The time has come for me to leave the people and places that have been my home for the last 6 years. I have now moved back to Charlotte, NC to start a new chapter of my life. I read a quote once that said that we can’t start a new chapter of a book if we keep re-reading the last one. It’s true. If I wanted to move forward in my life, I had to turn the page and follow where I felt the Lord leading me.
Lately I have had to make some life changing decisions. These decisions were made easier because I have been immersed in such a Godly community at CIU for the past 6 years that has taught me how to pray, how to read the Word and given me plenty of counsel from amazing friends. I couldn’t have been more blessed to have the people in my life that have been with me the past 6 years. I look back to Freshmen year and I was a completely different person (thank goodness). I have come so far emotionally and spiritually. I don’t have any doubt that the friends that I made while I was here will be friends till the end. I don’t think that I could finish life without them =)
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
I think that I have been spoiled by my church family. I would NOT have made it without them by my side. Getting the privilege to minister to my girls has been such a blessing. I am so proud of them and hopeful in the women that they will become! They have ministered to me in some of my darkest hours making me laugh and to remember to be joyful in the Lord. I always knew that I could go to anyone in authority with an issue and not be judged but welcomed and prayed for. The church has stood beside me when my family was in crisis and supported me in life changes. They always speak wisdom and have such a passion for growth not just for their body as a whole but for the individual members.
“But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
1 Corinthians 12:23b-26
I am excited to see where the Lord is going to lead me next. I know that I will be in Charlotte for at least a year. After I officially graduate I’m not sure where I’ll end up. I am learning to take things one at a time and not get ahead of myself or the Lord. As I sit here I am tearing up. Saying goodbye hasn’t ever been hard for me but this time there are so many goodbyes all at once. I just keep thinking that I have been so blessed by everyone and I wouldn’t have changed any part of it!
I am heading into a HUGE transition in my life. I am closing one chapter of my life that has been all I’ve known for the past 6 years in just under a month. Yes, I am moving on to bigger and better things but that doesn’t make the transition easier. I am hitting quite a lot of bumps along the way too. Over the past few months I have been planning and trying to set things up for myself in regards to where I’m going to be living and where I’m going to work. This has been a daunting task and quite stressful. I have a lot that I could grumble about as I transition. Things aren’t going the way I thought they were. There are doors being shut when they were open not long ago and I feel like there aren’t any other doors left. I want to pound on the doors demanding that they open up but I’ll be the first to tell you that when God shuts a door, only He can open it back up so that it’ll work out to our benefit. If we pry it open, it won’t be pretty. Waiting for God to open the door up is what I don’t want to do. I’m stuck in this transition and it’s hard. I want a job, I want a nice apartment, heck I admit that I want a decent guy in my life but God isn’t ready to give me those things yet. Yes, I know that I NEED a job and I NEED a place to stay so I assume (hope) that those will come sooner rather than later but the guy thing…well that’s just going to be in God’s timing and not a door that I force open. When I force a door open I am being impatient and I am settling for second best. Settling for second best is NOT God’s best. It’s not even MY best. It’s just something that I see and I want to snatch up because I’m doubting that God will bring something better. If a door shuts I want to bang on it because it’s gone and I doubt that He will make another door appear. I had an apartment lined up but I just found out that the rent will be significantly higher than I planned so that door shut (for now at least). I want to bang on it because it was there and I doubt that anything else so great will come along. I had a relationship but the door closed and even though it was my decision to close it, a part of me wants to bang on the door because my flesh doubts that anything else will come along. I am looking for a job and I am banging on doors like crazy but nothing will open. It leaves me feeling hopeless. These things I know God will present to me in His time and I will have the apartment that is best and the man that is best and the job that is best.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Yes, here in Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples that those who knock the door will be opened but I don’t believe that this verse should be read without looking back one chapter to where Jesus is telling his disciples HOW to pray and ask. We are to pray and ask according to the will of God, with a contrite spirit, asking with faith of who God is and not for things that we deserve but because God wants to give us good things because He loves us.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
This is the key to our prayers and getting through the transition when we feel like there are doors shutting. The key is FAITH. One thing that has helped me get through the helplessness is to stop focusing on the problem and focus on God’s faithfulness in those prayers that He has answered in the past. I need to stop banging on the doors that have closed and have assurance that they closed for a reason and that there will be something better and best for me…and for you!