Today's Submission is part of our new Thursday's Thoughts. As promised, I will have various submissions by women of Faith who also have a very special and poignant word for us. Please enjoy these submissions as I have. Log on to Bonnie's Blog at extendedhope.com and leave her a comment.
By Bonnie Alvarado
I like the old saying that tells you to “Bloom Where You’re Planted”. Some might prefer to say it like this: “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade”. There is something significant in both of these phrases that the Lord has shown me.
I became a Christian nearly twenty years ago. When I began to serve the Lord, things were good. I was filled with the fire of God and life was flowing nicely. Little did I know then that being a Christian did not make me exempt from life’s blows. I was thrown a blow in my marriage that I never expected, anticipated, or deserved. It was a blow I was unprepared for, and one that would prove to break me or make me. I’m proud to tell you that those hurtful blows have helped to make me what I am today, but it did not come without a whole lot of breaking first.
With the hurt in my marriage came a draining of my spirit.=2 0A draining of everything good that I once believed in myself for. Prior to the obstacles, I had been fairly confident in the abilities that God had given me, and I was filled with a limitless outlook of what God could use me for. With the challenges and hurt however, I felt as though everything that was once possible had been sucked away by the defeat that satan was constantly trying to convince me of. Oh yes, the enemy loves to whisper defeat when we’re walking through struggle. I tried hard not to feed those whispers, but ultimately my passion and confidence had disappeared. I no longer felt able to do the things that once ignited my soul. I went through a real mourning because of this. I felt so much had been robbed from me.
I wish I could say that this struggle passed and never returned, but that‘s not how the story goes. The struggle unfortunately continued on for years in phases of victory and defeat. That pattern alone can be exhausting, and it was when I finally got tired of being sick and tired that I was pushed to apply the word of God to my life and my circumstances like I had never done before. I learned that if I were to win, I had to apply the word of God to EVERYTHING in my life, and do so without an ounce of doubt, or self pity. I had to look ahead and press on. Surely God could have delivered me from the hurt and disappointments if He wanted to, but He didn't. I knew there had to be a reason that He didn't, and that it was not because He had abandoned me. He allowed the adversity to be used to grow my faith, endurance, perseverance, and character. With that growth came a bigger degree of how He could use me for His glory.
With my determined application of God's word and the perseverance that God was growing in me daily, came true victory! Here's what I learned in that process and would like to share with you.
Many individuals/churches/organizations will communicate that you shouldn't be serving others if your life is not in complete order. God showed me differently, though. I believe in the importance of having your life in order, but I also understand that sometimes situations will occur that are not directly related to bad decisions that you made personally. We will sometimes, unfortunately, experience the repercussions of poor decisions that have been made by those we love. Although it hurts, I learned that even then, you can “Bloom Where You're Planted” and “Make Lemonade With Those Lemons”.
I want to tell you that you have been designed for a significant purpose that God can only accomplish through YOU! If there’s been a robbery going on in your life, you better know right now that it is because the enemy of your soul has been shaking in his boots over you. He will stop at nothing to stop you, and he knows that stealing your passion, God given dreams and visions is the way for him to do it.
The poor choices that others perhaps have made, are not a representation of YOUR gifting or passion for the Father. Realize that every obstacle you face, whether by your own doing or not, only represents another attribute of calling and victory that can be added to your life, if you'll let it!
I say, "raise up!" Walk out those giftings that He's embedded inside of you. In your pain and disappointment, reach out to others! Your circumstances do not determine your ability. Take your trials in stride. Learn from them, grow from them, and continue to press into the purposes of God.
It may not look like a garden of roses right at the moment, but believe you me, you can still bloom for His glory! It's your very life that will create that garden of roses. And the lemons may still be sitting up on the counter. But, get busy mixing and know that your perseverance is the perfect sweetness for that lemonade.
Many people are waiting to drink it right now! My dear sisters, may you continue to press in and press on!
Shoes by NaNa ~Emely in Lemon