Yes.

I recently came to this point where I told God, “Yes.” 2015 was an awesome year, but by the end of the year, I realized that I had settled into my own understanding and really hadn’t allowed God to fully reign. I’d made amazing friends, I was apart of a great church, I liked my job, I loved where I was and where the Lord had me, yet NOTHING was going right! I was gaining new friends, while friendships closest to me were the most turbulent they’d ever been. I loved my ministry school, but finances were not working out. I loved being around people, then suddenly being a waitress exposed a hatred towards people I never knew I had in me! I could not explain what was going on with me!

After a couple of months of things not going my way, I was sitting in my living room on NYE, and I came to this point where I was spiritually, mentally, physically, everything-ly exhausted, and with a genuine heart, I told the Lord, “Yes.” Yes, He could have control over every area of my life. Yes, I would step back. Yes, I would be a daughter and rest. A couple of days later, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that obedience was supposed to follow my, “Yes.” He showed me that we can sometimes get so caught up in the emotions of an encounter with God, and with a very sincere heart, we give everything to Him, we tell Him that He can reign and rule in our lives, and that we will take our hands off of whatever situations we need Him to move in. But what happens when we get off of the floor? What happens when the emotions from the church service or from that conference wear off? We say He has full control, yet after the honeymoon phase of an encounter, we jump right back into the driver’s seat. Without any sacrifice, we expect this beautiful life of abundant rewards from our, “Yes.” We want the pinnacle of God and what He has for us, but we’re not always willing to give anything up.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,” (1 Peter 1: 14).

I digested this, and really prayed for grace to understand exactly what I was asking for and to be able to fully walk in it. Then, again, I told the Lord, “Yes.”

Yes, I would walk away from the high school notions of already being married by 24, and what the rest of my life was supposed to look like.

Yes, I would trust God to do the growth in the friends and family that I cared so deeply about.

Yes, in the process of Him doing the growth, I would get out of the way, even if that meant not being as present as I once was for them.

Yes, I would learn to love people from a distance.

Yes, I would fully step into His grace and walk .. run away from my own understanding.

Yes, I would stand on His promises when everything around me SCREAMED, “This isn’t going to work out!”

Let me be honest with you, saying YES was not easy at all. He may ask you to give up those friends that aren’t interested in going where He’s taking you. He may ask you to give up that boyfriend/girlfriend that you know deep down isn’t your spouse. He may ask you to move from something that is comfortable for you, or worse, He may tell you to stay exactly where you don’t want to be. You may feel like you’re going through a desert season. You may cry… a LOT!

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it,” (Hebrews 12:11)

The great news, though, is that when we can put ourselves, and what we want, aside God is able to use our lives to do exactly what He needs to do. Like Simon Peter in Luke 5, when we are exhausted with our own efforts and step out of the boat, it gives Jesus room to step into it and use it as a platform, AND just because He loves us, and being faithful is in His nature, just as He told Simon Peter to cast His nets out again, He is faithful to restore what we thought we’d lost during our times of reign.

Divinely Hemmed

A couple of mornings ago, I was looking for something in my car, and I ran across a book I’d bought a year ago. While flipping through the pages of the book, I found a torn note card I wrote that said,

“I met God who slowly, painfully, and divinely pieced me back together again.”

 Immediately, I started to reminisce on the difficult times, headaches, and heartaches that led up to the person I am today, and I couldn’t help but to thank God. There was a time, when I first got saved, that I almost traded in my salvation card because living in the world seemed SO much easier than being saved. At least, I didn’t have this target on my back that the enemy was constantly aiming for. Now, I can look back and almost sit in awe at how beautiful the process has been. Every difficult season was a season spent at the feet of God, crying out to Him and praying in my personal intimate time.

Before I got saved, I spent my life tearing the very fabric of who God had created me to be. With every party, every drink, every guy, I was completely shredding who I was. “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me,” (Psalm 139: 5, ESV). It wasn’t enough for me to just get saved. God had to completely change who I was. I needed to reflect Him. He had to go behind me and hem the fabric I’d ripped in the process of finding myself in this world. He’s gone before us, even before the beginning of time, to make sure that we’re hemmed into what He has for us. “My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them,” (Psalm 139: 15-16 ESV). He lays His hand on our lives. The very God that SPOKE creation into existence cares to lay HIS hands on MY life?! On YOUR life?! Sigh, just beautiful.

So, I thank God for the ability to find beauty in the process.

I thank Him that He loved me past salvation, that He loved me enough to not leave me where I was first found.

 I’m grateful that He nudges me to reflect Him, daily.

When I’m having bad days, and I feel like I can’t go any further, He reminds me of how far I’ve come.

I’m grateful for His strength that is readily available to me.

 I’m thankful for Him. I love Him.

I empower you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the beauty in your everyday process. Yes, living for God is not easy at all, but it is worth it. I pray God will reveal how well He has hemmed you in that when people hear your testimonies, they can’t even see the rips and tears that were once the core of who you were. I challenge you to seek those intimate moments when they come. Satan, so badly, wants to steal your joy, your purpose, and your praise, but it’s hard to give him ground when you learn to find beauty in the difficult times.