Its amazing getting to a point where you are actually thankful for something bad or painful having happened in your life. That’s where I am.
Over the past few years I have had some major life-changing things happen, good and bad, that have radically changed the direction of my life. I have written about many of those things before. But every single one of them have led me to where I am now. Every major life-altering event in my life has brought me to a place where I trust God in the process and want whatever happens to be so good, that only he can get the credit. Anything else is less than his best for me.
I definitely used to not be like that.
There was a period in my life when I had received hundreds of job rejections…talk about one of the most defeating seasons of my life. Nobody wanted to hire me. Even Walmart denied my application. I mean, seriously? Who knew that was a thing. I was applying to jobs in countries that no one was volunteering for and here I was even getting rejected for stupid or unexplainable reasons. I got to a point with job stuff that I was so frustrated and angry that I flippantly told God, “fine, you make it happen!” There was no way I knew it at the time, but that became my anthem. That phrase and prayer became the very prayer I have prayed with everything major that has happened since. That prayer is what led me in choosing my career now in law enforcement. God made it happen and only he gets the credit. But to get to that point I had to go through a lot of frustration and rejection.
When it came to dating over the years, I have had my heart broken a few times. If you would have told me that I would be where I am now, I would not have believed you. God is so amazing like that. I’ve broken off relationships and I’ve been dumped. In the season I find myself writing this, I’ve been processing a relationship where I was broken up with and left with no explanation and leaving only heartache. But that relationship was most certainly not meant to be. That relationship was one that was not God’s best for either of us. And it was full of its own mess. I was far too stubborn to listen to what I actually knew. In retrospect, I knew it wasn’t what God had for me. I knew it early on and ignored myself and ignored God’s leading. But the guy ended things with me and it tore me up for a bit. It took that breakup and what God has taught me since, that compromising or settling for good instead of God’s great, will always be heartbreaking. I can say that about all of my other relationships too (update: except my now husband). God has shown me over the years how beautiful his redemption is in the wake of our mess.
So many times over these years, whether it be boy problems, job issues, or other struggles, my heart broke. So many of those jobs might have been great but if I had taken any of those rejections, I would not be where I am now in my field. Every single guy I have dated and every single time my heart was crushed, I was kept from that relationship for some reason. Now mind you, in the moments following disappointments and heartaches, nothing feels good or peaceful. There is often an agony or pain that comes with broken dreams. But maybe, just maybe, that dream wasn’t even our best dream and God wanted to show us far better. I mean he tells us in scripture that “he is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine…”
What if we began to live our lives in the wake of difficulty, heartache, and disappointment not in brokenness and despair, but in trust that the God who said he loves us had better for us? I can look back at some specific things in my life and see something major: when God broke my heart, it actually set me free. I may not have noticed it right away or have even been thankful. But I have to believe that God has been at work in my life in even the simplest of ways and he is doing something still. Those jobs or relationships that he might have spared me from, those things that were good but not great, or good but maybe not godly. Or those things that were just plain bad for me. Those things, things that the God who created me knew were not what he had dreamt of for me. He wants to do good things, amazing things in our lives, but so many times we get in his way. We sin, we live selfishly, we make mistakes, we settle. But God loves us so tremendously that he would rather break our heart or close a door, then continue to allow us to go down road that isn’t best for us, especially if its sinful or pulling us away from him.
Its not about necessarily having tangible things either. Its not about prosperity…hear me when I say it is not about prosperity. Its about living in the way that best honors God in your own life in the everyday. That can be in your job, friendships, relationship, and everything in between. We get to live in a way that can bring honor to God. God has done some amazing things in my life. The best moments have all been ones that came from trust and faith in him, trusting his will and leading in my life. Everything else has been a counterfeit, a substitute, a mistake, and/or a lesson hopefully learned. Whoever you are reading this, maybe, just maybe, step out in a faith and trust that God has more for you than you could dare to imagine.