life to help you make sense of reality and to help you carry your burdens when they’re too heavy. I’m so thankful for the people in my life because I couldn’t have gotten through that time without them.
Pain is just a part of life. I need to let go of the lie that because I believe in Jesus that my life will be easier, news flash, Jesus Himself said that we would suffer as we follow Him.
Fear is ugly. I hate it. But I’m learning how to embrace it, dance with it, even, and then let it go. Because quite frankly, ain’t nobody got time FO DAT OKURRR.
The past year has been an interesting battle. If you know me personally, you know what a whirlwind it has been. I’ve felt as though my life fell to pieces in a few short weeks. I lost people, I watched people suffer. I have had almost a whole year to process all that has happened. I feel as though I am at the end of the tunnel, I can see the sun on the horizon, and its beginning to feel warm and look bright. I am excited for all that God has in store for the future.
I have had a lot of time to think through things and really dig deep into my relationship with God. Like with any other relationship, sometimes turmoil is good, sometimes you need to go through a rough spot to know that the other person will really be there in the end, that they won’t abandon you (or that they will). That is what I feel like the last year has been. It has been hard, but I never felt as though God left me or had forsaken me, for the first time I went through a major life battle KNOWING that God would see me through. Knowing that He was for me, that He loved me, that He would redeem all that has happened. I wasn’t alone. The God of the Universe was with me.
A bunch of what I have been learning in this season is what true faith is and what it looks like. Since the beginning of time we humans have been plagued with what we like to call today “Trust Issues”. Adam and Eve, The Israelites, The Disciples, …many of them had trust issues. They had a hard time trusting God, trusting that He was (and is) who he said He was (and is). God literally told Moses “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14-15). HE IS WHO HE IS. The Old Testament is full of stories of God moving and doing great things, only for His people to turn around in lack of faith to worship idols and lead lives of sin. Reading through the OT always baffles me because people were so quick to abandon the God who loved them. He split the waters (TWICE), He made food fall from the sky, He was with them in battle, He guided them with fire…but still when their lives became a bit harder they went and tried to make things happen on their own. However, when I begin to think “how could they!”, I remind myself that I too am an Israelite, I often lack faith and find myself scrambling to fix things with my own might.(News flash it never works.)
What would happen if all who said they loved God truly loved Him by abandoning their fears and stepping out in faith? I say this as someone who has suffered terribly from social anxiety, fear is a pointless “self-imposed prison” that inhibits us from being bold. I spent a large portion of my 22 years of life living in fear of the unknown. It hindered growth in almost all aspects of my life. Here’s some truth: Fear is the opposite of faith. Jesus spent a large part of His ministry pleading with people to have faith and rewarding those who did have faith. Jesus knows God The Father intimately and wants us to know Him as well.
I rest knowing that when I step out in faith that God is with me. He truly wants everything to work out for my good because He loves me. I don’t want to let fear stop me from doing the things that God has called me to do. I want to be faithful…I want to be bold. I also want these things for the people I care about, too.
My first ever blog post was in August of last year, I expressed my excitement and thrill that I would be apart of Protege, a 10-month apprenticeship program at my church. My prayer at that time was that God would stretch and challenge me, that He would use me. And He did.
I’ve learned that there are some really dangerous prayers, ones that seem ‘harmless’ like “use me”,”stretch me”, “challenge me”, “give me patience” …etc. These all seem fine and light-hearted, but the truth is if you pray these prayers sincerely, God will give you opportunities where you can grow, learn patience, and be stretched, but often times, if not all times, they are not easy, in fact, they are really hard. God will put you in situations where you must grow, where you must show patience, where you will be stretched.
I’ve learned also that these dangerous prayers are the ones that make you more dynamic and deepen your relationship with God. 10 months ago I was willing to jump all in, I didn’t know all that was ahead of me, but I prayed in faith that God would be with me through it all, and He was, even when I didn’t feel Him, He was. I had a lot of crazy things happen in the past few months, from losing people who meant a lot to me to have my dad have a stroke. I was forced to rely on God like I never have before. God made me come to a point where I HAD to choose Him and trust that He would work everything out. That He would redeem these situations.
Life isn’t meant to be easy. We have choices. We make mistakes. But through it all, through our wavering, indecisiveness, and fear, God remains the same. In my brokenness, God chose me and told me that He loved me. I am so undeserving of the grace, love, and mercy He shows me. SO SO UNWORTHY, but yet He still chooses me every day, without doubt, He goes: “There is my beloved”.
I’m still in a season of grieving and processing all that has happened, but I I know that God carries me through it all, even when the weight of it all seems too much to bear, He carries me.
I have seen and experienced so much just in the past three months. I can tell you with certainty that I am not the same woman I was just a few months ago. Experiences, they shape you and alter your perception of the world. They make you analyze and look at things differently.
I have lost people, I have witnessed people suffer and go through pain. I have had everything fall beneath my feet.
I have also learned what love is and the importance of being there for people. My definition of Church has changed, for it is not just a group of people who want to pursue Jesus, however a group of people who are willing to step up and come together when life falls a part, when our friends become too weak to carry their burdens.A group of people who believe in Jesus and have true compassion for others, who care and lift one another up. We are called to fulfill different roles at different times.
I asked God to strengthen and stretch me. TO make me a better leader. He has. It’s funny because we pray for things, thinking the road to the end goal will be light and easy, but the truth is, it is hard. It is naive to believe that fixing a struggle or gaining new strength will be easy. Often times it requires a complete breakdown and the hard work of a rebuild.
I have been broken down and am in the process of being rebuilt. I am trusting the promises that God has given those who love Him. My love for God has evolved, I believe it is more dimensional now-more relational. I have questioned why He allowed such horrible things to happen, He then showed me why and how He planned to use it for good. I asked Him if He was with me and if He truly cared, He showed me He did and that there was purpose in all that was happening. I was reminded that although it may be good to plan, that nothing goes as planned. That His plan is great, that trusting Him is vital. I have been stripped of my pride and will boast in Jesus alone.
I am definitely a work in progress. An ever-evolving masterpiece created in His image. My strengths are in my flaws.
When everything is up in the air what do you do?
You love Him and trust Him, that is what you do.