“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit”.
The last 9 months have been the most challenging months of my life – excluding the time in which I lost my father. Last July, if you would have asked me who I was, I would have told you I’m a girlfriend, an intercollegiate division one athletics employee and driven in my “purpose” (whatever that was). I was happy in my own right. Though things weren’t perfect, life was good. As much as I love intercollegiate sports, my fulltime position was not as fulfilling for me and I knew I wanted to do more with my life. In August I quit my job to support my boyfriend in his first overseas contract as well as to pursue my dreams (again, whatever those were). Everything was going great according to my plan (MY plan…its really quite comical now, honestly).
Me: “God, I’ve got this really great plan, and I just need you to do XYZ and we will be great, OK?”
Come on, I can’t be the only one? Anyway, during this time, I joined Bibles & Basketball and about two weeks before Bible study began – everything I had known in my life was under attack. Within six months, I no longer had the “titles” I used to identify myself with. Suddenly, I found myself in a time in which my relationship was being threatened after 5 and a half years, no job, not much money saved, and no sense of real purpose. I was desperate and itching for anything to keep me busy or make me feel loved and important. I was anxious about the future and things I could not control.
It is no coincidence our Bible study started when it did. If it weren’t for the strength and faith I was able to borrow from those amazing women who knows where I would be today. Through these wise and prayerful women, I began to learn so much about myself and about who God really was.
Often times we place our identities in our careers, our spouses, children, legacy, hobbies, and so on. As much as we love them, people are still human, and careers/things are still of this world. People will let us down and careers fail, but the one thing we can rely on is JESUS CHRIST. No one can change who He says we are! Because of His grace, there is nothing we can do, to mess up the plans He has for us. We can count on God to remove everything from our lives that is dead and will not bear fruit.
My foundation had major cracks and voids that I tried to fill myself, but God removes all distractions to get us to focus on Him. Sisters, rather than saying, “woe is me” and worrying about how we are going to get by mentally, financially, emotionally, etc. (which I did for a solid 2 – 3 months, or maybe more than I care to admit), He wants us to say, “Lord I trust You and I trust whatever plans You have for me”.
Transitions are hard – and if you’re a control freak like me, surrendering is hard. So much of our lives can be spent putting ourselves first when all God wants is for us to seek HIM. I’m 9 months into this journey and I am still trying to figure it out. I’ve been working since I was 14, and it has never been “hard” for me to find a job – yet during this season, I have been unable to do so…seriously, here I am, nine months later and still no “real” job. This was something that once gave me major anxiety, but now it is something I find comfort in. I know God will put me exactly where He wants me. Had I been working full-time, I would not have been able to take advantage of an amazing opportunity with Bibles & Basketball, nor would I have had an amazing opportunity to start my business. I find peace and gratitude in the fact that God is providentially planning everything in our lives – every single detail. I love the word, providential. Its defined as:
1. Occurring at a favorable time; opportune
2. Involving divine foresight or intervention
The second definition really gets me, “Divine foresight or intervention”.
This has been a humbling 9-month journey and I would have never seen the cracks in my foundation had God not pulled the curtain back to reveal what was really happening backstage. Please know that I have not fully grasped everything or learned what it is that God is trying to show me, and I am not yet on the other side of this journey; However, I am so thankful our lives are in the hands of The One who loves us so deeply that he providentially plans out each millisecond of our lives. The One who has divine foresight, that cannot be duplicated!
My sisters, if you find yourself being tested like Job, trust Him and steadfast in faith. Through all the tests and trials, “Job did not sin or charge God with wrong” (Job 1:22).
Solidify your foundation and zero in your focus on our Father.