In the beginning of my Christian walk, I didn’t fully understand what “the blessings come after the surrender” meant… I had a pretty good idea but I was of the mindset that I’d probably have to “see it” to “believe it”. My intent was innocent enough in that I didn’t want to blatantly “test God” and he knew it (because He knows everything!), it was simply because I was in the infancy stages of my new life in Christ that He most likely wanted to do me a solid, letting me know and encouraging me in my new found faith in Him.
As I faithfully was in the Bible every day, journaling, attending worship and service each week, willingly and gladly dropping my offering in the “bucket”, serving in Kids Ministry and spreading the Good News, not only with my mouth but via my social media accounts, I watched my new life unfold, like a flower in a garden blossoming under the warmth of the sun, the blessings – big and small – started to come.
At first, and although I don’t believe in coincidences, I did just that…. I thought that perhaps the first few blessings were merely coincidences. How wrong I was! His faithfulness is endless. As our Lead Pastor has said many times, “He’ll meet you wherever you are, but He loves you too much to leave you there.” Jesus reached down and saved me… doing for me, what I couldn’t do for myself. God loves and protects me, laying His ever-powerful hand upon my shoulder, gently guiding and moving me forward in my faith.
Photo Cred: “The Hand of God” by Artist Yongsung Kim
As I witnessed the blessings, at first unsure if they were truly blessings from Him, I “Let Go and Let God” and I put my faith and trust in Him. After I truly surrendered, I could see His love, guidance and direction for me. Quite frankly, I was in awe… I was truly amazed and I thought, “He truly IS in my life. He truly IS leading my steps; Psalms 119:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
I had suffered an annual financial loss that I thought would ruin my family. I envisioned all sorts of loss and devastation, uncertain as to how we could possibly make “ends meet”. This financial loss came at the beginning of this year and I was so afraid as to what the future would hold. Three weeks later, I turned my life and heart over to Jesus… putting my faith and trust in Him. And then it began…
I started to build my relationship with Jesus, never looking back, turning back or going back to my old life. At first, my Christian Walk was in baby steps, after all, I was a “baby Christian”. As I toddled my way through, before I knew it, I was walking and only falling down occasionally, then I progressed to walking confidently, without a care or thought of falling, unless I clumsily tripped over something! The next thing I knew, I was running, full-tilt, into his loving and awaiting arms… always keeping my eyes on Him, above and beyond everything else.
I found myself, contrary to what I had anticipated, managing to pay our bills each month without truly struggling. Why do I have this extra money in my paycheck this pay period? Oh…that would be an unexpected, one-time discretionary bonus to thank me for my contributions the previous year. Hmmm…. all of a sudden, the LAST payment for my car loan was coming up… there’s a savings every month that had escaped me in my financial planning/budgetary process. Oh, look… I just finished making the last payment on a credit card. All of my blessings have not only been monetary in nature (although gladly welcomed!). As I’ve continued to be faithful in living through Jesus, I’ve noticed a positive change in some of the people around me. Although some may not be ready to commit their lives to Him, they’re seeing Jesus in me and it’s affecting them in what I believe is a very positive way. I love how all of this “works”. The bottom line is all I needed to do was ask Jesus to forgive me and to be my Lord and Savior and truly commit my life to Him and “Voila!”, the blessings started to come — big and small. To quote my campus pastor, “I’ll NEVER get over what Jesus did for me!” Neither will, I pastor… neither will I!
So today’s blessing was that I woke up at 7:20 and thought, “Oh, good grief… I’ve woken up late… I’ve got less than an hour to get ready for work.” As I lay there, playing out in my head everything I needed to get done in the next 40 minutes, I heard this faint voice say, “Relax…it’s SUNDAY!” Wha…What…WHAT?! Yes… YES… Y E S !!! This was followed by me jumping up and making my coffee and knowing that today was “blog” day… thanking and praising Him through every sip and back-spaced typo!
~Psalms 23:1-3 – “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
And the blessings keep coming!
~Let Love Lead The Way~ TP