When you hear the word ‘Grace’, what do you think? Let us pause here… The grace of God, unmerited favor, something you do not necessarily deserve but God gives it to you anyway. I am a product of Grace; I believe this so much I had a t-shirt made! You see that is my story; and the journey to here started in 2015.
The struggle was real!
After losing myself for a while, I realized that if I didn’t get my spiritual life together; my purpose would not take shape. In 2016, out of frustration and confusion I decided to leave the certainty and comfort of a full time job and went into the sometimes “uncertain” world of consulting. That is one experience I am glad I embarked upon.
I had a lot of satisfaction in that I was paid well and thoroughly enjoyed the job but there were also some disappointments because I did not plan for some of the challenges that came with being a consultant.
On the consulting job, God gave me so much favor. My employer extended me so many times and three years later, with a permanent job waiting elsewhere, I left on my own. This was answer to a prayer. I saw so many people come on the team that were let go because they could not handle the fast-paced environment. This particular job required learning a lot in a short time, which is something I have always been good at.
God answers prayers!
One prayer I had also prayed was that when it was time for me to move on, I would leave on my own terms not them telling my time was up. Moreover, it happened exactly as I wanted. When I got the job, the promise was that I would be converted to full time status and I did get that verbal confirmation from my boss even before the 6 month mark but for some reason and due to office politics, it never happened.
There was always one story or the other when it was time to convert me that I stopped bothering. As long as you keep extending me, I am good. I know what I had prayed for and I was sticking by it. I did have doubts along the way, as I was not too thrilled about going through the interview process; that is not one of my favorite things to do.
God is moving even when it is not apparent!
When it was apparent that the job was not going to convert me to full time, I started to job haunt at first aggressively but after a while, I went passive. Anyway, fast forward to 2019 and I literally just turned my attention to church and ministry with the mindset that because I have always trusted God when it comes to jobs; I was going to just wait it out. In hindsight, that is a true statement – every time I have had to look for a job, it has always been stress less. The job just ‘comes’; I get a call, I do the interview and get it ‘just like that’!
Then, one day we were having a meeting with my pastor and he mentioned how he wanted our Wednesday bible study to mirror the Sunday service in terms of the worship sessions. A lot of us due to work conflicts hardly made bible study and I knew I had to make some changes.
So, while he was speaking, I casually said in my mind ‘I would like to be part of this, anyhow I can’. I want to be part of this happening.
I got the job without an interview!
That same week, while browsing through Indeed.com I saw a job post from my former employer and I just thought to reach out to my former boss and the first thing she said was ‘Are you ready to come back?’ to which I replied, ‘You can’t afford me’.
Long story short, I was re-employed at my old company. I am back at my old desk, did not have to do an interview and I get more than I would have if I had stayed back plus full time benefits.
What I am trying to get across is that I decided to take that scripture Mathew 6:33 literally, there was a switch up. I decided to focus on my ministry as a worship leader and I gave it everything. Let us just say I lived that scripture for almost a year and if you asked me now, I cannot really tell you the definite time the switch happened.
Mathew 6:33 in the NLT version says “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Until then, I had every excuse for why I did not need to do this. My kids are going into their teenage years; this is when they need me the most. I work in the city, there was no way I could come home and make it to bible study. I have no strength by the time I get back into NJ. You just had to name the excuse and I had it.
Do you want to know what God did for me?
Firstly, God began to break down my fears by speaking through people and there were at least 3 times I heard, ‘do not worry about your kids’. You just do what I have put in your heart to do and I will take care of them. Secondly, He removed the biggest of my excuses. He blessed me with a job that I practically had to do nothing to get. The thought of having to start to go to job interviews was one thing I dreaded!
Sometimes, we think serving God is hard. It is not! What I found was I had unknowingly started to make changes especially regarding my health. I was always tired to the point of exhaustion. Getting up from bed alone was enough to get me exhausted.
Your health is important
I started to take better care of my body. A friend introduced me to some natural supplements which helped to boost my energy and took care of my allergies which was 50% the reason why I just wanted to come home after work. Before then, I had no energy because by 9 am every day I was done.
I remember getting off the train sometimes at 23rd Street in Manhattan and practically having no energy to walk up the stairs without holding on to the rail. In addition, my allergies were pretty bad! There were days I didn’t want to leave the house.
Anyway, after I started to take these supplements I saw a marked improvement. This also birth my CBD business which I enjoy doing. Shameful plug, I recommend these products because I use them and that is because they have greatly improved my health. Come talk to me if you want to know more about this supplements or even want a side business.
Let your thoughts come in agreement with His!
I say all that to say when you make up in your mind to take care of God’s business, He will take care of yours. If, even your thoughts come in agreement with His, God will move on your behalf! He will remove anything that is an excuse/hindrance if you will give Him full control. These excuses might be things that you think you cannot live without, that you’re using as a ‘crutch’ and you think, if it’s taken away that you’ll fall apart.
He already has something better for you
Truth is if He removes it; trust that He already has something better for you. I have seen God do that repeatedly! My resolve now is to continue to mind God’s business. One of the things I have seriously started to do is mentor other up and coming worship leaders and that gives me so much joy.
I want to share two songs that have really me blessed these past few weeks. My daughter played this albeit unfamiliar song to me on our way to church one evening and it has stuck like glue to my heart. I learnt a long time ago to listen to the lyrics of the song rather than how it moves you especially whether it is a slow vs a fast song.
Lyrics are the life of the song
I have heard people say ‘oh, that song is too slow; it is putting me to sleep. One thing I teach my mentees is that they focus on lyrics and not so much the rhythm. I say that because lyrics are the life of the song slow or fast. As I continued to listen to the song, I was particularly drawn to its ‘Psalm-like’ poetry flow. Especially with this part here:
I will praise you on the mountain
And I will praise you when the mountain’s in my way
You’re the summit where my feet are
So I will praise you in the valleys all the same
No less God within the shadows
No less faithful when the night leads me astray
You’re the heaven where my heart is
In the highlands and the heartache all the same
This song for me talks about the ever-present faithfulness and love of God, in spite of the fact that sometimes I feel unworthy of such. Secondly, there is a willingness to navigate the “sometimes-challenging” landscapes in search of God’s “grace” while at the same time acknowledging that God is “not that hard to find”. I love it! Take a listen:
Then, I heard Ultimate by Phil Thomson when it came on one of my playlists on YouTube. This song is powerful! This is just the first verse,
God, you have the final word, the final word, in my life
And God your word its settled
Its settled, forever
You’re the Ultimate
We trust you, We trust you
You’re the Ultimate
We trust you, We trust you
He indeed, has the final say in our lives and He is the ultimate but this is a choice. A choice to hand over control, to understand and walk in that knowledge that He is infinite and He holds our whole world in His hands and nothing you place in God’s hand can be mishandled! He knows what is best for you! To walk with God is to trust Him. He has never failed and He will not start now. I unapologetically say that to you because God has truly manifested his grace and favor in my life and He can do that for you.
I want you to be confident that as long as you stay in alignment, pursuing His will and consistently declaring His word over your life, you will come into your own place of blessing, and favor. When you follow the word that God speaks into your life, your life will improve. Period!
I leave you again with this scripture – “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Keyword here is ‘EVERYTHING YOU NEED!”
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay