Have you ever waited for something for a while and it takes longer than you expected it to be? You think I have waited long enough and whatever you are waiting on can come to fruition anytime now. This is where I was a couple weeks ago.
Part of my season of rest has been waiting for God to lead me to my next step. It is easy to say “I am good and just trusting God.” when asked how are life is going. But then there are times that this isn’t true. In the beginning, the waiting wasn’t that bad. But after a couple months of resting and waiting on God’s timing, it caught up to me.
It was a Monday afternoon and I was watching a Steve Harvey clip that came up on my Facebook. In this clip, Steve talked about how God got him to where he is today and that if God can do it for him then God can do it for you too. And as I heard those words tears started to come to my eyes. I realized at that moment the waiting in this season was being to wear on me. And that even though I trust God and His timing for my life, I realized in that moment I was starting to doubt. I was getting tired of my season. In this season of rest, I have gotten so many no’s and the no’s started to wear on my spirit and emotions.
I started to doubt and question… If I had done the right thing by quitting my job with no job in sight? Was that really what God wanted me to do? Was it what I needed to do for myself?
That night I went to the Bible study and we chose one person to share what we were struggling with. And when it was my turn, part of me wanted to just shut down what I was feeling but I knew I needed to share. As I began to share with my friend, tears came to my eyes again and they kept coming as I talked about my feelings and doubts. After my friend prayed for me and I shed some tears, I felt better. My doubts and feelings were still there but after that I was reminded that I was not alone in my journey.
I realized it is ok for me to have these doubts and feelings but it is what I do with them that is the important part. If I decided to dwell on my doubts and feeling rather than sharing them with someone else and giving them to God. It would have lead to worry, worry to anxiety, and anxiety to stress. Worry, stress and anxiety robs us of our peace and joy.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:25-34
I remember the day that I had my way up call, I remember feeling so broken. Like there wasn’t anything that could take all my broken pieces that I felt that day and make sense of them let alone put that back together. I felt like glass that was shattered into a million shards of glass. I wasn’t sure what to do with my brokenness that day. Along with feeling broken, I felt empty and tired like there was not left in me anymore to give. Looking back I realize that being broken is where He wanted me because it meant that I was at the end of my rope. And I could no longer do anything to fix the broken pieces within me because I did not have the energy or the desire to do so.
In the midst of this broken feeling, I knew I needed to give the feeling of brokenness to God. I had to rely on Him completely. At this point with feeling the way I did that day, it meant that I was at the point that I was willing to surrender and possibly walk away from everything I knew career wise. Because He was and is the only one that can take my broken, empty and tired self and make me whole again. I knew that He would start by taking my shatter pieces, putting them together to make sense of my brokenness and that it would eventually create a beautiful picture again.
“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
While giving to this feeling of brokenness to God, did not change anything physically and emotionally about my situation that day. But it did mean that I did not have to walk alone through this journey of becoming whole again and that He is going to heal my brokenness.
“Even when times are rough and you are in ‘deep waters’ God will be right by your side, leading and guiding you through your worst.” Isaiah 43:2
***This is part of a series of blog posts of me sharing about my burnout and things I have been learning through this. They are numbered in the order that they are written in and to indicate that they are part of this series.***
About two days after I gave my notice at work that I was quitting on May 23rd, the fear and anxiety set in. That Wednesday morning at work, I was feeling anxious to the point it was the closest thing I ever felt to anxiety attack. My muscles in my back tensed up and the tension lasted for days.
These questions kept coming up in my mind.
What did I do? I am leaving a job and a career that I love and is stable. I am giving up my comfort and stability by quitting my job.
How am I going to pay my bills?
Am I going to be homeless? Am I going to lose my car because I can’t pay my car payment?
And the questions and thoughts went on and on.
That morning I kept telling myself God’s truth and that He was going to provide for me because I was following His will. It frustrated me that anxiety was winning that morning and for the few days after. Because no matter how much I tried to apply God’s truth in my life, it didn’t seem to help. I hated that my emotions were over shadowing the truth I knew. But that morning and the few days to follow, I did know that even in the midst of this anxiety; I had a peace that I made the right decision about my future.
The fear and anxiety is not something I was prepared because I have peace in my decision. And this fear and anxiety is something that came and went in my last couple weeks of work. I am sure it will come and go again as I try to figure out the next steps that God has for me next.
Sometime after me giving my notice at work, God gave me a visual for this season of life. The first phase of the visual is that God is holding my hand and leading me into my future. But I can only see up to His wrist and the rest of Him and what is ahead of me is covered with a dense fog that I can’t see anything else but His hand holding mine.
A few weeks after this morning, I was at church and it was the first time that I admitted to myself and God that I am scared for this new season of life. A season of unknowns, a season of trusting in God and a season of peace. That night is where God lifted a little more of the dense fog in the visual He has given me for this season. I could see up to His shoulder and a few days after I could see up to the back of His head as He is leading me. He is leading me like a Father leads a child. And this child is in complete trust of the Father because the child knows that the Father has the best intentions for the child. The Father will provide safety and provisions for the child.
***This is part of a series of blog posts of me sharing about burnout and things I have been learning through this. They are numbered in the order that they are written in and to indicate that they are part of this series.***
Sometimes we are asked to up something we love by God so that He can deepen our relationship with him while blessing others. This was me in the last couple months. In March, God asked me to give my camera to a missionary who is teaching photography classes in India. He also asked me to give my car away in the same day.
Giving my car away was not as big of a deal as my camera. This was the only camera I had and if you know me, you know that being able to create beautiful images is one of my passions in life. If I am being honest, I felt like in some ways I was giving my child away. It was not something I came to terms with right away. It was not easy but I know it was what I was supposed to do.
Around this same time, He asked me to start my photography business. In the human mind, it does not make sense to give your primary piece of equipment that you need for a photography business. But in God’s mind it made sense because He saw the whole picture. And saw pieces to this story that I did not see in my limited mind. But I had faith that He would provide for me. Because I knew He would not ask me to do something if He wasn’t going to provide for me.
Because of me giving my car, the couple that I gave my car to, they gave their car to another family that did not have a vehicle. Over the last couple months, I have saving money and I eventually saved enough money to purchase the same camera I had given away. In the meantime, God provided cameras I could borrow. Two weeks ago, I purchased another camera. The day after I bought the camera, a friend got in touch with me and I was told they are going to send me a check that is going to pay for the camera that I bought!! This friend then explained that my faith inspired her to have faith for things they want or need. Giving creates an infectious spirit and the reaction like dominoes.
When we do what God asks us to do, know that He is going to bless you and that He will provide. And sometimes the way He provides is not the way we think it is going to happen or is not in our timing. And we must be open to that. If we trust and obey God with what He asks us, He will do what He promises us that He is going to do. And He will do it in His time not in our time.
I do not share this story to show how great I am because reality it was not an easy journey and I did not completely trust Him at times. I do not have it all together nor will I ever. And I did have doubts along the way. And there were moments that I was like “God, you asked me to give my camera away and to start a photography business at the same. And here we are X amount of time later and I still do not have a camera.” But in these moments, I remembered that He is true to His promises and that He has and will continue to provide for me. Looking back, I would not change much about this whole part of my story. Because my faith and trust in Him deepened in my waiting period. Also because of my obedience and faith other people were impacted.
So, next time God asks you to do something that does not make sense, go for it. He will follow through on His promises and He will provide in ways that you do not think He will. And in the process, our relationship with Him will deepen. When He does provide, be ready to be amazed because He is a great Father and He delights in providing for His children.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19