2017 has been one of the craziest, whirlwind years of my entire life…and it’s only May. It’s as if from the time I screamed “Happy New Year!” and threw a handful of confetti into the air on January 1, a funnel cloud of emotion, expectation, fear, and mostly confusion about which direction my life is headed in encircled me and took me on a not-so-fun roller coaster ride. But through it all, God, my amazing, perfect, CONSISTENT God, has remained by my side, holding my hand, and speaking softly over me in a way that only He can.
The thing is what happens when He DOES speak.
Questions pop up (“Is that me, God, or you?” “Is this what I want or what YOU want?” “AM I following MY dream or YOURS?” “Is there even a difference?”).
Doubt takes over (“What if something happens?” “Am I making the right choice?” “Is this a mistake?” “Did I even hear you right?” “Did I miss my chance?”).
And fear and insecurity start to whisper the same old “You’re not good enough” or “You won’t make it” lies they’ve been trying to sell you for years.
But here’s the good news. If you’re like me and you’ve experienced some or all of these things while walking with God, then here are 4 lessons I’ve learned so far this year that you can hopefully take and move forward as the brave, awesome human being that you were meant to be in 2017.
1.) When God Speaks….You Don’t Have to Share EVERYTHING With EVERYBODY, ALL OF THE TIME.
This is where Joseph went wrong – sharing dreams that God had given him to his brothers only got him thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by said brothers. USE WISDOM, people. In the same way you wouldn’t share every detail about every conversation you have with your best friend, you don’t necessarily need to tell everyone everything that God is stirring in your heart. Some things are just for you and Him. And sometimes, it’s just not the right time or audience. Point is, let him show you who and when to share with. Believe me, it’s for your own good.
2. When God Speaks….It’s Not Complicated.
God is not complicated. Vast, yes. All knowing and powerful, of course. Are there things about Him that we don’t know and still probably won’t know in 1000 years? Undoubtedly. But God, at least the God that I know, doesn’t sit in Heaven, spinning riddles and giggling as He watches us on earth try to decipher bits of code or signs to figure out what He’s saying like mice chasing bits of cheese on a string. Think about it. If we want to hear God and understand what He’s telling us, and He wants us to hear and understand Him, why would He go out of His way to make it hard? My point is when things tend to be super complicated and vague and full of confusion, that’s usually a pretty good sign that it’s not God…it’s more likely your own fear, doubt, or even desire talking.
3. When God Speaks…Be Patient, He’s Not Finished.
God is always moving, always speaking. So, a lot of times, when we start moving and acting on things God has shown us, we’re moving without the full picture or even say…the end of the sentence. We jump onto the first few words and run with them and, a lot of times, end up getting ourselves into trouble. Take a breath. Make sure that what He’s saying is everything that He’s saying. Then, take that step forward confidently.
4. When God Speaks….He Knows What He’s Doing
It doesn’t have to make sense in your mind. It may not be what you expect. It can take a whole lot longer than you thought it would. Where you are right now in your life may not necessarily be where you thought you’d be. But if God tells you to wait, to stay, to move, to jump without knowing where on earth you’re going to land, DO IT. There is a reason for everything that God does or says, and you can be sure that it is a GOOD one. Trust Him, love. He knows what He’s doing. And this year is only the beginning.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
-Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG