by Kasia Kedzia
It’s been two years since my life turned upside down, literally, in a matter of days. My grandmother died, my position was eliminated at work, and I lost my place to live. This was the beginning of what would become my ‘Job’ season.
I’d love to tell you I handled this season, just like Job, with faith and hope and leaned into it all with grace but I didn’t. I ran from the pain. I gave into fear and allowed it to dictate my choices. I let my emotions lead me and lost myself. I was angry at God and let go of my faith. I leaned into what I wanted and what I thought would bring me comfort and relief in the moment. I entered into a relationship not from a place of wholeness but fear of being along. I was looking to finally be perfect, to make up for all the ways I had failed to love people in my life before.
Yet from this season, I learned. I learned, partnership is where I get to be all of who I am. It’s not a place where I make up for past hurts or where I will ‘finally be perfect’.
Through this season, God protected and redirected. He healed so many wounds and took me deeper into love, acceptance and forgiveness for self and others. God provided and guided me even when I turned on Him. God does not withhold. He protects and redirects.
Some of the most painful moments in our lives will forever remain painful moments but others will be opportunities, opportunities to grow and to change, if we take courage. I ran from my opportunity as long as I could, but it caught up to me eventually.
“If you are grateful for your life then you have to be grateful for all of it. You can’t pick and choose what you’re grateful for.” – Stephen Colbert
Looking back now, I am grateful. I am grateful for all the heartache, both from the things that happened to me AND the things I brought on myself through my choices. I am grateful because I learned such precious lessons that helped me to accept and internalize God’s love for me and in turn love others better.
Don’t run from your pain. Learn to sit with it, mourn it, and process it because it will make room for more love and compassion than you could ever imagine. It will change you and allow you to access peace and love like never before.
Choose what is hard. It’s usually what is right and what will help you grow. Decisions made in pain, fear or loneliness will most likely be selfish. It is hard to see long-term consequence in short-term hard moments.
Life will continue to be filled with hard things, for me, those around me, and for you. How we choose to handle and see these things is what makes all the difference.
“If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.” Psalm 91:7-10
There was a time I would have read the above and thought that if I just do things God’s way, follow all the rules, clench my fists and ‘do’ all the things I think are right, than I wouldn’t experience pain, hard things, or harm.
However, that’s not what the passage says. It says that harm won’t overtake me. Harm will come, hard times, pain, all of it but what it also says is that when I am close to God, when I choose to make Him my refuge and consistently lean into Him, who He says I am, His truth, I won’t be overtaken and I will avert disaster.
We make poor choices in our pain. In moments of grief, loss or heart wrenching disappointment our faith is tested and we stand at that proverbial fork in the road. We stand faced to choose what we believe to be true about ourselves, God, and others.
Yet, even when I chose my way, God continued to walk with me, to love me, to use those around me to ultimately help me avert disaster and decisions that would have changed my life forever. Who you choose as a life partner, heck as a partner at any point in your life, will influence who you are. Choose wisely.
Our actions expose what we choose to believe.
All these lessons have circled back to one theme: the choice of love. Love doesn’t come, it isn’t out there somewhere, it is here now and it is available if we choose it. It’s work. It’s sometimes the hardest work ever, but it is always worth it. I’ve learned not to shame my emotions but to process them with God through the lens of His truth and grace.
“Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” Job 11:13-18
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Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved to DC to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.
Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.
Like what your read? Check out my blog: http://stronggirlforlife.wordpress.com/
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