Have you ever been in a situation and not known why in the world you were “going through”?
That was me.
It may be you.
Seemingly thwarted at every turn. Your hopes and dreams, appearing out of your reach?
I believe it’s all a part of God’s preparation and it really boils down to the choices that we make and what we decide to do with and about the vision that God has place in our lives.
16 years ago while working with Orientation at THE University of Florida (Go Gators), I had the desire to pursue a terminal degree…
A couple of years later I began to study and even was afforded the wonderful opportunity to attend a very expensive test prep course FOR FREE!! (Go McNair Scholars!) I took the course, but certainly didn’t give it my all, I wouldn’t even say that I’m a “bad test taker”. In fact, I’m a pretty good one. At the time I was just really, incredibly unmotivated to pursue academic challenges and ungrateful.
I had changed my initial major in college from Criminology to History. Mainly because I earned a C in my first class in Criminology and I wasn’t about that life! It didn’t come “easily” to me.
Nevermind that I took a junior level Criminology course in my freshman year…
Nevermind that I probably missed half the classes because I was more concerned about the social aspects of college life.*
So I really should have been grateful for the C that I earned!
Criminology would require me to study and frankly, History and Education didn’t. Anything that didn’t come easy to me I would shrug off as “Oh well, It must not be God’s Will!”
I also didn’t fully appreciate the opportunities that God had provided for me to really pursue my dreams. I didn’t “want it bad enough.”
I took the “easy road” for a major and when it came time to take the test for graduate school I simply, “punked out.” Now mind you, when I graduated with my BA, I had offers to two graduate programs. Neither were where in the field that I wanted to study in. Both were in the field where I felt “safe” and spoke to my natural capabilities. I eventually earned a Masters degree in Education which I am so grateful for.
I chalked it up to “it must not be God’s will!” I believe God wanted to stretch and grow me. To really give me my hearts desires but it would take some difficulties and some EFFORT on my part to actually see it through.
For so long I thought that if I was truly a Christian and God loved me that He would not want me to struggle. I equated the ease of the paths that I CHOSE with the evidence of God’s approval of my choices.
I believe that the path that I have taken is one where God has prepared me to pursue these dreams.
The preparation has taken over a decade and a half, a divorce, years of being unhappy with my professional growth, taking shortcuts and calling the end results of said shortcuts consolations, my outright disobedience and refusal to follow God with my whole heart…
He loved me right on through my misguided beliefs about Him, my tears, my pain, my Valley of Baca situations. He used (and is still using) these experiences to grow my faith in HIM. To show me how to trust Him and His timing. To bring me to the point of recognizing that He ONLY wants the best for His children and that He loves me enough to correct me.
(And the same goes for you!)
God gives us very specific instructions on how to prepare ourselves for battle in The Bible. How to approach hard times and circumstances that break our hearts, disappointments, and confusion. I can honestly say that I didn’t follow those instructions.
For a very long time, I didn’t follow those instructions.
But God used my choices and EVERY SINGLE CIRCUMSTANCE to prepare me for this very moment.
And I am here for it!
All. Of. It.
Thank you Lord!!!! ????
Pray about what you can learn about God through challenges in your past or ones that you’re currently facing.
What is God saying to you about your path, especially when you feel unfulfilled after you’ve received “everything you’ve ever wanted”?
*Note: I was NOT a partier, I just liked being a part of Student Life. Being an RA, joining organizations like IBC Ambassadors, BSU, Cicerones, Gator Guides, MINAMBA, BFE, Preview Staff, Florida Blue Key, and my beloved sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (I really felt the need to clarify that I didn’t party my college years away)*
“FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.””
Hebrews 12:6 NASB
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NASB
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB