Let's be honest. Growing up is hard and not just the getting older part but the life lessons part as well. Since recommitting my life to God almost 4 years ago, I've experienced A LOT of spiritual growth. While growth is a good thing, some of the pains in growing are deeper than others. Last year in 2016, I went through more spiritual growth than I expected. I was holding onto things from my past and didn't realize how deep the layers were in my life. I had no idea I had buried some things so deep until they began to rise to the surface as I worked on peeling back the layers with God.
These were things that I thought I had overcome a few years before, but soon realized I never allowed myself to get vulnerable enough to fully rid myself of them. God began a much needed healing process last February. I discovered I was still dealing with roots of rejection and insecurity. I experienced depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I also dealt with fear and people-pleasing. As all these began bubbling to the top last year, God began a process of healing me from each of those things. I began to see Him move so sweetly in my life. Looking back over all my posts from the past year on this blog, I can see how God grew me through each of those experiences and how it's helped others as well.
When you allow yourself to become fully vulnerable with God, He can do incredible things through your life. I won't sugar coat it and tell you it was a perfectly easy process, because it wasn't and I know I'll have to go through growth spurts again throughout my life. My goal is to always be vulnerable with my life so that others can learn from it. I never want pity or sympathy through what I share, but I hope my vulnerability in writing can help others have hope to push through the painful moments in their own life. There were times when that season was so heavy and I hurt so much inside that I had to take a sick day. There were times I questioned God and times I just wanted God to move faster so that I could move on with my life. At times I felt like I had lost my dreams and purpose. I felt attacked by the enemy in the very elements of who I am in my hope and vision. But through all of those moments, I leaned on God more than I ever had before. I prayed harder, loved deeper and found true freedom from all my baggage. I reached a new level in my walk with God and I'm thankful that I'm no longer carrying those things anymore.
Coming into 2017, I'm able to walk lighter without my yesterdays. During the 21 days of prayer and fasting with my church, I found breakthrough from all the growth I experienced and found fresh vision. In Matthew 16:25 it says, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." I can relate to this because I've found the more I try to take control in my life, the harder it is. But the more I let God have control and I just humbly follow Him, the easier life gets. I have more joy, confidence and contentment this year than I have ever had in my life. I can see God moving in amazing ways in this season. I have more clarity over his plans for my life and have even taken new adventures in my faith journey by going to Highlands College.
So friends if you are feeling like I felt, allow God to have control. Allow him to grow the things out of you that aren't good for you. Nothing you are going through is too small for Him to heal. We all have our own stories and own pain points. We just have to surrender and allow God to move in our hearts. As Christine Caine says, "You have to grow where you want to go." That means we can't take our baggage with us into our next chapter. God loves us as we are, but he loves us too much to leave us in our brokenness. He wants to keep moving you towards the plans he has for you and that means we have to go through growth to keep producing good fruit. One of my favorite verses is in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Hold onto this promise know good will come and ask God to show you what areas you need to grow through to reach your next step. Focus on the good things and what you are grateful for and lean on God to give you strength. You can make it!
If you can relate to my story, pray this with me:
Father God, thank you for saving me. Thank you for showing me there is hope and a future for me. Thank you for loving me so much that you want to heal my brokenness. Give me the strength I need to make it through this season. Show me the areas that I need to grow in and refine me. Help my journey to help others. In Jesus name, Amen.