the secret of becoming stronger on the other side

photo-1505455184862-554165e5f6baWell, hey there.

I haven’t published a blog in almost a month! The truth is, this is a space that I committed to three years ago. I kept myself accountable to continue writing and seeking God’s voice. And like every other story of 2020: well, it just all went down, didn’t it? Forget the fact that our normal routine went out the window. I was immediately given several roles that I never signed up for; one of them being teacher. Friends, this is just not a gifting from the Lord for me. My poor little children. Well, I think they graduated pre-k and kindergarten, but they sure didn’t learn anything extra. I went from having several recently acquired hours alone to my entire family all together at home twenty-four hours a day.

The routine and the expectations I had for myself simply couldn’t all be reached. Something had to give. And for a few weeks, it was my attention to this blog.

I don’t need to explain to you that the past several months have been an adjustment. And the wild part is that it’s not over. We are still learning what this is supposed to look like; what we are supposed to learn and how we are are supposed to grow.

Why does it matter to you that I haven’t written here in a month? I am under no assumptions that you are lost without my words to read. But as the days all rolled into each other and I found I just couldn’t get it all done – I wondered if you’ve been walking through the same kind of experience.

I wonder if you’ve put pressure on yourself to keep all of the same responsibilities you held before a global pandemic hit.

I wonder if you’ve lost a little bit of yourself because of the inability to lean into flexibility and space that you never asked for.

What if God is using this time to teach us more than to readjust our priorities and our schedules? I believe God is teaching us about flexibility.

True contentment comes from adaptability and flexibility. Paul addresses this secret here:

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.” [Philippians 4:12-13]

The secret of overcoming is not necessarily gratitude or a good outlook. It is Christ’s power. Somewhere along the way, we’ve believed the lie that we should be able to remain the same when crisis comes. Somehow, we’ve been told that we must remain strong within ourselves when everything around us is falling apart. These lies only lead us to one thing: a deeper unraveling.

The only truth that stretches our contentment, our flexibility to not only endure difficulties but overcome them, is the power of God.

He meets us in our weaknesses with perfect strength.

He graciously fills in the places we lack with abundance.

He has never asked us to overcome uncertainty with vision for the future. We overcome through His power alone.

I’ve got to ask you: Is there anything during this season that you have gripped so tightly, that God may be asking you to release? Is it something in your schedule, a relationship, a lie you’ve believed about yourself? We all want to grow through this season, don’t we? I haven’t encountered anyone who doesn’t want to learn and become a more beautiful version of themselves on the other side of hardships But we cannot become new if we stay stuck in the old.

Flexibility and adaptability require pushing, stretching, and tension. It’s new and uncomfortable and it never looks the same.

What do you need to let go of so that God can walk you into His promises for your life?

It’s so much more than simply shifting our priorities. We’ve got to get back to the authority of our one priority: the love and the will of God. Everything else we should or shouldn’t do falls under His authority. Everything we need right now, and everything that needs to fall away in order to lighten the load is within the palm of His hand.

In the stretching and the tension, we find growth and increase. Are we willing to say yes to Him, and willing to release anything He asks of us?

I know this is tough. I’m in it with you. I’d love to pray together as we ask God what this looks like.

Jesus, 

This period of our life is challenging us in ways we never asked for. We trust that Your plans for us are good. We trust that You always know what is best. Help us to believe fully that Your ways are higher than ours. God, if there is anything in our life that we are holding onto more tightly than we are holding onto You, would you show us? Right now, we give you permission to search our hearts and lead us in the way of everlasting – the way that leads to You. Set our feet to look to You. We know that nothing else, No one else gives us what we need. We declare that we are weak, and You are strong. Help us to learn, to grow, and to be willing to step into something new, knowing You lead us the entire way.

Amen.

 

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