Although I’ve kept up with all of you who are signed up for the emails I send out I haven't posted an actual blog in a while…I thought, “hey, it’s my birthday, why not?!” So this is what poured from my fingertips…
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
When I recognized that 30 was coming to a close…an age I waited to reach in anticipation for 5 whole years, I decided to do some reflecting. The first thing that came to mind was that I don’t care if someone offered to fund my life for the rest of my life, I would never relive this year again. Ever! I began to ruminate on all the things that I lost, all the hurt, the attacks on people I love, the confusion…just all the bad stuff while ignoring all the good (because there was good).
I lost a lot in the physical, I was beat up emotionally, and spiritual attacks were severe but mostly because I decided to deal with them alone which probably wasn't the best decision I've ever made in life. I moved in my emotions when it came to handling my own stuff, which means things were often temporary and I spent a lot of time having to repair. My opinions shifted like the wind and my feelings went from both extremes in matters of days making for an unstable thought life.
The Holy Spirit gently nudged me during this time of reflection and encouraged me to look at where I have gained. The words that continued to play in my mind that day were, “to lose is gain”. And while I felt depleted of everything that I felt like I needed, everything I wanted, everything that has yet to come to pass God reminded me that there is more that I have gained in the spirit if I would just stop focusing on what I lost and what didn’t go like I thought it should. In other words, stop being a brat and change your perspective!
As I mentioned, there was some good! I had great moments! I got cool things! God has kept my family in spite of! Friends have overcome illness and recovered from surgeries! I grew in great relationships with some great people! I am apart of a great church family! God and my Pastor trust me enough to allow me to lead in various ways! I am blessed! But I decided to make a list of all the ways I grew spiritually, which honestly is the most important to me. While the material stuff is good, I believe that positive spiritual changes assist in a positive chain reaction everywhere else. So I learned:
But I understand in order to put me in right order to receive and to give in the manner He has called me to, I have to be free of all the things that will hinder me. All the things that will cause me to fall as soon as I stand up. When God calls us higher He has to make sure our roots are firmly grounded in Him. That He is our source, strength, and our foundation and He will rock our world to get us to let go of the grip we have on any other thing that we have chosen to do that for us.
Would I want to live this year over?
Not because it was a rough year but because I know that I would make the same mistakes, face the same trials, and have to fight through the same spiritual attacks because I needed them to be where I am today. I needed them to minister on the level I minister to individuals when we can't be seen. I needed to see that even at my lowest point that God's grace is sufficient for me. I needed to see that even when I was covered in filth that God's love penetrated to cleanse me. I needed to see that even when my heart was broken in pieces that God desired to mend it and heal it. I needed to see that even when other people found no worth in me or even when I saw no worth in myself that God would still use me to minister to His people showing me that my value is in Him and not in the opinion of man. I needed to experience fear and sheer terror in the scariest of situations to learn how to use the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind to fight for my peace. I needed to deal with rejection from the people that I love the most in order to recognize that it's not the end of the world. I needed to be without so that I could see where my provision truly comes from. I needed to fall down so that the pride that was in me could be brought down to a place of humility and a godly confidence that can slay more demons than I ever wanted to could rise up. I needed to stand alone to know that I could actually stand alone.
I needed this year so that I could get to know the God I serve. To build the relationship I have with Him now. It's crazy because I'm still a mess lol. Still fighting. Still pressing. But God…He's so loving and has been so constant and consistent that I don't even care that it’s a press.
The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy…and he has been able to do many of those things when I wasn't paying attention and wasn't being obedient to God. But even in that, God has come that we all may have life more abundantly and restoration and recovery is possible (John 10:10; Joel 2:25).
So this I leave with you:
Even in those seasons where it feels like all hell is breaking loose…can you spot God? It's not as hard as finding Waldo in those books, I promise. He's right in the thick of it with us screaming, “I will never leave you or forsake you, come to me if you are burdened and heavy laden I will give you the rest you need, just cast your cares on me!” (Deut 31:6; Matt 11:28-30; 1 Peter 5:7)
He's screaming, “If you will just resist the devil he will flee! Come back to me and I will cleanse you from all unrighteousness that you may see that you are apart of a chosen generation! A royal priesthood!” (James 4:7; 1 John 1:9; 1 Peter 2:9)
He's saying that if you still have breath in your body you still have a mandate to praise (Psalm 150:6). Praise me and magnify me and watch the problem become smaller and then you will gain clarity to see the way of escape that I have planned for you to be able to bear the mess you're in until you find you way out (1 Corinthians 10:13)! Come!!!!
So I encourage any of you that have been going through to find God in the midst and understand that He's working on something! All things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)! Come on child of God!!! Praise Him! You don't have to relive your year of blah but you should praise Him for it and understand that even in that, there was elevation!!!!
Now, while I can't live this year over again there is no saying I won't face the same tests again. So in that, I focus on controlling what I can and allowing God to handle everything that I can't. Yes, I know that I can do all things through Christ but there are some things He's just not calling me to do. So, I focus on controlling my own emotions and take into deep consideration how I receive people and things. I remain obedient to the guiding of the Holy Spirit and no longer move the way that I want to move because of what I want to do. I simply take care of the things that I can take care of and allow God to do the rest. I'm sure that will cut down 50% of my grief and I will be able to see God and sense God more clearly. If I haven't done anything else this year I've matured in the spirit and I praise God for that.
I'm still super excited about my third decade of life and I am very sure it will be the best one yet.
My birthday so happens to coincide with year-end where many of us reflect on our goals from the beginning of this year and plan for the next! Be encouraged! Whether this was the best year of your life or it was a serious struggle…find the purpose. Find what you’ve gained and move forward in the victory that is already yours!
Have a blessed day!!!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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