Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Patience, Forgiveness, & Trusting

To say God has been working on me this week would be the understatement of the year. I've once again been taught that my best laid plans are fallible.
So, first on the agenda is patience. I've come to a place where my hometown no longer feels like home. And there are days that I feel like I could pack up and leave tomorrow. But I know that God wants me here for a bit longer. I don't know if that's a year, or two years, or five or ten. As much as there are days that I wish it was sooner rather than later, the answer I always get when I pray about it is "Wait. I have work for you here". I recently got somewhat of an answer to that when God opened up an opportunity for me here working in the path that I feel He is ultimately calling me to as my ministry. I will admit that has made it much easier to say "Ok God. I see why You want me to wait". It has also made me realize that when I think my plan is best, it's often because I can't see just yet what great things He has in store.
This is where that "t" word - "trust" - goes right along with patience. I don't want to begrudgingly carry out His work where I am. So I have prayed for a heart that is open to wherever He has me, and I am SO completely excited about this opportunity He has provided. It feels completely right and I can't bear to think that I would have missed it had I jumped the gun and stuck with my plan. I firmly believe that everything in life is something that God can use to shape us for a higher purpose and I am seeing that fulfilled in mine. Where earlier in my life I was asking God "Why am I going through this? Why me?", I can now say "I see how You can use that storm now to help other people". Does it take away the hurt? Not completely. But it brings purpose to the pain.
From that pain, stems forgiveness. Can you partially forgive someone? Because I feel like that's where I have been at in my life for two years. A stagnant forgiveness. But forgiveness isn't Instant Grits and it isn't stagnant. There was a day when I honestly and sincerely forgave someone. But then other hurts crept up and that grudge came right back and I held onto it with a tightly gripped fist. God has taught me that sometimes forgiveness is a daily choice. Today I forgive you for this pain I am feeling today. It is a process. Forgiveness is a daily surrender. "God, I am laying this down. I am letting it go". WOW that is hard to say some days.
Then comes that "t" word again. I can readily admit that I have issues trusting most people. I have a tendency to close myself off for the most part because I feel like I have to for protection. You wouldn't think that because it seems like I share a pretty good bit, but it's true. I build up walls that few can tear down. This week I was reminded that, just like myself, all humans are fallible; even the ones I blindly trust. And that's ok. That's the lesson I am learning. That all people are fallible and I can't expect perfection from anyone. That "f" word is creeping back up again...forgiveness. Again, it's a process. It doesn't happen overnight. Does it mean that trust is gone forever? No. It means you have to work a little harder to reach the point where you choose to freely give it again.
This week, I am thankful to serve a gracious God who meets me where I am. I am thankful for a God that I can call out to at any time and place. I am thankful for a God that, when I don't even know which direction to turn, He is there guiding me and when I say "God I can't do this anymore, I NEED A BREAK", I hear that whisper "Let me do it".
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30
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