#AFearlessLife, Faith, Forgiveness, Intimacy, Peace, Praise, Prayer, Scripture, Thanksgiving, Trials, Trust

Trust, Thanksgiving, and Turn-Around

Keeping Balance On Uneven, Unsteady Ground
Kimberly N. Alleyne

I just closed the door to one of the most painful, heart-shattering, numbing situations I have ever encountered as an adult. The season came with a host of trials that transcended every area of my life. For many months I was on a rollercoaster; at the time I felt as though I’d be riding it forever. Then I eventually found my way off the rollercoaster (I jumped) only to find myself on a seesaw. There were fewer upheavals and upsets on the seesaw, but I was still doing spiritual and emotional somersaults. I knew I had to get off the seesaw just like I had with the rollercoaster, but for the longest time I could not figure out how or what to do.

I found myself drowning in anger, resentment, hatred, and unforgiveness. I wanted out of the deep, but every time I tried to get out of the waters, I lost air and got weaker. I knew I had to pull away to chase God more frantically than I ever had…my life depended on it. I was desperate for healing, for deliverance. I was desperate not to drown. I had to find a way to stay afloat until I could find an escape.

Normally when I find myself in the  midst of a trial, I reach out to close friends and spiritual leaders for counsel and prayer support. I pray, study, and fast and repeat. At some  point during this war I got a revelation that I had to press in and push back with all the might I had, like never before. My life really did hang on my battle plan, and that was clear to me. This journey was a turning point for me emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially, and professionally. This time around, I definitely prayed, and fasted and dove into the Word; but something was markedly different about me, and my strategy to get out of the deep waters. Instead of seeking counsel from others, I sought only the Lord. The problem with counsel, some times, is that it’s rooted in self: experiences, judgements, and opinions. I didn’t have time for that. I needed to hear what the Lord was saying, not the opinions of any one person. I did not need to clutter my mind with the thoughts and opinions of others who, while they did not have poor intentions, simply could not help me in the way I needed. Early on during this season, a couple of folks shared their unsolicited opinion (and judgments) about a professional situation, and I was quickly reminded that it is not always necessary to confide in others. Their words hurt me, and made me feel worse.

I stripped. I Took Everything Off. I Got Completely Naked. I Didn’t Hold Anything Back.

I stopped talking, and except for helicopter updates, I stopped sharing. I spent time with my Daddy. I poured out everything that was in my heart. Nothing I said surprised him; and even better, He didn’t criticize me or judge me. He simply allowed me to crawl into His lap and wail in fear, humiliation, and deep hurt. I told Him who I was angry with, and why. He was on the list. I was angry with Him because I could not understand why He had allowed me to experience such pain and heartache. I stripped. I got completely naked and I told Him every thing. Every. Thing.  I didn’t hold back any thing. Any. Thing. That cleansing did not happen in one visit. It was –is– ongoing. But it was the beginning of my new beginning. It was the beginning of another glory for me, new levels of strength, wisdom, discernment, maturity, and trust.

Trust

Ah, yes. Trust. Trust was at the heart of this nearly year-long lesson. Once I understood that, I had the answers to the test. I had to trust God on a level that I never had. I realize now that prior to this time of brokenness and reflection, I did not understand what trust was. Trust, or lack of it, is at the root of my commitment issues, and why it is so incredibly easy for me to end relationships. Abandonment and rejection are also deep roots, but the focus of this lesson was TRUST. Nothing else. I had to do a lot of heart work. Major heart surgery. For once I looked at myself through God’s eyes, not anyone else’s. I rejected comments about my personality, my facial expressions, my habits, and all other criticisms that do nothing to feed or edify me. I learned to turn a deaf ear that garbage; I cried out for that ability. During this time, I got free and delivered from feeling the need to explain or justify my personality, who I am, or my preferences. I am who I am. God approves me, and that’s enough for me. I am done with approval addiction. I need God’s approval and I have it without effort or exercise. I only need to hear what the Lord says about me, and see me how He sees me.

You know those verses that are easy to cite because they’re so popular and common, and seemingly always applicable? Well, during this time I came heart-to-heart with a passage that I have always cited and used to encourage others, but never really allowed it to sink deep into my heart. Proverbs 3: 5-8.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths (will make your paths straight). Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to they navel, and marrow to they bones.”

This beautiful lagas Word became a rhema Word to me in an arresting and dramatic way. It was my “aha” moment in the spirit realm. It was an emancipation word. I removed my shackles and got off the seesaw with that Word. The journey was hard, and maddening, and painful, and frightful. I felt like I was on a cobblestone path in four-inch heels. I don’t want to go back, to take the exam again. I got it. I finally got it. After all these years, it feels amazing to be free from [crippling] doubt, fear, buoying self-esteem, abandonment, rejection, and most the important, the opinions of others. Wow. I would not choose to take the journey again, but I am immensely thankful for it.

Once I understood how to purely trust God, and God alone, that understanding shifted my praise to a new level. I love to dance, and I often dance as I commune with the Lord. I don’t need music; there are so many types of dances, and music is only a bonus. I danced all over my little space. I even made flags and banners in various colors and sizes. I waved them and declared that, “The enemy has been taken.” Some days I only had enough wherewithal to utter that one sentence. Other days I danced around like I was on Soul Train, going down the Soul Train line. Ha! I guess I was on a “soul train” of sorts when I think back on it. I did what I could, but I did something. And the whole while I put the enemy on notice that his reign of terror in my life–my heart and soul–was OVER. His resistance was real. Very real. But I kept pushing. I kept quiet except before the Lord. I prayed. I danced. I studied. I fasted. And then…then I found peace. Then I felt the peace of God in a way that only a mature daughter of God can. I am so over the enemy’s dumb, played-out tactics. He does even bother to change up his strategy. Same stuff, same m-o every single time.

I knew my victory was in trust and thanksgiving, and I refused to let anyone or any circumstance take me off course. At some point along the way, my turn-around came. All I prayed for manifested. I praise God for those answers to prayers; but the real praise is in the journey, and all the heart- and soul-work I did leading up to the physical manifestation. It was the spiritual piece that got me through and over. I found rest, dominion rest and I like it here. I am going to pitch my tent here, and let Daddy expand me far and wide.

Trust. Thanksgiving, and Turn-around. I don’t need to re-take the trust exam. I got it. I finally passed!

Photo credit: harmishhk via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: neeravbhatt via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

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