Hello quirky readers, It’s been some time since I’ve written! I’ve been going through a process of growth and intentional time to look to God and learn to trust Him. To rely on Him for my needs. I’ve been feeling stuck, frustrated and confused. (I’m not trying to be dramatic, just honest.) You may relate to some of the situations I’ve been in over several past months. I hope that this encourages you!
Here’s a picture my friend drew for me about a year ago to emphasise a vision he had:
This is what he wrote along with it, “The gist and what I saw was a clay pot on a conveyor belt and it was heading into the fire filled kiln. The vision was very specific about not being in the kiln, because its very important to go through significant stages before your clay enters the kiln for curing. I saw the clay pot as one that was very beautiful, but as I said to you after we prayed, there were certain markings on the clay pot that had shown that the Father had been doing some work to remove the cuts and the scars. My interpretation was that God was doing some final preparation to either you and or your future life.”
RELEVANT! It seems I can closely relate this picture to my process over the past year! Here’s why!
When I returned from my 6 month YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Discipleship Training School in New Zealand and South East Asia, I’d felt like God wanted me to set aside an intentional period of time to refrain from working. I set aside the first month to make room for reconnecting with the life I’d once been used to. After the month passed I thought, okay that must be enough time surely, and actively started looking for work. Eight months and four unsuccessful or shortly lived jobs later, I wondered if perhaps I’d overlooked what God meant by not working. And there began a hard and unemployed 6 months of surrender!
There is a process God has been taking me through over the past year and intensely over the past 6 months. Just like the clay pot, I believe He wants to refine me, to prune me back ready for new growth, renew and open my mind, to teach me truthful perspectives about love, relationship and what it means to be successful. And so in taking one day at a time, I learned to pray more, to rely on God for provision, trust He was with me. I tried to find things to make my day purposeful and to define what it might be that I’d like to spend my future doing. (I still don’t know, but believe God is preparing me for a future that will glorify Him.) I read, researched, baked, drew, painted, tried to invest into relationships, checked Facebook Messenger more times that I’d like to admit, tried to help where I could, exercised, rested, prayed, worshipped, started this blog. In many ways it’s been the most challenging time of my life!
What God has done for me through this time however, has been incredible! I was down to my last $14 and God brought people along who approached me and offered me work when they didn’t even know I needed it! One job occurring only once a fortnight and the other lasted 3 weeks (even fitting perfectly into the time I planned to visit other friends in that area, as it was a long way from home!). However short or small, these jobs helped get me through the last few months with enough money to live by, (also thanks to my kind hearted parents whom let me live at home!) and I was able to bless the people I was working for in providing help in their times of need! It was a perfect way for God to show His love and provision to all involved! Isn’t that awesome?! See God knows our needs, Matthew 6:7-8 (ESV) “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
It felt like God was saying to me, “Jacia, you can rely on me and I will provide for your every need.” In Matthew 6:25-30 (ESV) Jesus says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
What I didn’t realise until I went for a stroll this morning.. rather yesterday morning, (as it’s now past 12am) down our lovely long, tree laden driveway, was that the peace I had about not working was gone, and that once it had left it was likely time to step out in something new and know that Jesus would help me through it. I didn’t notice that recently I had been limiting God in my thoughts and fears! Conviction alert!! I realised that I’d become afraid to step out incase I failed, and perhaps even though it pains me to say so, lazy! I’ve been waiting for God to open a door of opportunity when I think He wants me to go after something He’s already given me passion for. To be bold and make a decision. To trust Him and step out on the water. I’d forgotten that what ever I choose to do, He guides me in and works together for good. (Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.) And so far this has been true for all my choices. Even when I’ve been hurt and doors have closed, if I’m willing, there is always something good God can teach me through it. We can’t limit Him! So if I really trust God I’ll choose something and He’ll bless it and work through closing and opening doors as I continue to take steps of faith.
In this journey I have been at no loss, because all the way through God has been with me, shaping and refining my character. Preparing me for what’s to come (whatever that may be!). I see that He’s giving me strength in knowing I can rely on Him wholly. These experiences will never leave me!
So lets be bold together! What step of faith can we take today? God’s peace is the best guide in making decisions, so peace to you my friends and may you be encouraged and continue to embrace who you are in every circumstance!