Experiencing Joy After Hardship
After being out of school for a year and trying to figure out what the Lord wanted me to do, I finally got a job! I started my new job working in corporate security at a energy company downtown Houston this past week. No, it has nothing to with my degree (biblical counseling), but I know the Lord can still use me in a great way. And, maybe, I will even get to use what I have learned in some way.
This past year (especially the past 4-5 months) has been one of the most difficult for me. I did not really experience a horrible event or anything like that. It was just one of those times of being overwhelmed with confusion and feeling at a complete loss of what the Lord’s will was for my life. I was plagued with feelings of loneliness and doubt of what my purpose was. I prayed continually for some direction, but never felt the Lord leading or even answering my prayers at all. Far Away by Lecrae and Never Alone by BarlowGirl were my theme songs. I knew the Lord was there because He has made that promise (Matt. 28:20, Rom. 8:38-39, Heb. 13:5-6), but I was not directly seeing or feeling it.
Even through all of this, however, I do not think there has ever been a time of more growth spiritually and in maturity (yes, I am still goofy and crazy acting at certain times). My relationship with the Lord has reached a new depth that I have never experienced before. He used that low point in my life to teach me so many things and help me grasp a greater understanding of what it means to be godly. I am so thankful for those difficult months because they really were a great blessing.
Now, the Lord is bringing me out of that and leading me to a completely new point in life. I can see now how everything over the past year has led up to this specific time in my life. He has such a great plan for me and experiencing that time of sorrow and doubt was definitely a big part of His plan. I can’t help but be so excited about how He is working in my life. I have literally been smiling (almost) the entire past week. I experienced tears of sadness, but now I am experienced tears of joy. And, let me tell you, those times of hardship make these times of happiness so much more sweet.
He has already brought some precious friends in my life here, and I am so excited to get to know them better and see how the Lord works through us. And, He has already started moving my heart towards ministry opportunities and I can’t wait to see Him work all of that out. I am just astounded at how faithful the Lord truly is! There were definitely times that I wasn’t sure how He could ever work it out for my good. I didn’t see any possibility of good coming out of my situation. But, here I am completely reassured that He really does work everything out for our good. In fact, those ‘bad’ times really are good for us and it has been so amazing to see Him reveal that!
So, if you are experiencing a hard time right now do not lose hope! I know it is so hard to see any good in it, but trust in the Lord. He has a specific purpose for everything that happens. He has a special plan for you and He is using this time in your life to fulfill that plan. Use this time to focus on Him and all that He may be teaching you. One day you will see how all of it was part of His amazing and perfect will!
May He be glorified through us, during both good times and bad (and even those in between)!