Understand that in my transparency, “I’m too blind to watch my mouth”! ~Chrisette Michelle
I sat on this cold concrete floor in my empty apartment in Atlanta 367 days ago. I was full of joy, ambition, and hope. It did not matter that the movers had bailed, that we were exhausted, that waters were uncharted, we were just determined to get on the road that night. See, I had been promised some things and I was chasing those promises. However, as I peer to the left of my screen as I write this 14 days prior to publication it appears that the promise has been delayed. Yet, I know better. Now, anyway! I have spent four months struggling with my faith. This particular test was sent to try my belief and I almost failed, honestly I almost turned my back on God. Then I began to look at my life and see how seamlessly things were going despite my inherent struggles. I determined that heaven and earth had not passed away so the promises God made me would come to pass if I did not let my faith fail. I was reminded (when listening to Prophet Baez one morning) that transition only comes when our human need, will, and ambition are submitted to God. This process of submission did not happen overnight and even constructing this testimony is an exercise in faith, as I am believing God to meet some very basic needs to complete this post.
My will was the most difficult. Although I love the Lord with my everything; when I began to experience lack and the type of painful situations that I did not think any loving God could possibly allow his child to endure, then naturally I wanted to fix things myself. However, everything that once worked for me was ineffective. I was getting nowhere, so I had no peace. So I began to complain/ pray. I called it praying but that’s not really what I was doing, it even got so bad, that I would look for Psalms that would back up my foolishness. I knew in my heart I was wrong and the Holy Spirit would correct me and then I would not pray or speak to God at all. I was throwing a spiritual temper tantrum. I could not understand why God was not answering my prayers. Well, it was because I was not exalting Him. Prayer and worship are intimate time with God. The more time I spent focused on God during these times and less on what I was dealing with is the precise moment my peace returned. He knew what I had need of and if I would have stopped long enough to look around, I would have noticed that He was meeting every one of my needs. I just needed to stop praying my will and get in tune to what His will for my life is. Once He and I were on one accord, God revealed to me that I had to chill (basically :). It was revealed to me in scripture after scripture that nothing is accomplished in panic. Simply because panic is not representative of having faith. I’m sure Abraham, was a smidge uneasy when he was told to take his son and sacrifice him. Yet, imagine if Abraham was acting a fool like me. All in a panic, rolling all down the mountain, crying and screaming oh Lord but you promised…I think it’s a good chance he would have either scared off the ram or missed it altogether. In short, don’t be like me. Do not prolong your wilderness experience acting like an idiot, if God said it He has to do it! Look for the promise, not at the circumstances.
Now what I did not mention in the opening paragraph is that I have listened to this prayer call four times prior to getting the revelation that I have now. I do not know what was going on with my ear-gate previously 😳 but when the Prophet talked about overcoming your human ambition to properly transition into the next phase of your life, I had to pull over. I have sought God’s face for years regarding my career, however, NOTHING! Radio Silence! Yet as soon as..AND I MEAN AS SOON AS…I surrendered my ambition to him I went from sending in countless applications and hearing nothing to having four interviews in two weeks. It seems like EVERY TIME I open my email there is a request for me to either interview or participate in a phone screen. God has shown me so much favor, that I can be thoughtful about my next career move rather than just jumping into a job to meet a financial need. Additionally, I desired to work during the summer but really didn’t think I would get the opportunity. Last week, I opened my email and there was an offer letter for a job I didn’t even interview for (I actually don’t remember applying for it). I called HR to make sure they sent the offer to the right person 😊. God is so faithful and what’s even more wonderful is this is just the beginning.
Lastly, in transition to your destiny, you must overcome your human needs. I remember looking at FB memory after FB memory that chronicled our move to DC. I was blogging about going Gluten Free, we were exercising almost every day on the Beltline, I was looking forward to leaving a job that was super stressful….but there were secrets behind the smiles, on every timeline there are masquerades. One day I began to rehearse every disagreement, every broken promise, every lie, every misnomer…because hindsight is 20/20 and FB memories provide such great snapshots. Such clear pictures of the night you said you would never move because you did not want to leave your friends and did not care how I felt about it. I love the picture that we took when I lied and told the world that we moved for your job that didn’t exist, just to cover the fact that you had been fired from yet another job. Or that picture that I had to smile in when you screamed you wanted a divorce because of god knows what…OH! you don’t recall which pic that is..you’re right it could be so many. I have become a master of disguise, a fraud, a person I despise, the woman I said I would never be. Yet, I needed to be a good wife. One that covers her husband, although she is naked; feeds him, although she starves; gives to him plenty, although he leaves her empty. So I prayed yesterday and said Lord; I did not come up here to lose my marriage and my friends, my finances suck, and frankly I feel really alone. I left it there. Fixed myself, because hey I have stuff to do. But the next day I was on FB again and I ran across this message by Sarah Jakes, called Empty Hands. I am telling you I cried for like 2 hours (it’s funny today because I was a mess) because God heard my prayer and answered me in such a tangible way. The isolation that I feel is unlike any that I have felt before, I do not seek to fill it with anything/anyone because it is not an empty space (per se). This isolation is ordained and although I would have preferred for my husband to be who he promised he would be, I would have preferred for my closest friend to be who they promised they would be, although I would have preferred for my finances to be what they once were I release all of that so that God can bless me with exponentially more. I refuse to hold on to dead relationships looking for what use to be, I want the new thing.
So what’s new! Well God instructed me to pack my apartment up. It was an odd demand, considering I did not have a job at the time to secure a place, no money to put down, and serious credit issues. However, I went where he told me to go wrote a check for the holding fee and began packing. The leasing manager even called me back and said he did not think he was going to be able to help me, but I kept packing. I would wake up some mornings and sort of remind God, like I’m going to have to put this stuff somewhere. Put I was done panic praying, I was going to do things His way. A few times, underhanded ideas would come to mind and I would push them aside. I truly believed that He was not having me pack my apartment to make me look like a fool. I just had no idea how it was going to work out. About a month later, I was having dinner with the kids at Flemings (they have an amazing Happy Hour menu, their Burger is pure bliss for $7) and I get a call from the apartment. I held my breath as the leasing agent congratulates me on being their newest resident. I could have fainted! The kids and I just began praising God in the restaurant (nothing unseemly) and again when we got in the car. I believe that God allowed things to happen this way because He could trust me to tell it. I have been free from people and their opinions for a long time.Frankly, if can share everything I eat, Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and when I purchase a LV or a Tory bag then surely I can talk about when God performs a miracle on my behalf. Like Paul said, “I know how to be abased and I know how to abound..” (Philippines 4:12).