The Backwards Blessing

Recently, I was looking back through my most recent journal. Specifically the ones from these past few months, since they’ve been so radical in watching God move. Well I’ve come to see God’s footprints in a very visible way the days prior to my life basically being flipped upside down (in a good way). My walk had been stagnant for a little while, I was pursuing God in the ways I knew best filling my days more and more with church things, because I didn’t like this feeling of just coasting with God. It was extremely peaceful don’t get me wrong, but it was almost too peaceful. I am one who struggles with anxiety and I long for peace and for the first time this year I felt it, and then BOOM… Peace appeared, but with that peace grew discontentment. I was discontent with my walk with the Lord & despite my efforts, despite filling my days with worship, sermons, prayer, and reading my bible something just felt too comfortable, in a bad way. I knew that my walk with God somehow seemed to plateau, and it worried me.

Leading up to when my life began to change I remember 2 specific scenes:

Scene 1:
I had recently gotten in a disagreement with my younger cousin. I say disagreement because that’s simply what it was, something we disagreed upon that caused us to act out and of our hurt. Hurt because we both are extremely close and the fact that we both misinterpreted each other’s true intentions and acted more out of our selfishness rather than our love for each other, wounded us and our relationship. This wound caused me to take steps back from our relationship, and ultimately brought up questions from those around us, poking and prodding at the wound. I had enough, I was tired of investing in so many people just to feel gypped or watch them leave. I was exhausted and just wanted to stop pouring into people; Not just surface level friends, but even the people I was closest with. People who invested in me so much, people I love dearly, I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I was DONE with being intentional or just trying with people.

Scene 2:
It was a Monday night. I was sitting at Cornerstones young adults service and they were starting off the service with worship, and I had this thirst in my soul, thirst for growth, change, something meaningful to give me a new freshness. As worship went on I cried out to God and prayed something that seems almost insane in most people’s eyes. I said, “God I’m tired of feeling this way I just want to be on fire for you. I don’t care if you must break me to do it. Lord I am all in, do what you gotta do.” Yeahhhhh…. Little did I know what was ahead of me.

Thus, started my journey. That night I realized part of my reason for lack of growth was due to me trying to cut people out of my life. I agreed to work at accepting the friendships God has placed in my life, even the hard ones. WELL, the Lord has a great sense of humor. Only 3 days later He brought someone into my life that I couldn’t stand. Of course, it was right after I had agreed to put effort into the friendships that aren’t easy. Because of that I agreed to meet with this person. And wow that was just Gods entry way. He used that friendship to strengthen all my relationships, especially mine and Gods. That led into a crazy season of pursuing promises and dreams, I had pushed aside for so long. As I walked down that path there were crazy miracles and blessings, great pain and struggle, it was completely out of my comfort zone. Through that journey I’ve journaled, and I am always amazed to look back and see how he has answered prayers I forgot about in radical ways. God is pursuing me, He’s pursuing you, but we have to stop asking God to join us on our journey and ask Him if we can be a part of His. His answer is always yes, we just need to want it. It will change your life, it will push you way farther than you ever thought was possible. But it’s a life that is fulfilling with rich purpose and satisfaction in a world where fulfilment, purpose, and satisfaction are lacking. The world says come this way or that way, try this, and you’ll be satisfied, but it doesn’t last. God’s presence satisfies the thirstiest of souls, and his journey is radical.

With all of that said, we need to also be careful when looking back on how God has previously blessed us. Sometimes we can grow accustomed to the way God blesses us, we look back and see God’s provision and how He specially provided for us in a season in miraculous ways. But the problem is we look for God to show up again in that same way. And when we don’t see him show up in that way we get disappointed and think that God isn’t blessing us anymore. NO! God works in new and mysterious ways, His ways don’t often make sense to us because we can only see now and then, but He sees what is to come. Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things, don’t dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness streams in the wasteland.” God wants to bless you in new ways and sometimes that’s scary or uncomfortable because different is often uncomfortable, going into something without a frame of reference. This was me recently I asked God to show up in the way I had seen him do it previously, then I was disappointed when he didn’t. I asked him “why didn’t you do that Lord? I know you can because you’ve done it before and I know you don’t want me to hurt?” and I heard his patient voice respond, “Yes, you asked me for that. Don’t you think if I thought that was best I would have done it? I have a purpose for this.” I refocused on those words, God was trying to do something new and the way he did it made me extremely uncomfortable because Sometimes God’s blessings look like work. BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT A BAD THING! Just like after a season of hard work we long for the time to reap what we have sown, but you can’t reap with your feet up, the corn won’t pick itself!! Our blessing can look like work because it is, but the blessing far outweighs the work. In my story I had asked God to remove a hurdle in my way, but instead of doing that he chose to teach me how to jump over the hurdle. I was use to God doing that for me. I wanted to avoid the problem, the problem made me uncomfortable and anxious and it hurt, but God wanted to Heal me of it. How narrow my mind now seems to have been disappointed for such a thing, when God was doing an even greater work in front of me. So, what exactly am I saying?

Take a time right now or later on when you have some down time to look and take note of what God is doing, because it is sometimes easy to forget and move on. Let it comfort you and guide you in those low times where you don’t know if you can keep going. Sometimes the blessing we ask God is not what we expect or want from him, but it’s flipped backwards, and we are so blind to see the blessing because our focus is on how God is not blessing you the way YOU WANT. BUT don’t stay in that focus! Keep your eyes wide open for what he is trying to do now and run towards it even if its uncomfortable. Go get that blessing!

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