The first Sunday of 2016, I was sitting in my favorite section at church ready to receive the pastor’s declaration over the congregation. “The Year of Acceleration!” he says… “The year God is going to take you further, faster than you’ve ever imagined.” Instantly, I was excited. I felt the Holy Spirit and I knew I was going to be a part of this acceleration. What I didn’t know was how much it would hurt in the process.
I planted to $500 acceleration seed in the ministry back in February. Immediately, God started to shift things in my life. Shifting my social circle, my finances, my relationships, and even my career. Everything was happening so fast it caused my head to spin. The relationship I was in ended abruptly. Longterm friendships ended. Financial tests were thrown my way, but threw it all I stayed faithful to God.
In hindsight, I can see that God was strategically shifting things in my life and accelerating me because of where He is sending me in the near future. Spiritually, He matured and developed me in places I didn’t know I needed growth, and it hurt along the way.
This year I was tested with heartbreak, suicidal thoughts, depression, difficulties at work, broken longterm friendships, and a slew of other things. I was attacked in every area of my life. There is a saying, “You don’t look like what you’ve been through.” I can honestly say I am glad that I don’t. I’ve been through hell this year.
Because I am away visiting family for the holiday, I streamed the church service last night. The Wednesday night pastor was speaking on the happenings this year. It appears to have been a tough year for a lot of folks. But I specifically began to wonder what was God’s purpose for allowing the things that happened in my life to transpire.
As I sat and pondered, the acceleration wasn’t just about growth in status, position, relationship, finances, etc; it was also about growth in spiritual development, which takes going through something uncomfortable circumstances. And because this year was about acceleration, there was A LOT of situations and circumstances to happen all at once.
It was tough, but through it all my eyes stayed fixed on HIM. There’s a peace that comes in the midst of your storm when you trust in God. Romans 8:28 says that ALL THINGS are working together for good to them that love God. With that in mind, I believe that God has a divine purpose for everything I experienced this year: the gains, the losses, the growth, the challenges. Although it hurt at times, I’m appeased by the fact that God wouldn’t have taken me on this journey, if He didn’t have a great reward for me. He gives double for my trouble, beauty for ashes, and joy for mourning. He always causes me to triumph.
This is to encourage anyone who has had a difficult time this past year. Think about the purpose of your trials. What was God’s purpose them? Find your purpose through your pain. How can you grow from it? How will you use your testimony to encourage others to overcome?
Be blessed, friends. Happy Thanksgiving!!!
P.S. my website and social media handles have changed.
A part of my growth was no longer going by a name someone else gave me, but going by the name I was giving at birth. This is the name God has blessed. 🙂