Living Life Purposefully

Where Purpose Meets Passion

Tag Archives: Faith Notes

Faith Note: What Will You Harvest

orchard in bloom

I spent over ten years of my life running from my issues. I busied myself with doing the necessary work to break damaging cycles in my life; but I did it all with the hope that it would change the people around me. I spent that time focused on the wrong things and the wrong people.

The realization that I needed to work on myself – Me, and me alone – hit me after I spent a year of losing almost everything. After spending time approaching life differently, I’d finally started to feel as though things were working out in my favor. I had a car that I was no longer anxious about driving, I had a better relationship with my Mom and brother even though we didn’t speak much, and I had a job that I was okay with going to.

All of that changed in August 2017. I was stopped while driving for an expired brake tag and things began to unravel quickly in my personal life. My Dad passed away, my car was repossessed, I found out two student loan accounts had gone to collection, and I started to struggle financially. Still? I wouldn’t break. There was a steadfast resolve in my spirit to fix whatever I thought was broken.

That is – until July 2018.

I saw the beginning of my 32nd through blurred vision because I spent the majority of that day and time crying. I felt lost. I felt little hope. I felt invisible and worthless. I felt like I had questions that God refused to answer. And? I felt angry. I felt the kind of anger that burns everything around it until I was exhausted. This anger was the culmination of years of being silent and silenced. There was a lot there and it took a long time to work through it.

Eventually, I did. I would ask God questions until I couldn’t think to ask anything else. The answer would always be the same, “Look at where you are.”

In the beginning, it felt like a mocking reply to someone who was hurting. Over time, I began to realize the instruction meant I needed to realize that where I was – the very place I found myself – was exactly where I needed to be. This was where I was to sow my seeds and wait for the harvest. For someone who spent the better part of her life trying to solve problems and “move on,” this was the hardest thing to do.

“Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the Lord…That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither–whatever they do prospers.” – Psalm 1:1-3

That Bible verse – one I’d read before – seemed to offer a new perspective to my problems. I felt like I was drowning in things trying to fix them when the answer was simple – get out from under my issues. Little by little, I started to forgive myself for my unwillingness to face my problems where I stood. That forgiveness started to chip away at the burdens that my heart felt and it began to open my eyes to different solutions. I started to focus on myself and simply commit to blessing those around me with my words.

As I did, I started to see the first blooms of what was to come. I’m at a point now where I haven’t seen the fruit of my harvest, but I’m determined to be content with what shows up. It took me close to 30 years to begin this necessary work and I’m okay with not rushing the process with my impatience. After all, everything happens in due season whether we are ready or not.

With gratitude,

Ms. C. Jayné

 

Faith Notes: Into the Fog

Foggy Road

Wow! It’s been a while since I broke out my laptop to share my thoughts here. I think it’s fitting that the first time I’ve sat down to write something has been inspired by uncertainty while praying for a lifestyle makeover in the new year.

A quick confession if you’re new here – I’m a recovering perfectionist (I talk about it here). Part of my problem when it comes to remaining committed to something is worrying the outcome won’t match my idea of success. So? I eventually give things up. However, 2018 showed me that isn’t the way to live. It’s not how God designed me.

“So what am I to do?”

That question has been on my mind since I realized what committing to my purpose would actually look like. I tried different things that didn’t seem to fit my personality, my style, or the way I process emotions. But driving to church on a foggy Sunday morning changed all of that.

As someone who has serious anxiety while driving, I had to chuckle that unfavorable weather conditions made me feel the safest I’d felt on the road in a while. The reason was simple – I couldn’t see the obstacles (other drivers, traffic, etc.) and visibility was reduced to three car lengths ahead at most. I quietly reflected on how this mirrored my spiritual walk: I was fine with knowing my purpose but absolutely terrified if I saw too much of the journey ahead of me. If you’re anything like me, you have probably encountered the same feeling of feeling inadequate for the journey your purpose requires.

Those thoughts all beg the question: how many times have we given up on a dream or ignored the direction of our spirit because we saw the obstacles ahead of us? Like me, you’ve done this more than you care to admit. And? You’re probably starting to realize your forward progress being hampered was more about your fear you’d have to fight the battle before you. While it’s fine for those fears and questions to rise in your spirit, it’s important to remember that you are not on any road that you’re not supposed to be on. There isn’t any direction you can move in that won’t lead you to where you need to go. The question for you to answer is will you continue to try to fight your obstacles yourself; or will you give up needing to know everything and ask God to cover you?

