Written October 28, 2012
I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago, and I was reminded of the kind of work God does. I was reading the story of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-29) one night, and how at his wits ends, overcome by anguish and tiredness, God sent a prophet to speak to him regarding what he and his people were to do in battle.
As I read this story, I saw people who despite the uncertainty of the moment praised and worshiped God into battle. The story was spoke to my heart in a very personal way. Here are some things I took from those verses.
Easy enough, right?
These last four days have been draining, frustrating and at some points very discouraging. Things are going down a different path than I thought they would, and in all of it, I am reminded I do not like change. The uncertainty is not so much what get’s me as much as being jerked to and fro by waves of emotion coming from so many different places. Places I’d prefer not to go.
My thoughts are scattered, so bear with me.
I am not sure what God is doing right now in my life. I sometimes feel like the kid who is sitting at the dinner table, expecting dessert at the end of my meal, and instead, I get spinach. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE spinach, but you can imagine the disappointment that comes with hoping for something and it is entirely different than what you've set your heart and mind towards, even if you know that the option presented to you is a healthier choice for your body. Fair enough, I was looking at the momentary satisfaction rather than the long term benefits, but can a sistah' get some dessert? You see my point.
We've all heard the infamous quote, “When life hands you lemons make lemonade,” however, when life handed you lemons, have you ever wanted to throw them away and pout like a child until you got what you wanted. In the waiting game, that seems so much better and fulfilling, but it isn’t. It can’t be and won’t always be the answer or solution to life’s toughest problems.
I am not sure at what point in my life, I developed this crazy idea that living life with Jesus at the center would equate to a life without pain. However, in recent months I’ve been wrong far too many times and hurt far too many times to continue living life thinking this. Life isn’t easy, and sometimes I want to take my heart and my mind and replace them both with a heart and soul that hasn’t been hurt abused or trampled on before. I think maybe then, I could love “fearlessly." Sadly that's a false reality, hurt is inevitable in a world plagued by sin, and the silver lining of hope that exists in all of it is Jesus. To even know what love is, to experience true love, I believe you sometimes have to experience the absence of it unless you’re a robot that doesn’t need to feel anything. Yet, I am just tired. Tired of fighting for my heart and tired of being tired.
I think we all get to this point sometimes. A point where God is doing something big in the supernatural, yet in the natural it is not pleasant. Yet, I am also learning you can’t over trust God. Especially a God who knows you more than you know yourself. I am personally tired of trying to make lemonade out of life’s lemons and have made a conscious decision to give the lemons to Jesus and say, “Make whatever you want.” The wait and frustration makes me look crazy at times because the healing process isn’t easy, but in all of this, my heart chooses to believe that God is always doing something in the desert.
Many people don’t know this, but as a young girl, I had this BIG dream of enrolling at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and majoring in fashion design. I wanted to design clothes and curate fashion shows that supported non-profits doing great work around the world. More specifically, I wanted to raise money through these fashion shows to help stop the genocide happening in Darfur, Sudan. I remember every Friday we’d get this fashion section in the local newspaper, and I’d look through all the latest fashion trends dreaming of a day I could create my designs or afford to wear them. Most importantly, I wanted to use that platform to give back. I would cut out clothing I loved, sticking each cut out onto white paper. Next, to each cutout, I would draw my renditions of complete outfits to go with whatever item I pasted onto each sheet of paper.
We all have regrets, and one regret I had was forgoing that dream out of fear. Fear of the financials and fear that choosing to pursue a career in fashion design wouldn’t be acceptable to the sacrifices my parents had made.
Crazy to think that at an early age, I put limitations on my dreams.
However, I’ve made peace with that decision because, I didn’t know, and although the medium of the vision changed, the passion I had then is still the same now, to help those in need.
I recorded this video having no idea what would transpire in Sudan weeks later. The atrocities are happening to people that are courageous enough to fight and believe for a better future for themselves, their families, and their nation. Here I am faced with the reality that a tremendous amount of the limitations I've ever encountered in life, came from the simple restriction of self. With this realization, I am quickly reminded that this ability is a blessing I can't take for granted and that it is never too late to reignite visions or dreams and to pursue them no matter the cost.
I look at the fruit in the lives of those people I told this dream to as a young girl, those people who encouraged me and gave me random opportunities to be a part of what they were doing. I sometimes wonder what my life would be if I grasped what they saw then, and saw what I see now. However, we can’t change the past; we can only make better decisions for the future, and slowly but surely pave our ways.
My question for you today, what dream(s) do you need to reignite? Who inspired you and encouraged you in them? Do you have people like that in your life now? And, if you do, hold them close and say thank you.