Are you not where you thought you would be at this point in your life? Are you not the person you hoped to be by now? It's not the end of the world.
Let this awakening launch your first step into a new season. Your past does not define your future! Your scars are proof that you have survived. The season behind you may have been your waiting season. Waiting to see the outcome of so many bad decisions. Waiting to see why you were rejected when others were accepted. Waiting to embrace peace in the midst of turmoil.
If you say, "That's me!" I have a word for you.
Don't Waste Your Waiting
Don't waste your waiting. It's easy to be so consumed with whatever happened in the past that you get stuck in it. Instead, you just need to ask, "And?"
"I got fired. And?"
"My promotion fell through. And?"
"My relationship isn't working out. And?"
"They lied about me. And?"
"The funding is delayed. And?"
The "and" is up to you, but it is time to move forward. Don't wait around to see what life has for you. Make a decision. Do something. Ask yourself, "What's next?" Don't allow would haves, could haves, and should haves to decide your outcomes for you.
Even as I write this, I keep hearing the word "transition." I see you stuck in cycles of depression, frustration, poverty and defeat. I pray your eyes are opened to those patterns as you read. I can tell you that when I was (finally) honest with myself and recognized my own cycles, I decided to get off the fast track of loss and to make a change.
The devil should have taken me out when he had the chance because, once I realized that Jesus was directing my life, everything changed. I determined that it was time to quit feeling sorry for myself and my broken life. It was time to do something. Who could have guessed that my journey would look like it does today? I had no idea! Don't get me wrong. I work really hard doing what I love. However, seeing the benefits is worth every effort, every mile and every day of being away from family.
When you realize that your identity isn't wrapped up in whatever caused your pain (whether a rape, affair, divorce, bankruptcy and so on), your greatest humiliation can set up your greatest elevation. Why not allow God to give you an extreme makeover? Allow your difficult experiences to reveal your brokenness, so you can trade your ashes for beauty.
An Awakening in Action
When something happens that you don't understand or can't control, I believe God knew it was coming and determined beforehand that He would use it to wake you up. It was probably something that you did not plan, something that threw you completely off course and caused so much brokenness that you could not imagine how you would recover.
I recently had such an experience. Because of God's favor, I travel weekly to minister. However, an accident threw me for a loop and threatened to interfere with my scheduled meetings. I tripped on a rug in my house and fell facedown on a marble table. For two days, I lay in my bed, wondering how serious my injuries were and how I could continue to minister.
Those two days of lying in bed waiting for my bruises to heal and my teeth to tighten up were some of the greatest days of my life. I slowed down and listened to the voice of God. Why, I wondered, had I gotten so busy doing the work of ministry that I failed to spend time with the Creator who chose me for the work? It was obvious that the enemy had tried to take me out by damaging my mouth. So I determined that I would become even stronger through this challenge. I would not allow him to shut me up. I would not quit preaching, even if I had to preach with a lisp!
My silly accident cost me thousands of dollars in dental work, but my time of recuperation was a wonderful period of renewing my mind and becoming more sensitive to God's voice. I would not allow the expense or inconvenience to overshadow the lesson the Lord gave me through it all. Learning to slow down and hear His voice has been a valuable investment in my ministry. It was worth every dime.
I'm sure you have been through some crazy times too. Has the enemy muted your life because of them? Have you allowed circumstances (even those you may have caused) to limit your altitude? I'm telling you that God will shift in your favor everything the enemy meant for evil. Your part is to work with God. You might lose a battle here or there, but you haven't lost the war.
Remember: When you get overly consumed with what's happened, you can get stuck. I could have lain in my bed and cried a river. I could have missed a miracle conference I was scheduled to minister at as well as an overseas ministry trip. But I didn't. In fact, I preached four times in three days—with a swollen mouth, messed-up gums and a face full of bruises. On the first night, I even joked to the congregation, "If my tooth falls out, just catch it for me." I simply refused to be muted.
Why not use your disability or misfortune to find the area to which God is calling you? I know I don't want someone who has never experienced pain or loss to tell me how to live for God. My thought is, "Show me your limp. Show me you made it through. Then tell me what you have to say."
Do you hear that? Don't just sit there and allow life to beat you down. Get up and do something about it. As long as you have a pulse, God has a plan!
This article was excerpted from Chapter 4 of Shut Hell Up by Kimberly Jones (Charisma House 2020).
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