The Other Side of Faith

I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. Your works are great and my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 NLV

I had several realizations over the last few days, as God decided to give me a closer touch and glimpse of who He is. God speaks to me about and for others regularly…but I needed and still need a regular revelation for myself. So God has shown me that He heard my prayers and wanted to teach me a lesson in faith: have faith in myself.

There are things I innately have felt competent at, things I knew without much effort I could do, like fixing things, cooking, and solving problems. I knew I would get into law school, despite the fact I did not apply myself as I should have (DON’T follow in my footsteps, preparation is essential, as I now know). However, upon getting in and actually starting school, that confidence I have always had in regards to school quickly diminished, to an almost nonexistence. I recognized my faults and am working to rectify them…but this experience had left a mar on the faith I once had in myself.

This was translated from my work, which is the primary reason for this sharing of my testimony lol… I have been working for my job for nearly 5 years (I know I don’t look it lol). I finished all necessary requirements for my developmental training earlier than anticipated (with the inclusion of my nearly 4 months off work due to my health and my dad’s death). I have performed well…but I allowed some of the tests that God has allowed in my life in the form of bad leadership to cause me to question myself. I felt like I did not deserve to apply for my promotion until I had achieved this milestone, which now seems virtually impossible after several months of work on it. But He chose to reveal to me the truth.

I recognize now that I had the formula wrong. I was trying to do it in my own strength. Both school and work, things that have become things I identify myself by, I have been trying to be successful without God. Of course I will come to Him in prayer for clarity and strength…but I had not asked that He guide me, that He goes before me and makes my paths straight. Instead, I have been meandering along, albeit He has been showing me things along the way. This lesson though, to have faith in myself, requires me to have faith in the Father, because He equipped us with the gifts and talents necessary to excel in any situations we face.

I read several translations of the scripture above because I confess it every morning but I remember looking at a few translations and how sometimes different versions will really speak to you. And today I needed to see this. Having faith in yourself is essential to your truly being used of and by God. To believe in God’s plan and purpose for your life, you have to, you must believe in the abilities, talents, gifts, and skills you have. Why? Because they specifically qualify you to be the best person for the specific assignment He has for you. Your having faith in them coincides with your faith in Him because He gave you them!

You must have faith in yourself, because God uniquely created you. He set you apart for something great. Here is the key: we have faith in God. We have faith in His works…we are one of His works. We are His beloved creation. He is within us; having faith within ourselves allows God to have the maximum ability to work through you because we can rest in those things He put within us. How can you do it if you don’t believe you can? Its time to be like the Little Engine that Could and faith it till you make it! Love you….

I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. Psalm 139:14 The Voice

Are You Holding On To People Past Their Expiration Date?

"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." John 14:1 NASB
It took the loss of some friendships and gaining some new ones to realize why God does things the way He does sometimes. I was particularly hurt when one of my friends from Charleston cut off all contact with me…I haven’t heard from her since before my birthday. I have reached out, but nothing. I had another friend to do this to me too and I have a "No Friends Left Behind" motto–only applicable to my true friends or people I care for strongly (thanks Dee lol). The loss of these relationships created voids in my life, that have now been filled by God himself, either with new relationships or with His purpose. Anyway, it wasn’t until a recent conversation that I realized why the relationships had changed…I had changed.

God has been working on me, and one of the things I had been praying for is divine relationships and discernment of people and spirits. Everybody is not for you!! I had to learn that the hard way, keeping people and allowing relationships to linger that were way past their expiration date. Recognize the reason that you connect with these people. See I connected with her after my dad died–we related on things that had happened in our pasts. If you have any relationships where you are connecting with people based on past events…prepare yourself because it could be a possibility that if you cannot connect on anything after those issues have been resolved or you have been delivered from them, that your need for the relationship ends. It could be possible that the purpose of the relationship has been served and thus that person’s season in your life has ended.

This was hard, and painful to learn. I take hold of people and I want everybody to win, I want everybody to experience God’s goodness with me. Now, that isn’t to say that God will not reconcile you later or that those people will not experience the abundance of God’s blessings. It says that God is opening your hands like He did mine, and making room for bigger and better things by creating space for you to hold them.

How do you deal with this? The key is to wholeheartedly trust God and allow Him to heal you from the hurt that comes with loss. You have to grieve the loss because in your mind you will always come back to the relationship and wonder. This is just another faith act for you, trusting God’s will and believing that He is orchestrating this to work in His grand plan for your life. With that said, evaluate your relationships and determine who has outlived their shelf life! Ask God for courage to let go if that is His will and for the peace to press forward until He presents the next piece to your puzzle!

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV