We always feel better when we learn that someone we know is going through the exact same situation. I know I do. We’re not meant to do life alone, especially when suffering arises. We are to lean on each other, build each other up, and encourage one another. We are supposed to share what we’ve learned to encourage those who are the place we used to be in.
Alright, so I’ve mentioned a few times about my need for a job/financial provision. I can’t get into too many details, because we’d be here for awhile. But, over the last week or so, God has been speaking to me about it. Here are some things that He’s said either directly to me, in a dream, or through someone else: that I need to let go of wanting to control my life & circumstances, to stop being afraid. It’s okay if I don’t have a plan. I had been afraid to let go because deep down, I didn’t believe that there was a safety net (God) to catch me, which isn’t true. He will help me get to where He wants me to go next, but I will be in complete darkness on how to get there. God will be leading me. Also, I will be walking by faith ONLY because I’m spiritually blind as to how to get through my current situations.
I hadn’t been sleeping well for a long time and the reason was because I was afraid that I would miss something–like my alarm, missing a phone call about a job, a disaster, etc — if I fell into a deeper sleep. It sounds kind of ridiculous now that I know where my fear was coming from. I’ve learned when I don’t give into that fear, I can sleep peacefully, and I don’t dream about being late for work, school, or missing a flight, etc. Repeated dreams always mean something! When I surrender my worries, my plans, and basically everything before I fall asleep, I sleep MUCH better. I stay asleep for longer periods of time, my dreams aren’t as stressful, and I have more energy throughout the day whether I work out or not.
Another thing that the Lord said to me, and has been trying to teach me for a long time, is that I don’t need to fear my weaknesses like the world tells us to. I will not ever have it all together, or all figured out. I CANNOT fix my current circumstances. But, the good news is that God prefers us when we’re in this place, we become more flexible and ready to trust Him.
When we’re in difficult circumstances, we tend to focus on what we can accomplish, and worry about everything we cannot control. I have been trusting and surrendering more, which has been so good for me. Prior to losing my job last year, I almost lost sight of myself and everything around me. Afterward, I found myself being flexible to serve others, and drop everything when someone needed me, which I LOVE doing. I think part of the reason why I’ve had the jobs I’ve had is that God’s been teaching me how to have a servant attitude. It’s really true that when we reach out to others, our own needs get met. Granted, I can’t really help anyone financially, but I can offer my time, attention, support, prayer, etc…you get the idea. I’ve been trying to do more of that. Especially when I need to pray for someone: I can’t think about my prayer needs. It’s much easier to truly listen to someone when we’re not thinking about ourselves. God doesn’t forget our needs. If we reach out to other people, God is faithful to fill us with His love, peace, and yes, provision. I’m asking Him to help me find the balance between serving others and sitting at Jesus’ feet.
I’ve said a few times that God is quite the “multi-tasker.” I don’t mean what He’s doing in our lives and in the world around us simultaneously. I’m talking about life lessons. My pastor said something on Sunday that upset me at first. He said our external circumstances reflect what’s going on inside of us. My first reaction was guilt. It has been a daily battle trying not to feel bad about not having a job. But, I knew that wasn’t true. I don’t have a job because God hasn’t given me one. Anyway, I let what my pastor said resonate with me. I realized that he was absolutely right. God is using my financial circumstances to teach me SO many lessons all at once . . . lessons that NO other trial would teach me. I started thanking God for allowing us to go through this time. Although it’s difficult, God allowed it to teach us because He loves us. I’m learning to trust God in a much deeper way.
I know a lot of my prayers have been for deliverance and provision, which I still believe in, but I need to add to my prayers asking for Him to show me what I’m supposed to be learning, to not change my circumstances, but to change me. God allowed the situation to change me for the better. He has always been faithful to my prayer requests for Him to please show me what I need to learn. I’m really grateful for the changes in perspective! And typically, that’s when the blessings come.