Life is all about transfer. Everyday, we make exchanges or give of ourselves in one way or another. We give things like our money, energy, time, love, joy, peace, stress, thoughts, hearts, etc. all the time. I can guarantee that you gave something to somebody today. Regardless of whether you knew that person, whether you got to see/hear their reaction, or whether you know what they did with whatever you provided, you gave something to somebody today. Now, I’m not here to bash giving. Anybody who’s been to any church during offering has heard that it’s better to give than to receive, but I want to push past your giving & ask a more specific question: what are you giving? I’ve learned that sometimes, what I’m giving out is more important than the action of giving itself.
"I had a thought…that took me on a journey…that had a checkpoint in Jeremiah. There’s a scripture in the second chapter that talks about God’s people essentially exchanging God’s glory for something worthless. My first question: WHY?! Who gives up the glory?! Then, I realized that people do it all…the…time. We trade peace for inner chaos every time we stress about…essentially anything. We trade strength for fear when we refrain from doing something (that God Himself told us to do) because we’re scared of failure. We trade eternal (and internal) things for our temporal circumstances daily. Every minute that you spend scared, or sad, or worried, or in bondage is a minute that you could’ve spent free, joyful, or in complete peace. As most of us know, this is easier said than done, but the fact still stands that it can be done. Transfers are everywhere. They’re in the Bible (sow in tears, reap in joy; gain the world, lose your soul). They’re in the church (praises go up, blessings come down). They’re in your life. Don’t believe me? Think about….
Where You’ve Been. Have you ever really thought about what it took to get to this point? There are struggles that we don’t even remember anymore (but they were MAJOR in the moment). Personally, I’ve made quite a few transfer in my short lifetime. First, I tried making transfers with people. I tried to trade in who I was for who I thought they wanted me to be (wouldn’t recommend it, failed every time). I tried blending in (also, consistent failure…I’m terrible at blending where I don’t belong lol). I ended up trying to trade in the essence of who I’m called to be for the ever changing opinions of people who never even noticed. Then, I decided to actually try trading something with Jesus. I had to give up a lot of stuff. I’ve lost plenty of relationships (that I reallllllly wanted). I’ve lost a few opportunities. I’ve lost chances to be…normal (“normal" never feels right to me lol). A lot of things have been cut from me. Whether I wanted to give it up in the moment or not, I traded it in when I got serious about Christ (and to some degree, before I got serious). Now, am I saying this to whine & complain about the sad, sad life of the chosen? Nahhhhh, because I see now that while I the transfers I tried to make with people would’ve led to more pain, the transfer that I made with Christ led me to you! It brought me to your phone, your computer, etc. The transfer I made with Christ has brought me to this beautiful experience that I call my life. Everything I’ve ever been through has shaped the grace that I live in today. That’s why I have my ‘blessing bowls’: to keep consistent reminders around me that I have in fact been through some (crazy) stuff….and I’ve survived. My blessing bowls are consistent reminders that I have fought to become this woman, and if I won those battles with Him, I can surely survive whatever’s ahead. We should never forget the transfers that God has already completed on our behalf, because that’s where part of our power lies: if He’s done it before, He can surely do it again.
Where You Are. What are you trading in this moment? Have you traded joy for stress? Have you traded power for your plans (because you can’t get God’s promise without following God’s plan)? I’m not here to bash you, I’m here to help you realize the value of what you’re giving up, and to help you see what you’ve given it up for. We pray for peace as if God hasn’t already equipped us with it. We search for hope as if it’s hiding in a bush. Recognize that if you’re trading anything it’s already in your possession. So, if you now realize that you’re trading hope for negativity, I need you to go one step further & realize that hope is in your hand. If you’re trading peace for stress or chaos, realize that peace is in your hand. Everything you need has already been given to you. God knew that this would happen. He knew hell would break loose. He knew everything would fall apart. That’s why He placed that strength inside of you. That’s why He placed that peace inside of you. everything that you need to persevere is in your possession. Work what you have, and watch it work for you. Work the faith you have, and watch it work for you. Work the little bit of strength that you have, and watch it work for you. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but the God we serve is capable of magnifying things (and people) that don’t quite meet up to the standards of society. He takes what appears to be little, and makes it mighty enough to move mountains, shift destines, and change lives. Mustard seed, anyone?
Where You’re Going. We’ve all made our fair share of transfers in our lifetimes, and there are so many more ahead. Every new level requires that we give up what we have, and sometimes what we want, for what we need. We can shout about the shift until Jesus returns, but that shout has no value if we aren’t willing to go through the necessary sacrifice. Something has to come out of your life to make room for what’s coming in. Otherwise, you end up with all of this extra, useless, counterproductive baggage. Your transfer could include you refraining from something. For example, I’m in school. If I want to graduate, I can’t go out every night. I can’t do what I want all day every day. I can’t sleep until noon, and then sit around watching Scandal for the rest of the day. I’m also losing weight. That means that I can’t eat Chicken Express (despite this desire for diabetic tea lol), Dominos, and just about every other food item that so easily accommodates my lifestyle. In order to reach my goals, there are some things that I can’t do. That’s the sacrifice that I have to pay for the shift that’s in progress. That’s my transfer: what I want in exchange for what will make me more beneficial. Next level achievements require ‘next level’ sacrifices. It’s time to stop trading what we need for how we feel, and time to trade in where we are for where we’re destined to be.
So, regardless of what you’re going through, I don’t want you to trade your peace (or hope, joy, etc.) for anything. This storm is temporary; your peace is eternal. The enemy will offer you things that look good, and appear to be relief, but trust me when I say that it just an invitation for additional bondage. Pay attention to the costs of the trade. Distractions come with a costs. Wasted time costs you something. Worrying costs you something, and it’s always more than what you would’ve had if you’d just stayed still and known that He is yet God.
BUT before you get caught up in what you’ve mistakenly given away, know that God is still capable, ready, and willing to restore. He’ll restore the time. He’ll restore the peace. He’ll restore the joy. He gave it to you in the first place, so He definitely has the power to put it back where it belongs. One thing that I love about God is that He never changes His mind about us. So your purpose is still valid. That peace is still there. That joy is still there. You may have traded it, but He created it, and He’s ever ready to restore what you’ve lost (even if you gave it away). So keep your head up. Write the vision. Make it clear. Ask for God to restore the time, and use it when He gives it! It’s time to trade the sorrow we do have for our joy. It’s time to give all of the bondage that we’ve picked up along the way to Jesus, and to watch Him turn what held us down into our testimonies. You may have traded it, but if you take what you have to Him, I guarantee He’ll give you something better. Try it, and let me know what happens.
Background Music: Trading My Sorrows - Israel & New Breed
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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