Last weeks post was NOT the mood I wanted to start off 2018 with. But life happened. I found myself struggling to comfort another victim of the crisis that is our society and was forced to release an angry message that I had been holding on to for so long.
But I still want to promote positivity here on Behind the Schmile..:) and so here is the original first post of 2018, in all its ‘Happy New Year’ glory for you to enjoy. For anyone that simply wants to start again…
First of all, it feels so good to be back! I’ve been away for longer than planned for multiple reasons. But I’m here now and after seven weeks one thing I have learnt is that God’s timing is perfect.
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” – Habakkuk 2:3
The concept of time has been on my mind for a while now. Despite still completing my degree, many of my friends have already graduated. They are either on graduate schemes/internships or unemployed and unfortunately the larger majority fall into the latter. I’ve witnessed post-graduate depression first hand.
I’ve also listened to people go on and on and on, and on further still, about how long it is taking to find bae *rolls eyes to mars*.
I myself have complained tirelessly about how long this university chapter of my life seems to be taking.
The common factor here is that we’re all pretty much tired of waiting. We’re all so impatient! It’s this impatience that often causes us grief and hinders us from being able to see the bigger picture.
Stop Playing Yourself
I could end this post right here by telling you that if you stop stressing over timing, you’ll be much happier. But things are always easier said than done.
I am a control freak: I might not need something until the 28th, but if I know from the 10th that I need it, I want it by the 11th, because why not be prepared 17 days in advance???
A while back, I was in this exact situation, dates included. I prayed and I even fasted for an answer to this one not-so-urgent request. Please believe me when I tell you that God answered me first thing in the morning on the 28th. I laughed. But God’s timing is perfect. Instead of stressing and having sleepless nights for over two weeks, I should have rested in God’s glory, found peace in His love and simply waited.
“For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him” Ecclesiastes 8:6
Being a self-proclaimed SIBW (Strong Independent Black Woman) means that learning to be dependent on someone else (God included) has proved extremely difficult on many occasions. I want to be self-sufficient and I believe this is something we should all strive for. But I’ve had to learn that there is nothing wrong with asking for help.
The ‘problem’ is that when it comes to God, you aren’t just asking for help, you have to leave everything to Him. This is when I identified an even bigger issue. In the midst of stressing over what had and hadn’t happened in my life yet, I was drawing further away from God. So how could I give over my entire life to someone I didn’t know? I needed to stop playing myself.
Let Go & Let God
So I had to go back to basics and get Good with God. I had to continuously rekindle my relationship with my maker, to develop the trust and deepen the faith that would allow me to really “let go and let God”.
We say it all the time but how many of us actually live by this?
Leaving things to God is a true test of your faith and it can be scary, I know. But I challenge you to try it!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6
Everyone is quick to scream “Jesus Take the Wheel” with their feet positioned firmly on the breaks and their hand on the gear stick! Don’t ask God to steer you in the right direction and then try to control the speed!!! Don’t just give Jesus the wheel, surrender the whole car, get comfortable in the passenger’s seat and enjoy the ride!
“God I know you can help me get this job, I need it by next Friday, thank you…”
“Lord, I’m nearly 30, I need bae by the end of the year, thanks…”
“Father, I know I never look after them, but can you help my edges grown back overnight?-“
STOP! Stop giving God your requests with terms and conditions attached!
God’s Got You!
It’s so tempting to want to be in control of when everything happens in your life and at times it can seem like the easier option. I’ve had moments where I was so low, literally screaming and pouring my heart out. Only for God to tell me to go to sleep. He’s watching. He’s got this! I’m so used to hearing “My God is not asleep” that I often refer to it as a joke- but it’s true! God is not asleep, He knows exactly what we need and when we need it- my God is an on-time God- can I get an amen?
“But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God”.” Luke 18:27
God’s timing is perfect whether or not you choose to trust Him, but trusting Him relieves you of stress.
Seasons Change, My Current Season is About Me!
You will not be at the same point for the rest of your life. There will most certainly be ups and downs. You will go through seasons where you are always busy! Remember that you once prayed for those things that are now taking up your time.
I’m at a place in my life where socialising is a secondary priority- I try my best to make time for people but I’m so consumed with so many different (good) things that I simply don’t have time for everybody. It’s difficult for some to understand and can be hurtful- but I can’t apologise for how quickly I suddenly became so busy and how well things suddenly started going because this timing isn’t mine. Make sense?
I said a while back that when you focus on yourself and your mission, this will be the case. When you put yourself first and invest in your own endeavours, you won’t have as much time as you once did for others. This isn’t something you need to apologise for because you didn’t create this schedule. But if you’re in your season where being too busy isn’t an issue, it’s worth enjoying it while you can- it won’t last forever!
God has a plan- trust in His timing- maybe that time is now! Or maybe that time is yet to come. Things may not be working well for you right now, this is a lesson in itself. Your periods of ‘lows’ are still valuable; trust and believe that God has scheduled this in, with His perfect timing too! The saying goes that when one door shuts another opens, there is a reason your doors may be shut right now. The key to getting through this season is to trust in His timing!
A New Chapter… In Our Terms
As 2017 ended, we were all forced to reflect- it would be unwise to start setting goals without looking back first. I know many people who set goals at the end of 2016 and were somewhat disappointed that they were unable to achieve all of these things last year because they felt that it was the end of a chapter. But you can’t put a time limit on God. Maybe only 10% of the 20 things you set out to do were completed, but God hasn’t finished with you yet!
NEWS FLASH: God doesn’t work on your “New Year, New XXX” schedule. If God wants to change you on January 28th, please believe that you will not change until January 28th!
“He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority”.” Acts 1:7
2018 is here and your season may or may not have changed (if you haven’t already subscribed and joined notification gang this is probably why, yes, I am judging you). But whenever it is you are reading this, 2018 or 2028, don’t lose faith because things aren’t happening when you want them to happen. Be glad that things will happen when God wants them to, for His time will be perfect!
Happy New Year to you all! (Better late than never)
Wishing you joy, peace and most importantly schmiles!
*If you spotted the J Cole reference s/o to you- it’s been a while! I had to drop a line for the culture 😛
Happy Birthday to the Greatest Of All Time!
All gifs courtesy of giphy.com