In the past few years, I’ve been on the fence with God. I’ve never really been tight with God to begin with. Definitely not by choice. And even though, I wasn’t always being honest in my relationship, I developed a passion to get closer to God because of her. When I lived in Houston, I found a church that was close by. After a few weeks, I became a regular at this church. I would look forward to Sundays.
My move to VA was brought on primarily to be closer to family. But what was crazy is that I went to church one Sunday in Houston and the guest pastor happened to be from a church here in VA. His style was reminiscent of the pastor in Houston. So since I liked him, I figured I’d check out the church once I got all settled in VA.
The past couple of years have been a series of events, conversations, and occurrences that seemed random on their surfaces; complete coincidences. However, something happened in the last 7 days that’s made me think sometimes your life is a series of signs leading you to where you need to be. If you’re not paying attention, you may miss out on the answer to prayers.
I went to church on Sunday and watched mid-Week service. Low and behold, both speakers brought their message from Matthew 17. And once again, it was interesting to see how the Bible has different ways of teaching you the same lesson. However, in order to fully grasp it, it requires you to study the word and then let it sit with you for a minute.
The prominent theme in both of the speakers’ messages was centered around change. We all enter phases of our lives where we’re forced to change tremendously. For me, I’ve always been running away from something or running towards something. At this point in my life, though, I’m simply focused on changing the man that I am so that I can purposefully move towards the life and the things that I want.
A lot of times, when it comes to change, we’re caught up waiting. Some spark will alert us to the possibility of something better. Life isn’t designed for any of us to stay the same. That’s why we go through periods of hardship, experience disappointments, and have moments of weakness. God doesn’t allow those things to happen to us because we deserve it or because we’ve done something wrong. In truth, the times that we’re in chaos are the times we need God the most. It’s like we pray to get that better job or to meet that perfect guy/woman and yet it’s our internal growth that we should be praying for. I’ve had a lot of BS holding me back from being the man I want to be. I acknowledged it and have been working on it behind the scenes. I had to lose the very thing I loved in order to make some major changes. One of the speakers said something that hit so close to home – “God will fight with you and for you to free you from the shackles and become the better vision of yourself”. We all have baggage. Ignoring or suppressing it isn’t going to make it go away. In fact, God will use your baggage to make you uncomfortable. I noticed that my insecurities were holding me back from being myself. My fear of rejection had taken on a self-fulfilling prophecy and I didn’t think about it until I had no choice but to face it head on.
It took me back to something a lady had said to me at the church in Houston. Because I wasn’t living right and doing right, my prayers were going unheard or at best, were on “pause”. I’ve said before that sometimes, your destiny is connected to someone else. So whatever you experience can effect them and vice versa. It dawned on me that it’s possible the people around me have been delayed from where they’re supposed to be going or what they want to be doing because of me. I mean, I believe in free will and we all make choices on our own. But I also believe that nobody stays in your life by accident. No matter how wrong I was, I don’t believe that my last relationship was a waste of time. I was wrong but she changed my life in a way I don’t think she ever intended to. To me, that means something.
Now when it comes to change, there’s a few reasons that make it hard and why we’re so resistant. For starters, change requires you to tighten your circle. Getting to where you want to go means that you can’t take everybody with you. That’s a hard fact to face especially when you have to cut off people that have been there for you or may even share your DNA. It’s hard but it’s necessary. One thing humans tend to be blinded by is how the people close to them can do the most damage. It may take time to understand the “why”, but if God has removed someone from your life, you have to have the faith that it was for the best.
The other confirmation I received by listening to these 2 different sermons is that God doesn’t need you to perfect. Sometimes we project our shortcomings on God the same way we do with other people. God doesn’t need anything from us except faith, obedience, and accepting Jesus Christ as the path to heaven. I had it in my mind that in my relationship, she deserved someone better. I didn’t trust myself enough to believe that I was good enough for someone like her. I projected that onto her the same way I projected my insecurity that I’m a bad Christian on God. What we have to find out for ourselves is that God is able to see the potential and dopeness that we can’t see in ourselves. There’s truth in the statement of “God will meet you where you are”. You just have to invite him in.
Bare in mind, I’m not preaching or teaching. I’m talking to myself. I’ve let my past hurt and old baggage hold me hostage. I’ve let other peoples’ opinions of me prevent me from accepting who I am. But above all of that, I’ve ignored many of the signs that God had been sending me. I forged ahead down bad roads because I didn’t check in with God. And to put it bluntly, my life has been on hold because of it. However, I made a decision to change on the inside. I know that I want a certain life and I know that it requires hard work every day to get it.
Part of that hard work is making time for God and working on my character. It’s important to be sensitive to what God’s trying to tell you. Like I said in that previous post, many times, he’ll either use complete strangers or painful situations to communicate with you. Changing your life and your perspective begins with learning how to recognize when God’s trying to get your attention.