From the beginning stages of life, the emotional bond of those around us help to shape our lives. As a child we started to perceive and began to mold our worlds from that of which we perceived, envisioned, and dreamed. We saw the imagery of the king, queen, castle, white horse, and carriage. We saw the picket fence, big house, small dog, and red door-frame. We saw the three-story home, huge driveway, 3-car garage, underground pool, and massive backyard.
We then progressed to a young adult and we no longer desired these things but we began to lust. We did not anticipate the heartache that followed the lust, which unlocked the doors to internal conflict and emotional strain. The battlefield of the mind was in full motion with attacks from every avenue mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
With adulthood brings along the desires for stability. This stage in life brings about the desires of a corporate job, executive suites, six figure incomes, superior accolades, family vacations, and travel itineraries.
Matthew 6:26 “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?”
We have all the time in the world, until we have none. That is, until something happens and things change that disrupt our plans, crush our spirit, and lead to the crying of our soul. It is times like that when we begin to question our judgment, our purpose, beliefs, and even self worth. We may even begin to feel stagnant and extend this phase of our life searching, seeking a sense of freedom, release, and sanity. This phase consists of a revolving door of emotions, heartache, heartbreak, and spiritual distress.
These phases of life are merely an example, however they are a true glimpse of my life. My life is somewhat like yours. The difference between my story and yours is simply the beginning. Many of my desires were crafted from television and my imagination. I am simply a small town girl born and raised in Pelham, GA. I remember waking up countless mornings, feeling the urge that I was not where God wanted me to be. I never understood the feeling nor did I ever truly know why I would wake up with a sense of urgency as if I would be leaving at any moment.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It took me a while to understand that that what concerns me concerns God. He cares for me and he cares enough for you to sweep you off your feet, show you his strength, and give you reassurance that greater things are forthcoming. I was once so consumed with the presence of God that it gave me an outer body experience unlike anything imaginable. It was a place of peace, perfection, and total submission where nothing else mattered. All of my worries were erased.
It was through my journey of finding God that the matters of the heart revealed themselves. It took a while before he slowly allowed me to see the beauty in the flowers, the pigments, hues, and the dimensions. I began to find joy in embracing the wind on a hot summer day while watching rain clouds approach and smelling the scent of the earth right before the rain. I became more self-aware and began to experience great comfort from long hugs, words of appreciation, and the smell of freshly baked soft cookies and brownie mix. My heart shifted from a superficial to a sensitive, soft and tender heart just for his liking.
I cultivated prayer and fasting in my life. I learned more about worship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit. I changed my lifestyle and changed my mind. I decided to try something new. I used the same intensity I had to make a better life and exchanged it to devote time towards learning more about God, how he loves, and what he says about love. I allowed him into my heart. In the presence of God, I allowed myself to be vulnerable, exposed, and unashamed. Will you allow him?
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
When you experience joy within your heart you cannot contain it, control it, nor ignore it. It flows from you naturally, uncontrollably, and instantaneously. When you experience pain you may feel heartbreak, a sense of mourning, withdrawal, and sadness. Will you expose yourself, your insecurities, and lay down your own desires to give God a chance?
Written by: Kaneica McNeil