Pain in Prospering // Faithfully Honest

This beautiful graphic was drawn and created by the talented @letteringlis <3

I've put off writing this post for about a month now. Don't ask me why, but I felt like it wasn't time to write it, that I didn't have anything I could write about that would make me understand this verse I'm about to talk about. Call me crazy or what have you, but I think it happened for a reason, and a good one at that. I mean, as a writer, I learned from the ever so clever Harriet from Harriet the Spy that a good writer writes about what they know (And if you haven't watched this movie, do it now or I don't know you). It would be quite annoying of me to write something I don't know anything about and parade this post around on all my social platforms without writing about the true meaning of this verse. So as God works, He showed me the true meaning of it. And boy...did he work.

I feel that as an author, I need to apologize to you as a reader for the way I've used my faith posts. My sole intention is to inspire and motivate, not to have a platform where I rant about my personal issues and use my faith life as an excuse to vent. If that is what you're receiving from these posts, then please know that that is not what I intended for Dizzy Spangle to be. When I initially started this section of my blog, I wanted it to be a place for people to read about an ordinary girl and how God could transform her life (which he thankfully does everyday). I wanted to show off my God, his transcending presence in my life and his ability to use me as a vessel for his glory. I hope you can finally see that in this post.

In the past months, I've prayed for various things to happen in my life.

1. I prayed for God to continue to mold and shape me into a strong woman of faith (which I pray almost everyday anyways).

2. I prayed for him to reveal the areas of my life where I lack love, grace and mercy.

3. I prayed for him to use me as a way to reach others.

4. I prayed to let go of what I cannot control and to let him work.

What I didn't realize was that God was about to send me on a journey of pain & hurt, with the ultimate destination to be restoration and hope. I have fought with people I didn't want to fight with. I have felt anger like I have never felt anger before. I have shown my true colors in stressful situations in ways that should have been more tamed and not led by emotions. In a nutshell, I've been tested in areas of my life where I know that I need to work on. For example, I've realized that although in most cases I am a friendly & caring person, I am also a selfish and jealous person. I would always try to fight this, but I've noticed that lately these feelings are more prominent. I've also realized that I don't handle stress well and can unload that onto others in the midst of an overwhelming moment. Lastly, I realized that I potentially judge others harshly on their own life decisions when it doesn't match up to what I would do for myself. And although this all sounds like I may be too critical of myself, I am being as transparent as possible to show that I deal with struggles that I need to work on. I need less of these detrimental characteristics and more of God. See, this is me admitting that without God, I would resort to giving in to what I am not instead of who God wants me to be. He wants me to be patient and content with myself and my life journey. He wants me to give him my worries and let peace overcome my anxieties. He wants me to have his eyes and heart for others and love them as he unconditionally loves me. This is all a plan to mold me into who he wants me to be. These are all areas of my life that I need more work on. God has dug down to the root of my existence and shown me that if I can't settle these things now, I won't be able to grow and move into the direction of his calling. And if there is anything I want more in the world, it's that.

Faith is not about doing it all on your own, but trusting that God will make a way. Whether you're in a crisis with your family, struggling with friendship, or just battling with yourself, he will help you. There is no guarantee that God will take away your pain, but he will help us prosper through it.

A lot of the time, I wonder why bad things have to happen to everyone. I have always wished that everyone could live happy, prosperous lives and not have to worry about anything. It hurts to see people cry, it hurts to see people suffer and it hurts to know that sometimes you can't do anything about what's happened to them. But you can love, you can make the effort to be there and help. God has molded my heart to see more like him and less of this world. This world will disappoint you, but God won't. So why not take a leap of faith and love like him? The only thing you lose is the chance to make a better decision than to be overcome with fear, anger or pride.

Now for this mystery verse I mentioned earlier...This is a fairly popular one, but one that holds such significance. In the book of Jeremiah, there's a passage that says,

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you," says the Lord. -Chapter 29, verse 11-13

I think in moments of a bad situation, we tend to think the worst. It's a thing we do called catastrophic thinking. This kind of thinking leaves us thoroughly convinced that the worse case scenario is bound to happen more than any other possible (and positive) outcome. I definitely have the habit of doing this and it leaves me so aggravated with myself because I get to caught up in the silly ideas and forget to look up to the one who has it already handled.

Bad things will happen, but God is there already paving the path for a way through it all if we only have faith it will. Think about your faith life as a muscle. You work out that muscle and what happens? It becomes sore the next day or days after. You feel it getting stronger, so next time you work out that muscle, you are able to lift a more than before. And the next time you lift again, you add more weight. And again and again this happens until you are able to handle more weight than you've ever imagined! But what happens in the middle of these training sessions are days of pain called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This is when connective tissues in your body become torn in order to grow back together again and create stronger muscles than before. Taking this same concept, I practice my faith life the same way. I go through a tough situation then get through it. I go through an even tougher situation, then get through it better than the last time. And I go through more tough situations, again and again and again until my faith is stronger than ever before. Remember: We are made to prosper, not to wither in the circumstances handed to us.

My life has changed tremendously since I started really letting go and letting God...letting God do what he does best and relying on the fact that I am nothing without him. I can't look to anything or anyone else and feel as satisfied as looking to the one. These are all things I write about because I truly know. I've experienced an amazing journey of faith so far and can only write out my testament for you to read and (hopefully) understand it all. 

Stay Encouraged !