It’s been a hot minute since I posted on here. Thinking about why I haven’t written, it has nothing to do with me not having things to say. (I was once told I could talk to a wall for 3 hours if necessary.) Honestly, life has just been really full and really busy – not to mention I’ve been working on a passion project that’s a bit more time consuming than a blog post. More on that later.
This week my infamously wonderful Bible study, that I gush about whenever given the opportunity, did a devotional that was a bit last minute, but ended up being profound. It posed a lot of good questions, but one that stuck with me has been the idea of reflecting on how God has refined you from this time last year. It strikes a chord in me because so much is different from last year around this time.
This time last year…
I was actually in LA, but not because I lived here, because I was on the trip that would ultimately be the catalyst for me deciding to move my whole life out west.
I was “talking” with a male who had been toxic for a long time, but I couldn’t seem to quit.
I was unemployed and had no idea how I was going to pay rent.
I danced on beaches and played in mountains of flowers and wondered why my soul felt like it had more space.
Here’s the thing – though God has answered all of those circumstances, what sticks out to me the most is that 1) I should probably stop worrying, like entirely, because everything worked out in the end, no thanks to my anxiety and 2) I am more grateful for who God has refined me to be than any of the circumstantial ways He moved.
I am grateful that God provided financially for me as I finished out NYC. I am grateful that God provided every single detail that made it logistically possible to move out to LA. I am grateful that said toxic male isn’t a part of my life anymore and that God has redeemed my view on men in many ways. I am grateful that now I can dance on the beach pretty much whenever I want since it’s a mile from my house and that I do indeed take that opportunity often.
I am grateful for the ways God refined me through waiting on that. Who I am today is more important than where I live, what I do or who I’m with. I’m so glad to say that I have better insight into the heart of God and better insight into my own heart than I did this time last year. I’m a bit wiser, a smidge tougher and a heck of a lot more seasoned in life. I’ve been refined and redeemed. I’ve learned more about prayer, more about trusting God and gained a deeper understanding of His promises.
It is really, really, really easy to get caught up in our circumstance. It’s not hard to become impatient, frustrated and callous when the things around us don’t change how and when we want them to. But what I am trying to learn and repeat over and over to myself, is that maybe it’s not the circumstances that need to change – it’s me.
Perhaps God’s agenda doesn’t focus on the raise or the relationship status or the location – it aims to refine me and bring me ever closer to Him. I think God is a lot more concerned about our character than our job titles or where we live. And I’m finding that the more I fix my eyes on where He’s aiming, the less the impatience creeps up on me like an itchy sweater. When I look upward and inward, the circumstances around me don’t feel as stale or suffocating. When I change my perspective, I can see a purpose, even in the mundane. God is refining me and making me even more into the person He created me to be. It doesn’t always look the way I want it to, but it is so worth it.
One year ago there was so much I couldn’t see… so much I didn’t understand that I am now infinitely thankful for and shaped me as a person. He can take all things and use them for good, but in the meantime we must shift our perspective.
Where He is, there is freedom – if we’ll only grab hold of it.