Seasons of Stretching: A Message for the Independent Christian
“I Am a Creature of Habit”.
That’s a saying most of us have heard at some point in our life. In my understanding, it means that a person is set in their ways when it comes to something they have known orinstance, while I was in school, every day when I came to class I sat in the same seat. Not because we had assigned seats, but because that was the seat I had chosen since day 1. So, you could say it was my unassigned “assigned” seat. If anyone else ever sat in “my” chair, I would be so thrown off because that meant I would need to find another seat. If you’re anything like me, you would sit right next to the person who “took” “your” chair just to remind them that they made a mistake sitting in your seat. PettyLevelsOn5000.
As a self-proclaimed “creature of habit”, it has been a tough ride learning to cope with the changes of transitioning from college to adulthood. I’m only two years out of college, but SO much has changed within such a short period of time. Trying to understand the ins and outs of adulthood is a job all on its own. Not to mention, THE BILLS. So many bills. At times, it feels like a setup. Sure, I can have ice cream for dinner, but have you SEEN the cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment nowadays?! Things have been different this year.
IS IT TIME FOR A CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE?
A quote I LOVE from Ron Carpenter is, “Buckle up! You can’t say to God, “I’m ready to grow” and not expect for life to change”. I love this quote so much because it is my heart’s cry this season. I’m not sure why, but God is shaking up everything I ever knew consistently in my life. Whether that be finances, mindset, the places I go, and even the people in my life. I thought my last season was challenging, but He has been pushing and testing me so much that it has become overwhelming at times. I know that God is good and that He has great plans for me so why would he challenge me in this? Why would he stretch me in such a way? Maybe you can relate.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 NLT
Has The Lord Tested Your Faith?
Reading that verse always sounds nice, but when it comes to the actual testing the last thing I’m thinking is how “joyful” I should be feeling. It can be hard at times to see the big picture while you’re in the trial. My encouragement to you would be in knowing you’re not alone. “You’re not alone”. You have a chance to develop and strengthen your faith, and when you do that you will be able to fill that empty hole that you try to fill with everything besides what you actually need, Jesus. No person, no material object, no amount of money can even come close to taking His place. Yes, I’m aware that sounds cheesy. I’ve tried it the other way around. I’ve tried to find life outside of God’s will and in things that I knew were no good for me. *insert your current struggle*
“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalms 32:5 NLT
THE POINT OF IT ALL…
They say the opposite of faith doesn’t doubt, it’s thinking you have it all figured out. That was true for my life. I was so dependent upon my own understanding and doing it within my own strength, that I forgot to leave room for God. I would get so frustrated with myself for not being able to do things perfectly within the timeline that I visualized. Learn from me, friends, this is not the way to go. There will be things that happen in your life that you will not understand, and that may seem to be more than you can bear. For things like this, we need our Father in heaven to help us through because His power works best in our weakness. There is nothing wrong with not having it all together. There is nothing wrong with leaving room in “your plans” to let the Lord have a say. He might be leading you toward a different path than you expected, but this path He is leading you down will be well worth it, and might even surpass the goals you had originally planned. You don’t have to take on this life alone. Lean on God for strength, and pray to Him when you are feeling lost so that He can give you direction.
Be patient, be steadfast, be blessed.