Last week, I watched a sermon by Sarah Jakes Roberts, "Boundaries," in which she discussed the concept of worshiping while weary (I encourage you to watch the whole thing, but the particular part I'll be talking about starts at around 13:25).
By no means have I "made it," but I if there is anything I did right in 2017, it was getting in alignment with the work that I'd like to do in my life. I think the process of getting in alignment with God's plan for your life requires a lot of unlearning, which is uncomfortable. That discomfort from God demanding me to level up lead to stress and long episodes of depression. I couldn't see the work that God was trying to do in my life, instead I mistook it for something negative. Regardless of if I felt weak, if I felt like someone else was going through something worse, if I felt like I was wasting time being upset when I still had things to take care of, I just had to surrender to God and let Him take on the weight of how I was feeling. My natural instinct is to find solutions and answers to my problems on my own, but in that moment I truly just had to surrender (Key word here is surrender. Not give up.)
Listen to: Withholding Nothing- William McDowell
Realizing that I do not and will not have an answer or solution to everything was the first step. The second was to allow myself to embrace every emotion without letting it overstay its welcome. The third, which I coincidentally heard in Meet the Robinsons, is that I had to keep moving forward. To be weary is to be "exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness." Sarah Jakes Roberts goes on to talk about how Jesus wants us to acknowledge when we are weary because that is when He can do His best work. She then talks about worshiping God while weary and how many people will almost force themselves to say "God is good" without actually believing it. How many of us can say that even though our lives may not look or feel how we'd like it to or if we can't see our lives getting to that point anytime soon, we still wholeheartedly believe that God is good? When you truly believe that God is good, you feel that in your soul. When you truly believe that God is good, you move differently. You don't allow your present circumstances to keep you down, but you instead acknowledge and embrace it as part of your journey.
And that was my breaking point of 2017.
I can easily say that the one thing that brought me consistent joy, not happiness but joy, this year was my faith in God. I realized I was developing a muscle by remaining faithful to God when days before I truly believed that nothing mattered and I could barely bring myself to start thinking about what 2018 was going to look like. When I allowed God to work through me, the more I started seeing real moves being made in my life. Faith is a muscle that God will force you to work through difficult seasons in your life, but it will ultimately grow you into the person He has called you to be. For I am confident in this, that He who begins a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
What lessons have you learned in 2017? Let me know in the comments or on social media!