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Follower of Jesus Christ. Lover of people. Lover of animals. High Point University graduate. Appalachian State graduate. High school English teacher. AXΩ.

All This Time I Was Finding Myself, and I Didn't Know I Was Lost.

"Feeling my way through the darkness,
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start...
Life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes."
 
 
 
 
I honestly meant to go to bed early.
But I'm not tired and I thought about this song and I'm in a writing mood, and I've been meaning to write this post.
If I've learned one thing, it's that you should NEVER go to bed when you're in a writing mood.
So here it is.
 
 
..............................................
 
I started going to a group on campus called "New Life."
It's a fellowship group.
 
Last Wednesday at New Life, I heard one of the best messages I've ever heard.
I sat and listened, feverishly taking notes on my phone, my fingers flying over the screen as fast as they could.
 
The speaker asked this question:
"Why am I in the wilderness one day and the mountaintop another day?"

Well, because in the wilderness, God can work in us.
Sometimes we need to be in the wilderness for God to do His work.
 
 
In life, things may seem out of order to us. I constantly find myself saying, "This is a fiasco" or "This is a cluster."
But really, people, if it's a mess, it's a beautiful mess, and whether we want to believe it or not,
things are just the way they are supposed to be.
 
"God is a God of order"
is what the speaker kept saying.
(God knows what He's doing, people!!!)
 
He also talked about how our world has taught us to expect instant gratification, and to want to do things on our own time (usually instantly).
But think about this:
The children of Israel wandered through the wilderness for FORTY YEARS.
Forty years. For forty years they were promised something that they had to be patient for and live by faith in the fact that it would happen.
God had his own timing, and it was His perfect timing.
 
Y'all. When he started talking about God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, I got so excited.
((That is one of my very favorite parts of the Bible, and I'm still not done with my "Exodus, Part 2" blog, but it's coming!))
 
Can you imagine waiting for something for forty years? We can't seem to wait for something for forty minutes without complaining anymore.
There are things in my life that I've prayed about for two or three years and gotten so frustrated I wanted to just give up.
But we can't.
 
Another profound statement that the speaker made:
"We as Christians worry a lot about the destination and don't think about the winding roads and valleys we have to go through to get there."
 
So to spin off of that, here's what I think:
 
We have in mind what we want.
We pray about it.
We expect to get it.
 
But what we sometimes don't stop to think about is the fact that it might not come as easily as we'd like. In fact, we might have to go through a WHOLE lot before we are blessed by the outcome.
Just as diamonds are made wonderful by high pressure and temperatures, so are we. 
 
We all go through some really rough stuff at points in our lives. I know I sure have. But I always remember that quote (from somewhere) - "There's beauty in the breakdown."
 
When we are vulnerable,
when we are down to nothing,
when we are in the wilderness,
when we are broken,
That is when God is molding us, shaping us, making us into what He wants us to be.
Putting us where HE wants us.
 
The valleys can be so beautiful. The wilderness is sometimes where we need to be to GROW!!!
 
The speaker said,
"The journey is only revealed in retrospect.  Only then can you know why you went through what you did and honestly thank God."
 
After he said that, I thought back to some of the lowest points in my life.
Sure, they were terrible at the time, but looking back, they seem so sweet and so beautiful because I know that God used those times to make me into what I am now.
And He's not done by any means.
I love growing, learning, and gaining wisdom and strength.
I love being able to thank God for the hard times.
 
"God can take every mistake we make and use it as part of our journey/testimony."
 
He talked about Ephesians 2:10.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
 
His workmanship.
We don't have to worry about tomorrow.
"God has orchestrated our journey and EXPECTS us to focus on the NOW."
He said, "In this world you will have trouble.  But fear not, for I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)
 
Matthew 11:28-30:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
 
The guy said it's important to understand that "light" doesn't mean easy; it means that there is someone much bigger than you carrying the bulk of your load.
 
God told Abraham his descendants would outnumber the stars.  He planted that seed.
It took Abraham years and years to get to that point, but with each step his faith developed.
 
"Don't despise the process. GOD IS DOING SOMETHING.
God is testing your heart. Through the process your heart is purified."
 
The process of life may seem difficult, but don't hate the difficult times. 
When we are in the valleys, God is working.
You may thing you are as low as you can go; find peace and joy in that.
In fact, be excited about it.
It probably means that God is working in you in such a mighty way that you might be astounded at what comes next.
 
Whatever situation you're in, honor God with it.
PRAY about it.
BE PATIENT.
 
The world teaches us to be self-serving and impatient, but I promise that if you trust God and remain patient in prayer, you will be blessed beyond measure.
And look back one day and be able to smile at the struggles.
 
 
He didn't promise that it would be easy.
He promised it would be worth it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
eBa


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