Based upon my last post, this does not seem like a big deal, right?
The difference is that yesterday I cried tears of joy! Easter services were PHENOMENAL. God moved all up and through the 8, 10 AND 12 o'clock services. But something happened at the 12 o'clock service that caused me to realize how far I have come in my process. My pastor did an altar call for people who felt burdened. As I watched people from the praise team and friends in the congregation walk up to the altar, I burst into tears. Not because I was sad for them, but I was happy for ME! (Not that I did not feel their pain because I had definitely been there) But that's the whole point of this. I'm not there anymore! I felt not even the slightest TUG to go to the altar. All I felt was pure praise!
Think about that. God took me from a state where I wasn't even MYSELF - constantly crying at the altar because as Rev. Wells said to me after he told me to "Trust the process," I was stuck- to a place of pure praise! Before, I wanted to go where God was leading me but I was not yet prepared for the journey. I was still trying to squeeeeeze some people and things through that door with me. But once I finally let go of them, on the other side of that door was joy, light, PEACE, order! I prayed for these things SPECIFICALLY and on Resurrection Sunday it hit me... My prayers were being answered.
However, in the midst of my light, darkness still tried to take over, but I laughed in it's face LITERALLY! An out loud and from the GUT kind of laugh... I pushed the anxiety out and away, it would not take over again. I pushed it away, not down. I let that thing GO! And watched it float away and disintegrate in a ray of sun.
Yesterday, I cried....
Thursday, April 10
I've been through some things, y'all!
My relationship of almost 3 years ended. And at that point I lost sight of a lot of things... BUT GOD!
If you don't want to be ministered to, stop reading RIGHT NOW, cuz I'm about to go IN!
I have suffered through depression, anxiety, serious self-doubt, and most of all negative thinking. That is the biggest problem most people have. Romans 12:2 (NIV) says: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." I had to change my mind on some things in my life and about myself! I had to see some people for who they were and who I had pretended to be. I had to look at some situations through God's eyes and realize that there was a way. As I started taking the steps and making the sacrifices, things started happening that I could only say were God's hand. There may be some of you who feel stuck in a room that is your current situation. You have some things with you in that room that you carry around everyday. There is a way out, there's an open door. But fitting through that door may mean that you have to leave some things in that room. Some apprehensions, some activities, some time, some people. But what you must realize is that once you go through that open door, there is a HALLWAY of bigger, better doors that are WIDE OPEN!
photo from: http://www.redbubble.com/people/jasonbakerphoto?ref=artist_title_name
You have to leave some things behind. It's NOT easy, but nothing simple ever is if you truly think about it. I am not just saying words to make you feel better, this is part of my testimony. I have been lower than low with no sight of how to get up. I have allowed people and situations to cloud my mind and distort what I know my God can do and who I have known my God to be. He has been a banker, a healer, a protector, and a deliverer in just a few short months. He has done things for me that takes YEARS for some people all because I shed some things & walked through that door.
Lately, I have been battling with anxiety more than ever. I have doubted my own self-worth but most of all my worthiness of God's grace, mercy and love. I have strayed and wandered and wondered and prayed and strayed and wandered and wondered... you get where this is going. My anxiety began a terrible cycle. I had to get honest with God, myself, and those around me. No longer could I wear the mask of "Being ok" then go home to cry myself to sleep at night, go for days only eating once or twice because I was literally sick on my stomach from worry and doubt. I had to open my eyes and my heart and realize that I could not get through all of this on my own. I prayed for the right people to turn to and God shined a big bright spotlight. As they began praying for and with me and sharing their own testimonies, I started to shed more and more weights. My Asst. Pastor gave me this scripture (one I have known all too well over the past few months) that was already highlighted, bookmarked, AND annotated in my bible app-
Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)
"6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
It's amazing how you can read something, or hear something over and over and it impacts you, but only for a moment. Until one day, it rings truer than your own name. It gets in your spirit and your soul and your heart and your mind and takes up residence there, encompassing all you experience.
I had someone whisper to me one Sunday after a particularly teary-eyed altar call: "Trust the process." Before that moment, I THOUGHT I was doing well in dealing with everything I had going on. God had been working some things and showing me things and I thought I was good. But I realized there was still doubt deep inside. I was uncertain not WHERE I was to go, but if I even WANTED to go there. That is a big deal for people to admit. Some of us KNOW what God can do and how he can get us there. Yet we want to do it our way, using our own map that is full of detours and pitfalls and layovers (and layunders... yeah I said it!) and roundabouts that we go around 4 & 5 times before we finally take our exit:
Hey kids, Big Ben... Parliament!
We put ourselves through so much and add extra, unnecessary miles to our journeys all because we don't know if we WANT to take the route layed out for us. We fear what it might take from us moreso than what it will give to us. We would rather trust the devil we know versus the God we don't know. (Let that marinate for a minute!!!)
I'm gong to make this personal because as I write this, I am receiving clarity... none of this was mapped out I just decided to "Trust the process" this morning and all of this flowed from it! I was willing to remain in my sin, shame, anxiety, depression, stagnant place of complacency because it was familiar; I knew how to "be ok" with it. Even though I knew that God could take me out of it and I was praying to be rescued, I was afraid to walk through the door and be uncomfortable and have to get used to something new even though I was sure that this new thing would be better. How crazy is that? How many of us can honestly say that we are truly trusting the process? I'm still not there 100%, but it is getting easier everyday I take a step closer to that next door. In this time of uncertainty, God has allowed me to minister to others even as I am going through. It has, in return, built my trust of the process even more.
I urge you all to trust the process. Whatever it may be in your life, take those faith steps and shed those things that are keeping you from getting to where God needs you to be. He needs you there. It's up to you how fast you get there. Just don't be afraid to go!
TRUST THE PROCESS!