As a church kid, I can't tell you how many times I’ve heard preachers scream people into a frenzy, tell them to turn around & say that as they turned around, God was turning their situations around. I can't tell you how many times I have seen people turn around until they almost fall out because they’re dizzy. I also can't tell you how many of those people did all of that spinning...and still walked home in bondage.
Now, don't get me wrong, I’m not saying that those things don't work. I’m definitely not saying that God can’t turn your situation around if you have faith (or that it has to be slooooowww). I’m not saying that you don't need to do things like that to increase your faith sometimes, or that visuals don't help us in certain moments. What I am saying is that church has taught us to see the end game, & some people are so busy shouting about the end game that we don't ask for the strength to get to it. To be perfectly honest (maybe this is just me, but I’m gonna say it anyway), sometimes the promise alone isn't enough. That’s coming...at some point in the future ("in God’s good timing, baby"), but I’m struggling today. How can I get the promise tomorrow, next month, next year, etc. if I don't make it through today?!
A few months ago, I kept hearing that a shift was coming. Like, literally, EVERYBODY was saying it. In most of the church services I went to, private time with God, I kept seeing, hearing, & feeling that a shift was coming. When you say stuff like that in a church, people lose their minds because they know that their weeping has endured for a night, & baaaaaaby morning is coming with a new dose a joy!!!! *cue church frenzy* But there’s a very important piece between the promise being spoken, and the promise being manifested. The shift is not automatic. It’s not instant. It can take a bit longer than you spinning around. The shift will most likely last longer than the shout & dance you gave when you heard it was coming. How do you get to "the shift"? That’s where I am, & that’s what I wanna talk about for a bit today.
So I heard the shift was coming, gave God my good praise in my apartment, sat down, & waited (because GREATER IS COMING!!!). Then...I spilled water on my Mac, then...I got in a wreck & totaled my car, then I started to wonder if I really heard God tell me that my law school expenses would be covered or if I was just high on emotion. My entire life...every piece of it...began to change at a rate & in a way that I had never expected. My car is gone, my money is leaving just as quickly as it came, & ummmm, Jesus, I dont know if you’ve paid attention to this ever so small detail, but uhhhh...August 1st is in 2 weeks...and nobody has come through with this tuition & rent money. I wanted the shift. I got excited about the shift. I told God I was ready for the shift...and never thought to consider what it would cost me.
Then, I began to stop seeing my life as scattered puzzle pieces, & looked at the big picture. I had to see how they were all connected. I had to step out of my emotions, out of my ever so pitiful pity party, and try to see what God was doing. I realized that even when my life was in shambles, He was holding the shambles. Yeah, I spilled water on my trackpad, but there wasn't any damage to my computer, & I had the money to buy another trackpad. Yes, my car got totaled, but I went from a driving a 2009 Focus to driving a 2013 Camry (and a 2016 Sorento in the mean time!). It hurts, it’s nowhere near easy, & I feel like everyday is a battle between what I see & what I heard, but...this is the shift.
See, I think that a lot of times, when we shout about “the shift”, we’re actually shouting about the results. The shift itself can really hurt. The Shift is actually your life falling apart (that’s exciting, huh?!). But, once it’s over (because trust me, nothing but Jesus lasts forever), you’ll be a better person. Your faith will be stronger. Your testimony will be more powerful. You’ll be upgraded in some, if not every, area of your life. How do you get to the end, you ask? Let’s handle that & go about our God given business, yes?
You get through The Shift by leaning on God. You have to constantly remind yourself who God is & what He can do. You have to decide what you believe every day. You have to read the Bible, & take it in as more than words on pages or a device. You have to completely depend on God to be your strong tower and your shelter in the storm. You have to worship (realllly worship) & tell God when you feel weak. You have to depend on Him completely & realize that He really is everything that your mama, grandmama, etc. said. You have to stick with God. That’s how you make it through the Shift: you take each day as it comes & lean on God as much as you possibly can. Call on Him, and I promise you He’ll respond.
You are allowed to cry. You’re allowed to feel sad. You’re allowed to get weak. Suga, I know you’ve convinced yourself that you’re a superman/woman, but you’re human. If God expected you to do His job or be Him, you’d be God 2.0. Since you’re not, let yourself feel what’s going on around you. Then, take those worries, that sadness, that loneliness, etc. all to the Cross, drop it at His feet, & get some joy..some peace...pick up a smile or 2. You can’t see it, you may not even be able to see or feel Him, but I can guarantee you that He’s there. He’s intentional. So when it happened, He wasn't surprised. He knew about it, & He also set a plan in motion that’ll lift you a little bit higher. Look at your situation through God’s eyes, and the big issues in your life will start to look like ants.
A little "background music" for this post (to know me is to know that I can't, well..don't, do much w/o my music): Intentional by Travis Greene (JAMS!! Take a listen)
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?
Within the first year, Church Decoded was viewed over 15,000 times! FIF...TEEN....THOUSAND!....IN A YEAR! I am SO grateful to everybody that has ever read, shared, and/or liked a blog post. Ya'll have truly blown my mind. Let's keep telling (our lives) His story!