"Let me ask you something... if a man prayers for patience, do you think God gives him patience? or does He give him the opportunity to be patient? If a man prayers for courage, does God give him courage? or does He give him opportunities to be courageous?"
I find it interesting and also very amusing that God typically puts me in situations to develop patience where it is in-fact the HARDEST situation in itself to develop patience. He sees my struggle with my renewal process, and He gets me and He is for me and is cheering me on at the finish line. This summer has been unlike any other. Although from the outside looking in it may seem just like a typical summer where I haven't been in or school or anything like that, it has been so much more. I have been forced to look at all of the ugliness that lies with the sin lurking inside of me. I have said things to myself like: "If this was in my life right now, I would be SO much happier" along with: "If this was happening right now for me, things would be so much better." It has been hard for me to accept the reality of my summer, and thankfully God has brought this issue in my life front and center and has given me the grace to to work with getting this sinful behavior out of my mind.
At first I questioned God this summer and why He had placed me in the situation that I am in. I wondered why He hadn't really provided me with a summer job that kept me SUPER busy (instead of just my internship which is more laid back) or why I wasn't surrounded by a large group of people as I had wanted to (Instead of just my roommate Ashley and I for the summer). Don't get me wrong I have had a blast so far this summer with Ashley and I am so thankful that she is here with me, its just that her and I both often talk about how quiet it is during the summer time here.
As I thought more about my circumstances for the summer, I realized what God was doing. There have been issues with the way I think that God has addressed, one by one. It's like He is saying to every negative single thought that comes into my mind: "Woa, that is a thought NOT from me. Rebuke it and replace it with a thought that is from me." I knew that negative thinking was an issue for me, but I didn't think God would have wanted to "waste" time going over and renewing every itsy bitsy wrong thought that came into my mind. I thought He would just want to ignore the issues with the way I think and instead place great things into my life, making it a piece of cake for me to think positive again. Turns out, God intentionally placed me into this summer of lacking many things I desire so He could direct me to focus on fixing my thoughts and renewing my mind. He wants to renew my mind first and teach me how to experience peace and joy in Him alone before He chooses to add on any additional blessings in my life or not.
This summer He really has also been teaching me the value that lies in friendship. I am a naturally socially person, and in the past I really took for granted the large group of friends that I had. I never appreciated them or thanked God for them, and instead had an prideful attitude about the whole thing and told myself that I had so many friends because I was pretty much the coolest human being on the planet (HA, not kidding!!) As I was falling asleep the other night, I prayed to God: "God, I'm sorry for taking advantage of so many of the wonderful friendships that you blessed me with in the past, forgive me. This summer has been a huge eye opener to what quietness and loneliness feels like. I miss having a large group of friends, and I pray that you would bless me with a large group of Godly friends in the future."
Every now and then, God definitely gives me glimpses of my future. They are thoughts that fill me with joy and peace. It is in those moments that I remember our God is a God who never breaks His promises, and with following Him we can trust that good things are ahead, despite any opposition that we may face as we continue to move forward.
What has God been teaching you guys this summer? Have you noticed how He has specifically brought an issue in your life to the table for Him to fix or renew? What do you struggle with the most in the renewal process?
I love you guys!
Love always, Jess