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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Challenge

So I've been thinking about this post for while I now. For a little over two months to be exact. I've jotted down notes, started to write it, have deleted it, and all that jazz because, really...how do you write about these type of moments. Those moments that reach your core, tear you apart, and challenge you. Well, here I am making my attempt at it.

Y'all, I was struggling. Like the most I've struggled. Ever. I think the biggest reason I had such a hard time was because pretty much everything was completely out of my control. I like to be able to think about every possible outcome of a situation and then make sure that I have a plan ready to address it. Well, in this situation, that wasn't really possible. It was all about other people, their thoughts/decisions/actions, and I just happened to be that not so lucky person that got roped in. I look back at it all and still wonder if that was real life because it still just seems so not possible. But lucky me got to prove that it could happen.

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So how I did I respond? Not so great. I am the type of person to take challenges head on.  In fact, I love them and my number one StrengthsQuest strength is Restorative. That's my jam. But it was just so out of my control this time. As the weeks went on, I started to question myself, my abilities, my decisions, my relationships, my self-confidence and pretty much anything you could think of. I was in a rough spot. For real. After a lot of processing, I realized that during this time, I lost my power. This negativity grew in me and quickly permeated every aspect of my life: professional, academic, social, and personal. That's when life got real hard.

I didn't want to do anything, I was withdrawn, I wasn't taking joy in the things that normally would lift me up. I was sinking into this depressive state. The entire time, all I could think was, "God, where are you?!? How could you let this happen to me?" If this supposed God of mine was such a loving God, how could he put me in this situation? It just wasn't fair.

At the start of all these troubles, the Lead Pastor at Mountain Lakes Church reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be a part of their Leadership Development Program. I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant about it at first but I look back at it now and don't know that I could've made it through these last two months without Mountain Lakes. That's when His response came rolling in loud and clear. Whether it was a Jesus Calling devotional with the perfect message, a comment I heard through out the week, or a lesson at Sunday's Service, God was already addressing my questions and doubts.



The first series I heard was called Game Plan which is all about God's plan for your life and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. As I struggled with everything that was going on, it was these messages that pulled me through. Last Monday at our Starting Point small group, we were talking about our doubts, faith, and God. I mentioned that I had been going through a hard time and how everything ended up falling into place largely in part to my faith. At this meeting, one of our workbook questions asked if we had to overcome our doubts before we could trust in Christ.

Would it be easier to put my trust in Him if I didn't have doubts? 
Hell. Yes. 
is that weird that I just typed that? oh well. 
But you know what? That's not the point.
It's when I put my trust in God that I have the strength to overcome my doubts and worries.

Now, this is not a post where I would next write about why you should become a Christian so I hope y'all are sticking with me. What I do want to tell you is that a little faith goes a long way. I'm not going to try to tell you what you should have faith in. It can be in Jesus Christ, Allah, Buddha, humanity, an all powerful being, yourself, and the list goes on. I just think it is SO important that we have faith in something that keeps us centered.

As for me, I find that in Christianity and the biggest lesson I've learned these last few months is to trust in God and what He has in store for me (so cliche but so true). Although I may not always understand a situation He presents me with, I know that it's all for a greater purpose. Because of it I am stronger, more compassionate, and ready to take on whatever comes my why since He is always there to support me and give me strength.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't struggling any more. There are still thoughts that I wrestle with and I have to try a little harder to think about how I'm feeling: do I feel this way because I don't like the situation or am I still projecting the negativity from previous events onto this? Each day, I'm learning to be patient, to be understanding of what life hands me, and to be open to what God's will is for my life. It has definitely not been easy. What I will say is that I'm handling new challenges much better. This weekend is a perfect example. I got some not so great news but you know what, I'm okay. Life will continue and I know that God isn't finished yet.

So this is my vague and not so complete story but I hope that each of you knows that whatever might come your way, you are strong enough to handle it. I can't promise you that things will work out in the end but what I can tell you is that YOU are wonderful and can only grow stronger because of it.


Don't Lose Faith.


But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: 
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. 
Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, 
but everyone to come to repentance
2 Peter 3:8-9

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