I’ll be honest, 2015 and 2016 were tough years for me.
I struggled through a lot of physical stuff, a lot of emotional stuff, and as a result, a lot of spiritual stuff. I didn’t spend much time writing about it, not because I was trying to present myself as perfect, or appear as though I had everything figured out, but because I truthfully didn’t even know what it was. How does one write about something they have no insight for?
When you’re in the middle of the storm, you’re busy just trying to survive. Am I right?
With that said, can I admit something a lot of Christians are afraid to admit? I was mad at God. There. I said it.
I was frustrated.
I was confused.
I was disillusioned.
As a result, I took out a lot of my frustrations during my quiet time – a time when I should have been listening. I cried. I slammed doors. And yes, I may have even said a few choice words.
But here’s the cool part. God was using me despite.
I Am Rich: a conversation with a group of men in Starbucks
He Shows Up: a conversation with a lady at the park
The Middle Of Walmart: a conversation with a lady in Walmart
Be Open To The Unexpected: a conversation with a girl in Starbucks
Ignoring Jesus: a conversation with a homeless man outside Superstore
In the midst of my own personal life crisis, He was allowing me to have amazing God conversations practically every place I visited. With every frustrated faith question I asked in tantrum fashion, He was bringing people into my life left, right and center, so that I might show them His love. Strange? Totally! It had me like, huh!?
Here’s what He was trying to teach me, which took two whole years to learn (and embarrasses me now to write).
2015 and 2016 were hard years because I was subconsciously trying to hold onto my way of living while consciously saying I would live His.
I was fighting for control so I could live life according to my plans, my dreams and my goals.
I was refusing to surrender because God’s timing (seemingly) wasn’t stacking up to my Type-A, get-er-done M.O.
I was frustrated with faith because it wasn’t the “style” of faith I wanted. I wanted more. He was asking me to let go of everything. I wanted better. He was trying to tell me I am enough. I was praying for “vision,” and He was aligning the vision of my eyes to see that the people all around me were “the vision.”
And the tension? Oiy-yoi-yoi! The tension was because He was guiding me towards to His plans, His dreams and His goals – which I prayed I wanted in my life back in 2014 – but somehow I believed I could follow His will while keeping my own personal stop watch. Go figure.
Truth is, God uses us even when we’re disasters because He’s revealing to us how much He wants to use our lives for His purposes. This is the kind of faith He desires for our lives even when we’re incapable of seeing it as anything amazing ourselves.
While I was struggling with God in my own personal quiet time, i.e. fighting to subconsciously convince Him my plans were way better than His, He was showing me – via coffee shops & grocery stores – how much my life could be used for His glory amidst my weakness, my confusion, and the living of my everyday life if my eyes were opened to see it.
Ironic, isn’t it?
Basically, while I was praying He would use me, and embarrassingly throwing tantrums over the ways I thought He should use me, He was using me. I just didn’t recognize it because I was too busy praying He would use me.
So now I throw this back to you.
Perhaps you’re in a season of dryness, stuckness, sticky, yucky, rutness. Perhaps you’ve been praying – desperately – that God would use you. Perhaps, like me, you’ve surrendered everything you can think to surrender in your quest to be used for His glory, yet, things remain the same. Frustrating, isn’t it? I feel your pain.
But here’s a thought:
Perhaps He already IS using you, and rather than praying for Him to use you, perhaps you need to pray that you recognize how He’s already using you.
Then again, what do I know? Apparently I’m a stubborn, thickheaded, tantrum-throwing, drama queen, who takes two years to learn things.
So don’t take my word for it, Take His. Better yet, learn from Abraham. He knows a thing or two about this sort of thing.
”So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.” Romans 4:1-3 (MSG)