We hear the scripture in Romans 8:28 all the time, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” We listen to Lecrae’s album. But do we really believe that? Or do we wrestle with ourselves and with God over our messed-up pasts and even our twisted present circumstances. Sometimes, life throws us into some serious storms. Sometimes, we’ve caused them, and sometimes we wonder how could all of this happen to us when we’ve been following the Lord so closely? It’s so easy to despair. It’s so easy to complain. It’s so easy to panic. It’s extremely hard to rest in this truth that nothing in our lives is wasted. God has a funny way of using what seemed embarrassing, horrible, annoying, and every other negative adjective to work for our good. He’s the master at taking what we want to throw away and turning it into something useful, something beautiful. Let me give you an example from my life. My parents both lost their job back to back in my junior year of high school. It seemed nonsensical, but now I know, if it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t have qualified for the full ride scholarship I got for college. Later on, when I was ready to go to grad school, I personally did not want to go to New York for grad school. It was too expensive, I had gotten comfortable with my life in Miami. I knew the Lord kept pressing on my heart to go, even my family who I thought would tell me to stay, told me to go (thank God for a family that is led by God).
So, I went.
It was hard. I felt lonely a lot. I had professors and different circumstances that put me through hell. At one point, I had to fight for my life from a mysterious illness that caused debilitating swelling and hives for 4 months non-stop. Being in NYC, however helped me to start intentionally praying, every morning, every day. I woke up and fed on scripture and prayer. Those days of loneliness helped me to draw closer to God, and after a while I didn’t feel lonely, because I could feel his presence everywhere: on the train, on the bus, walking home, at home, at school, at church. I eventually joined an intercessory team and a singles prayer group and spent my days praying and encouraging others. Even while I was sick, I had peace. There was a possibility of dying, but I wasn’t scared. Which is shocking…trust me. God had given me peace through a closer walk with him. I could only attribute this to the storm I was dealing with. I found strength to believe that God would heal me, and he did. As mysteriously as the illness started, is the same way it left.
Yet, I had a strengthened resolve in God, a love for prayer, a master’s degree with cum laude honors despite everything, the finances I was worried about got taken care of when I was enrolled in a loan forgiveness program that practically wiped everything away. Surprisingly, after I moved back to Miami, I started strengthening my community of friends and family in NYC. They’ve been such a tremendous blessing to me and have become a blessing to others. I cannot imagine what life would’ve been like if I had said no to going to NYU.
Nothing I went through was wasted. Even though, what I went through was extremely painful (physically, emotionally, spiritually), I would do it all again just to have what I have with Christ now. I have sooooo many other examples, but I can’t share them all in this blog. I wanna hear from everyone else, comment below, how has God worked things together for your good?