It has been quite some time since my last post and I want to apologize for that. Lately, I have been caught up in a cloud of mixed emotions in which I am not sure how to digest. I have neglected to write partly due to uncertainty on what to write about, and partly due to fear of who may be reading these posts. It wasn’t until today that I was inspired through a good friend to write a little something. Ultimately, this blog is not to please others, but to give glory, honor, and praise to my Heavenly Father, who has blessed me with a love and desire to write. A true disciple hears, obeys, and shares. With that, I will now share what has been laid upon my heart.I recently came across a quote that cut right to the soul. Lana Bateman, chaplain of Women of Faith, claims that “the sign of true maturity is when joy and sorrow walk hand in hand.”
It is crucial that we accept that life is going to be hard. We must live with full awareness that there is a ruthless enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy anything good or God-given. Only once we come to terms with the fact that we will not get our way all of the time will we fully experience true joy. Understanding that there will be suffering and trials will make it easier for us to roll with the punches and live life freely.
Easier said than done though. I am currently realizing that as I experience this very lesson. I hesitated in sharing the following personal struggle, but then I realized God has not given me a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) and He calls me to be vulnerable, something I am not the best at, in order that I may testify of His greatness.
I want to preface this personal story by saying that I love my biological father with every fiber in my being and I will honor him till the day I die. However, it has become somewhat of a struggle relating to him since I do not live with him, and he has another family to take care of. For some time now I have had this overwhelming desire to obtain his full approval and love. From this I have only come up short; I have only met disappointment. As I am pulling closer to God, I am beginning to see the barriers and walls that have previously prevented me from experiencing a fuller version of life. Barriers and walls such as insecurity in my identity and abilities, and fear of rejection, failure, abandonment. Through the power of self-reflection I have realized it has all stemmed from my inability to find the love and acceptance I crave from my dad. After seeking wise counsel and putting a lot of thought and prayer into what to do, I could not think of any other way to heal from the hurt and pain that has built up over the years, or any other way to overcome these barriers than by distancing myself. I am NOT bashing my dad. Without him, I would not be alive right now. I love him. I just need space to heal, and grow.
This process has been difficult and more painful than I wanted it to be. However, I will rejoice in this difficulty and hurt. God is working in me. He is maturing me and giving me definition in life. By giving me an array of emotions to experience, He is strengthening me and enhancing my faith. I am seeing a spike in my spiritual growth from this hardship, and it has only spurred me to seek Him more. Everyday I desire to sit in His presence, eat up every word and promise that He has spoken, and receive the love, grace, and mercy that He freely lavished upon me.
Loved ones, I want you to know that you can find joy in the screwed-up mess life deals sometimes. Joy is not found in our circumstances, but in Jesus Christ, who first surrendered His glory so that we may have eternal life! We are not bound by what happens to us. Give your full heart to Jesus and set Him before you always. Surrender your struggle to Him, and let the Ultimate Healer do His thing. He has got you under His wings and promises to never let you go! Live confidently in this promise knowing that the Almighty God has your back in whatever situation you are facing.
I know it’s hard, y’all. Trust me. However, I also know that once we realize the abundance of joy that accompanies our struggles, and we let God have complete control, we will finally get to experience a full, fruitful life. Embrace these trials; own these emotions. God has an amazing track record of faithfulness and He has a tailor-made plan for each and every one of us. We are not placed on this earth without purpose. We are not accidents. God formed us in our mothers womb. He created us to one day experience heaven if we give Him the opportunity to do so. And believing this, I know that whatever God allows to happen, there is a bigger purpose behind it, regardless of whether or not my finite mind can comprehend it.
The crosses we must carry, the trials and the struggles we must go through in order to become more like Christ Himself are painful. So, expect life to be joyful and rugged.
I leave you with a few last thoughts:
Follow the narrow road, for it brings the widest joy.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4 NIV
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.”
Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV