I’ve been recollecting over the past year and how things have changed in my life; changed in ways in which the Lord has faithfully answered my prayers that once were bravely prayed one night in April as I was exhausted with the pain in which my soul felt, but oh, how the words in which I write breathe true to my bones.
The sleepless nights.
And the only strength I had on some days was the strength to get out of bed and place a smile upon my face.
Friends, that was me eight months ago; deep in pain as I thought God was far from me. One day in early February, I sat on my floor wondering why I couldn’t feel God in that moment. I cried to to Him, prayed to Him, begged for Him, and yearned for Him, and yet I felt nothing, Numbness is a better word, for the tears I had cried became quiet sobs that no longer were able to project sound.
The pain in which I was going through was one caused by God saying “No, not right now” and “I have something else” to something I wanted, something I thought was “for sure mine with my name on it.” The thing in which God closed the door to was something I had anticipated to be mine for over a year and a half; therefore, as you can imagine, the heartache I felt when God said “Not now” was heart wrenching. However, it caused me to feel one thing; one thing in which Joseph felt in the dungeon.
Feeling far from God in the moments where the dungeon was all to cold.
However, the dungeon was needed for Joseph to become the prince God promised him he would become, for if Joseph would have presumed the Lord’s promises before being refined, fine tuned, and prepared, it would have become a curse; a curse due to lack of spiritual preparation and a curse due to having impurities deep in the spirit that were not glorifying to the Lord.
And the same happened to me; refinement every single day for the past eight months.
At the beginning of the year, I had trouble trusting the faithfulness of God, which I so humbly admit. My faith in God was dependent on the reality of my circumstances, and the moment a wave came arrived threatening to pull me under, my ability to have faith was shaking and limited.
At the beginning of the year, I was impatient; yearning to jump to the next seasons rather than reflecting on the goodness of God right now while trusting that He was the author of my life while being steadfast in trusting that He will do what He will do.
At the beginning of the year, I battled perfection; yearning to be perfect at all that she did, which riddled with me stress beyond compare when troubled waters arose in my soul.
And my friends, each of those very things were torn down, exposed, and evicted within my spirit by the Lord like a band-aid being ripped off quickly; burning to the skin, but less painful in the long run. However, the way the Lord had to do such things was not by leaving me or forsaking me, but by placing me in the dungeon just like Joseph was. Was God with me as I cried, as I felt the pain, and as I walked the dryness of the wilderness? Oh, yes He was, but was He silent so that I could listen? Yes.
I felt ever so far from God, but as I felt far from God, the Lord was working in the background, bringing up the impurities in which were not glorifying to Him. My perfectionism, my lack of trust in Him, my inability to wait, each for these things were brought to the feet of the throne as I sought Him and his Kingdom.
And my friends, on April 23rd, the Lord’s presence was like a burning flame to my spirit as He confronted me as I finally let go of the pen, and in that beautiful moment, He told me “Seek me first.” That was all He said; nothing more and nothing else, and the moment I started to just seek Him, the moment I let go of the pen to my life, and the moment I just said “Lord, I want you,” that was when things began to change.
Oh, how the fire in my spirit was a burning flame like never before. The wilderness I walked went from dead vegetation to bringing forth life all around. The prayers in which I prayed became intricate, life-breathing, and tender prayers that were prayed with my head bowed in adoration of the One who sat on the throne; the one worthy of all the praise.
His Word began to become ever so precious to me as the Lord changed my spirit and my heart. With each bad trait in my soul, He began to weave within me a heart that desired Him more, yearned for Him more, and wanted more oh Him. From where I was on my bathroom floor wondering where He was, I then knew where He was the entire time; in my heart working on the lack of spirit growth; the growth holding me back from His will being done.
And here I am now; fully basking in His presence while in awe and adoration of the promises He’s breathed to my soul. The pen is no longer in my hands, and with such lack of control, I feel joyful. Joyful of knowing that He numbered my steps before I was born, joyful when knowing that His faithfulness isn’t dependent on circumstances, and joyful when knowing that I am not perfect and don’t have to be.
I am joyful in His love, radiating at His throne, and happy in His presence.
And through such freedom, His presence could be found. Through my lac of faith, He felt far from me, for I had to learn a lesson; I had to go through the beautiful process of refinement to be what the Lord wanted me to be.
My friends, I know I’m not alone, for that feeling of God being distant is all too well. One minute we are passionate for the Lord, ever so drenched in His presence, and the next we find ourselves wondering where He went, where the burning flame went, and where His presence is, and it is frightening. However, if you feel alone, just know that even though you cannot see Him, feel Him, or know what He is doing, He is working in your heart right now, for refinement doesn’t feel good and is messy.
And my friend, eight months ago I sat on my bathroom floor in tears, but I am now in full adoration of who He is. Within the last eight month, I joined a Christian community that has brought forth more joy to my spirit in the Lord. Within the last eight months, I have joined two new Bible studied that are both equally edifying and uplifting to my spirit that bring forth raw and tender conversations about the Lord and His goodness. Within the last eight months, I have cried with other believers, worshipped with other believers, prayed with other believers, and fellowshipped with other believers as we poured out our praise to Him. However, most importantly, over the past eight months, I went from being a woman who held the pen ever so tightly to her life to a woman who let it go.
Do I still anticipate His promises and have desires in which I yearn for? Yes, for the Lord doesn’t discount our desires, for He is the giver of such desires, for such desires are natural, but do I seek Him first above all else? Oh, rightfully so. Therefore, to the person who doesn’t feel God and to the person who feels as if they are walking a broken road, this broken road in which you walk will lead to the tender presence of God at the feet of the throne; the throne where that will cultivate a love for Him that is never-ending, unrelenting, and ever so steadfast that it burns like a slow and steady flame.
It is not a spark that only lasts for the length of a worship song, but it lasts through the day, night, morning, and through the days in which we feel down. Oh, during the second of when it seems like God is far, the most beautiful things can happen, for your spirit is being molded to declare His faithfulness in boldness and truth, for like Job, Joseph, and Habakkuk, they had to go through such heartbreaking wonderings of where God was to become faithful men who declared the faithfulness of God through every valley and every low.
And I went through that same process and the most beautiful thing the Lord could have ever done was break my heart, for it made this heart of mine love Him more.
Therefore to the person who feels far form God, He is working on your heart; molding you into the person He needs you to be while He brings up such traits that prevent Him from writing the story in which glories Him.
You have to be willing to put down the pen in which you are holding onto.
You have to be willing to humble your spirit into refinement.
And you have to be the one willing to seek Him first, for it is He that is the only stable foundation and the fount that will never run dry.
Oh, but when you do such things, such things that require bold faith, His presence becomes an all consuming fire that burns ever so slowly and ever so steadfast. Therefore, to the person who fees as if God is far away, seek Him first, and I promise that this dungeon in which you sitting in will burst open with the Lord bring a reckoning in your soul; a reckoning that will bring you all the more closer to the throne where your spirit shall sing, “Lord, be magnified in me always.”
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:3-4