THINGS THAT ARE SHAPING US: PART NINE
First and foremost, I must tell you that I have never written anything outside of school… for a grade. So, this is not necessarily in my comfort zone, but I was really excited when the pastors and staff asked the Leadership Team to write about what is shaping us.
To start, I should share with you what my struggles have been in the recent past and, quite honestly, still are at times. I have been in a “season," as they call it, for… huh. Let’s see… probably the last 2 years? The struggles began when I grew tired of dating. I started truly missing companionship. After a few men entered my life and the relationships ended, I felt defeated.
Along with relational toils, I began to experience health scares coupled with a deep feeling of fear. I turned to a strong desire to be challenged and out of my comfort zone to fill the void. What did that mean for me? I should try a new city and all the fun discoveries that would bring. After around a year and a half, God told me that what I was trying for was not right… At least not right now.
I was raised with the understanding that we are in a battle as Christians. I know there is a war for our minds, hearts and joy. The bottom line is that my daily joy was being stolen from me and I wasn’t about to let that happen. What I did know is that God desires us to have a healthy and joy filled life. I want what God wants. I have a good life - job, friends, church, family… and the list goes on. Why was I only focusing on the negative?
I decided that I must exercise spiritual warfare, speak God’s word out loud and claim it as well as decide to speak and think only those things that are positive. I had a list of verses that spoke against fear and I spoke them daily:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength
AMEN!!!!!!! God is good.
To learn to speak and think positively, I naturally went to Joyce Meyer who can kick anyone’s butt when it comes to thinking “poor me." I started doing a daily devotional called Power Thoughts. I downloaded it on my Kindle so that I could study it on the subway to work every day. I believe that overcoming the struggle with your own mind is one of the hardest accomplishments we can make. It will never be easy and is a daily choice and something at which we must work hard forever.
What have I done to “fix” the issues I faced? Well, I am trying daily to resolve them, for lack of a better word. I believe that God wants us to move forward and trust that He is guiding us. He blessed me, as the health scares were only minor issues. I was led out of fear that was binding me. As for finding the right companion and the challenge I was looking to take me out of my comfort zone? Well, it’s not the Lord’s timing yet. I’m pretty sure that waiting is one of the most miserable places to be. But… As a wise man keeps telling me…
The safest place to be is in the will of God, and sometimes that place is the desert. – Ryan Phipps.