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Everything happens for a reason, I am a firm believer in that. With that being said, it, meaning “everything”, will all make sense one day. What you are going through right now will not last forever. You will make it and come out with a changed mind and different perspective. I know that each day may be harder than the last, but as each day progresses, your strength is being renewed, your focus is being redefined, and your wounds are being healed. You have to trust that God is going to turn it around for your good. There have been many instances when I felt there was no hope. I believed that what I was going through was it. I started to believe the lies that I just dealt a bad hand in life, the devil is a liar! Now I look back and even to this day, everything that I have been through, recent and going back years ago, I thank God for those tough times. I thank God for bringing me through and allowing it to make me who I am on this very day. As I started clinging more to God, He gave me understanding as to why I had to go through them. My yesterday prepared me for my today, and I can surely say that I am not the woman I was a year ago, a month ago, a week ago, or even yesterday. 

“..rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;” Romans 12:12 NKJV

I remember about five years ago; I went through a really bad break up. It was to the point I became depressed and it seeped into my work life, school life, and personal life. What really made me angry was the simple fact that the last thing he (my ex), told me was and I quote, “This will only make you stronger!”  What!? I was furious, like what do you mean this will make me stronger? That wasn’t what I wanted to hear at that time. I just couldn’t believe what was happening and after that he dropped off the face of the earth and ignored every phone call, text, and email. I never heard from him again, even to this day. I thought life was over. I thought I couldn’t love again. I just thought so many negative and hopeless things. Never would I have thought his words would stick to me. Never would I have thought going through that would prepare me and make me stronger. He was right, it did make me stronger and also wiser! The Lord turned that situation around for my good and taught me things about myself I had no idea I struggled with. I realized my unfiltered mouth mixed with my insecurities were my faults and downfalls. I realized he definitely was not the one for me, we weren’t really compatible in a sense of him being someone I can actually marry. I needed a leader and someone who was opposite of me, that could bring me out my comfort zone. Only thing we had in common was we were both quiet (that wasn’t going to work), loved the Lord (barely), and loved music. I also realized that I could love again. Had he not broken my heart, I wouldn’t have seen what I needed to see with a clear mind. Though I was still a hot mess, because I was definitely fake saved at the time, I learned valuable lessons in that pain. What’s funny is that now when I go through heartaches, “This will only make you stronger“, pops in my mind. 

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV

Another story where it all made sense after the fact. I was working at this one job about two years, and it was my first “good paying” job. I was so excited because everything was going good in my eyes. Let me point out that, I had dedicated my life to Christ earlier that year and started to really indulge in my word. So I was saved this time and just felt the Lord was blessing me with a good job. I started hanging out with my coworkers and they were pretty much party goers, club hoppers, happy hour turned into a night full of alcohol crowd. I knew this wasn’t where I was supposed to be, like I had just decided to become serious with Christ, what am I doing. However, I joined in on the fun and was having worldly fun on Fridays and praising the Lord on Sundays. Not too long after I received a phone call and pretty much was laid off, “We are doing budget cuts and your position is one of them”. My heart fell out, not literally but it felt like it. Mind you I was already down and out because I became involved with a guy from church who basically was just interested in my body, and eventually broke my heart, but needless to say, I was a huge work in progress. I was literally over everything because I was just tired of being let down. Yet I was letting God down with my lukewarm actions. Going through all those emotions was hard and unbearable but God had a plan and it was His will for it all to happen. Now I look back and God revealed to me that He needed me out of that job, had I stayed there, I would have resorted back to what He was saving me from. I couldn’t be around those people, I wasn’t spiritually stong enough to fathom the attacks that were upon my life because there was and is a calling on my life. I couldn’t afford to taint the calling God placed inside of me. He needed to save me for His purpose. When God told me that, I cried like a baby and thanked Him. See I didn’t understand what was going on, but it all eventually made sense.

I shared a few of my experiences to encourage you to hold on, and don’t be discouraged. Though trouble comes your way, don’t let it stir you to accepting that this is your life. God has plan and purpose for you and what you are faced with today, will help shape you for tomorrow. God will not leave you in the midst of it all, He will cover you and grace you through it. One scripture that really helps me when I am faced with tough times is,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

That lets me know that my understanding of this is not applicable because I’m in my emotions and feelings and not looking at it through God’s eyes. I didn’t understand that this will birth something new in me; patience, character, strength, confidence, dignity, self worth, etc. I didn’t understand that this will mature what has been in me all along. You will be surprised at how much you can grow in a short amount of time when something happens in your life meant to bring you down. Not only will it cause you to cling to God, but it will cause you to grow into the strong person God has created you to be. You will look back and see your growth and lessons you learned through each trying experience, and thank God for it all!

Brittany La'Vell