Beauty from Ashes

“When your dreams turn into disappointments, learn to doubt your doubts. ” A lyric the Lord gave me just the other morning, as I cried my way through worship songs on the way to work, again!  I’m 28 years young–no where close to where I always thought I’d be at this point in my life. Still unmarried. Still without my own house. Still living pay check to pay check, waiting. Waiting to step into my ministry. Waiting to move forward to that next chapter. Waiting for My Mr. Wonderful.  Waiting to step into my calling and fulfill whatever it is that the Lord has placed on my life. And you know what? I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of being lonely, and waiting for the next thing to come along and move me forward into my future. I’m done. Sick and tired of putting on a fake smile and faking peace as I wait, once again, upon the Lord to move this mountain of disappointment out of my way.  I’m tired of waiting on people to validate me. I’m tired of waiting on a marriage or even a ministry to give me significance. I’m tired of allowing the amount of money I make define how I view my success or value in the work force. Quite frankly, I’m tired of feeling like a chess piece, strategically trying to make moves to achieve victory in this game of life. I am so over feeling this way, So I’m done!

5 months ago, the Lord gave me a peace like I’ve never experienced before in my life. He literally broke my heart of the all the lies, all the rejection, all the fear that I’ve held onto for years. He restored a hope in me that He is able to meet all of my desires in a single moment, if I will just trust Him. I took one step, then another, then another, primarily based on faith, not feelings. I just walked. One decision at a time. One moment at a time. As I did this, He began to reveal to me areas of my life that I thought I had surrendered, which were still impacting how well I love people and how much I trust Him.  I’ve watched Him and followed Him into a new season. One where He is surrounding me with people who are willing to go deep with me; People who steward an atmosphere of such grace, that I am willing to be vulnerable and transparent, without the fear of rejection or insecurity. The Lord has placed me into a church that honors God and loves people without apology, a church that believes cover to cover Bible, and is steadfast in their vision for our generation and our culture.  He has put me in position to walk in authority while learning to dig deeper and press further into Him. I decided to trust again, like I have been so unwilling to do over the last several years. I’ve put myself out there, tried new things,  made so many new friends, drank more coffee than I have in my whole life (lol– but really), and even jumped out of an airplane. Y’all that’s huge, because I am (was) afraid of heights!  Then, out of no where, here it comes again– that “slap in the face,  gut wrenching– did I really hear from you Lord or did I completely miss it? What am I going to do now?” type of scenario. And here we are (I am) again, face to face with all of it. REJECTION. DISAPPOINTMENT. WORTHLESSNESS. FEAR. INSECURITY– Lie after lie after lie. Oh but here’s what the enemy failed to realize this time…

You see, what happened to me 5 months ago is that I began to see myself as something more than broken for the first time in 15 years.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made. A royal priesthood. A child of THE King. I KNOW that God has put something huge inside of me. I see it. I feel it. I sense it in the spiritual. I am a part of an anointing, powerful enough to change a generation for Christ.  God has placed something inside of me bigger than I can even understand–Something that the enemy wants so badly to destroy, that he will not relinquish his quest for my heart, my attention, or my mind. But he DOES. NOT. WIN. Do you hear me? Do you really hear me?!?!  SATAN DOES NOT GET ME, MY FUTURE, MY MINISTRY, MY DESTINY, MY MAN, OR MY PEACE! Period. I belong to God. I am HIS. And ALL authority on Heaven AND Earth belong to HIM. And while my thoughts aren’t His thoughts, I surrender my will and my life to HIM, and therefore my desires come from HIM and He will finish what He has started. I’m safe, because He’s faithful.  My peace isn’t found in how I feel, what I see, what others say, or even in my abilities. My peace is found in the one who calms the seas. If you notice, in that story about the storm, Jesus didn’t rebuke the sea. He spoke to the sea and rebuked the wind. Jesus rebuked the source of the storm, not the effects of it. The same is true in me. My circumstances, the storms surrounding my present self–those aren’t the real enemy.  It’s he who lies beneath those circumstances, the one who desires to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan wants nothing more than to steal your joy and your future, kill your vision/dreams, and destroy your impact in the kingdom realm. So I ask you brothers and sisters– Can we learn to walk in faith over fear? Can we learn to trust in who we belong to more that in how we feel? Can we learn to fight from a posture of standing still? Can we as a body begin to fight the real enemy with the real weapon?

Can you as an individual learn to doubt your doubts?

Because that’s where the waiting becomes “worth it.” As we long for God to move. As we long for Him to fulfill the desires of our hearts. As we learn to trust Him more than how we feel. As we begin to put our confidence and our dreams in His hands. As we learn to fully surrender all of ourselves, that’s where warriors are formed. That’s where victory happens. That’s the place where we learn to expect the supernatural, and we live in the promises and the freedom that Jesus died to give us. It’s in those seasons of waiting, that we are refined and transformed. I don’t want a mediocre life. I don’t want a mediocre marriage, ministry, or church. I want to learn to love people to death; Death of their fears, death of their diseases, death of their heartbreaks, and death of their selfishness. I want to learn to love them to life; the abundant life that God has promised all of His children.

So here I am, 28 years young, no where close to where I thought I would be in my life plan, But so much further along in my spiritual walk than I was 5 months ago. Unmarried, but preparing myself for a kingdom shaking marriage (babe– just know you are covered in prayer and we are going after God with everything we’ve got). Without my own house, but still with a roof over my head, snuggled up in my bed, getting excited about the fact that the home the Lord has for me will be one of such peace and freedom.  Living pay check to pay check,  trusting that the Lord is teaching me to be a good steward with little, so that He can bless me with much. Choosing to live everyday in ministry to people. Learning to read each page of this chapter with care, so that I can learn and grow and prepare for when (not if) the Lord does move me into my next chapter. Because He will not leave me here, and His Word promises me that no weapon formed against will prosper. Not one. So adjust your focus friends. Change your posture. Don’t beg God. Ask Him and trust Him with your disappointments. Rise up, you who long to be warriors of Christ. Stand in your identity. Position Yourself. Stand Still, And Watch God fight for you, with you and through you. Your story isn’t over!

Oh, and Satan… Checkmate. You LOSE!

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