That’s for you to decide.

In 2019, it is my hope you continue to walk into the fog & trust God in ordering your steps. It is my prayer that the fog serves as a reminder that things will work out and whatever needs to be moved out of your path is done before you have to take that step.

With gratitude,

Ms. C. Jayné

God Knows.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

It’s a beautiful verse. Many people look to it for confirmation of better things to come when going through something difficult. So…here’s the thing — I think we’ve misunderstood the context of that verse because we don’t read the verses surrounding it. In essence, the beginning of Jeremiah 29 is a message to Jerusalem (God’s people). But more than that? It’s a reminder. Jeremiah 29 not only contains messages of joy, peace, and comfort.

It’s instruction of the highest order – it’s God reminding his people of the agreement they made in following him. So let’s talk the key points of these verses, shall we?

I. Prosper Where God Places You

At this time, God’s people were in a foreign place & captivity. The Elders at the time knew WHY they were there (God made it pretty clear) & knew eventually they’d be in a better place. Even in knowing they’d be in a “lower” position socially, God still gave a very clear instruction – THRIVE. They were commanded to live “as if” they had never lost their position as God’s favored. The reality is they hadn’t lost favor even though circumstances suggested they had.

That’s the thing about life. Difficult circumstances manage to convince us that we aren’t worth our weight in gold. Life will suggest we don’t matter. Complicated relationships will blur our vision on who we truly are.

And that’s where we start to ask, “Well, what’s the point?”

The point is that our lives – and who we are really – are our callings and we are to serve God (your Creator as you know of them) even in the most humbling positions. It’s tough but that’s…just how the cookie crumbles.

Live even when you don’t seem to count. Thrive anyhow.

II. There’s No Such Thing as an Unknown Place

Life doesn’t present unexpected circumstances. It’s a series of transactions that follow the formula of “If I do A, then B is a possibility.”

What makes circumstances seem unexpected is that we never expect the worst to happen. We like to bet on the best thing while saying we’ll be ok with just the good. We go through life unfairly using grace, mercy, love, & forgiveness as tools to manipulate people/things to work in our favor. It’s an ugly truth to swallow (I’ve been sitting on this admission for weeks). We apologize with the hope it’s enough to not be held responsible for our behaviors. We pray with hope that a miracle shows up to get out of trouble we shouldn’t be in.

Here’s the thing – accountability matters and you can’t grow to who you are supposed to be running from it. The thing about true, authentic, and actual accountability is that it takes place in parts.

First? You know better. Then? You do better. Finally? You teach what’s better.

This is why you see generationS (plural) of God’s people in captivity. The separation was intentional. The question being asked of you when you’re the foreigner is: “Do you confirm what’s in your spirit or conform to what’s around you?”

Being an outsider tests your commitment to promises you make because it’s easy to get caught up in what the ppl around you do. Not only that but when you’re the “Odd One Out,” your behavior is easier to spot. What you do “right” stands out just as much as what you do “wrong.” And when you stand out? You find yourself explaining why you do things differently more than you’d like.

III. Acceptance (Actual Acceptance) is a Part of Obedience

This is something I struggle with but there is something to be said about the freedom that comes with saying, “This is where I am. This is what my life is. Okay.”

Acceptance is “Let your will be done.” in action. Acceptance is present-tense. The blessing in actual acceptance is that you live in a space of who I am now isn’t who I used to be or who I’m growing to be. It’s acknowledging everything about yourself and striving towards better anyhow. Authentic acceptance is what allows you to accept the blessings that come your way even when you feel you aren’t deserving (because 9/10, you know you could have done things with more care and concern than you wanted to have at any given moment).

And it’s THAT kind of acceptance God (cosmic laws in general) wants us to approach living purposefully with. When you aren’t accepting, you start to list out the things you thought you were supposed to have & the timeline you expected it.

My point…

Why be determined to live a life outside of God’s promise for you?

Stop questioning the good stuff because you’re focused on your (un)worthiness. There is no way to fulfill your purpose here when you decide to postpone or refuse blessings God has promised you.