A message to the millennial who finds him/herself in transition.
Written by our director: Briauna Hoyt
There was a song I found October of last year, the very beginning of what has affectionately, and not so affectionately (at times) been a transitional season for me. The lyrics went something like this, “Slow down take time, breathe in He says, He’ll reveal what’s to come, the thoughts in his mind always higher than mine, take courage my heart stay steadfast my soul he is in the waiting.”
But is it true, that in the winter seasons, He is as present and near as He is the moments of joy and promotion? How do we know that He is there, that He really hasn't forgotten you and has a plan for you? How do we know that He has so tenderly caused, allowed, and intended for this season of awkward, uncomfortable, transition for as long as He may choose?
In our minds we know that life isn’t about going from mountain top to mountain top, that to get to one it requires us to walk throughout the valleys. But do we every actually foresee what that will look like, or feel like, those wretched valley seasons? What does it mean, when you feel He is silent, when you are offering yourself to him, saying: “here I am God, send me, whatever you want, I will go,” and all you hear back is crickets in the background.
One of my favorite mentors Lynette Lewis once said: “ if you get to know God you see that He walks us through a similar process of testing and preparation, and in fact if you are going to be great like Joseph, or David, or Moses there is going to be a little “waiting, wandering and wondering, testing and trials before you ever reach your ‘dream, or destination.” She even took it one step further saying, “if you want to be a great leader, He may even make you wait longer and harder because there is a greater fruit required in their lives that oftentimes comes from waiting and trusting.”
So what I am saying is, God has intention to prepare, train and build you internally before He could ever give you your answer to your dreams. A few weeks ago, I found myself in a internal slump asking the question, “Jesus, what exactly are you doing in this season with me? Did I miss it? Is there purpose in it?” I heard him whisper back, “I love your heart more than I love what you could ever do for me, or where you could ever go, I’m at work inside.” I was stunned-- primarily by the fact that God sees purpose in hiddenness, in healing, in trusting, learning to engage with God with the big asks, with vulnerability. But it’s so awkward.
There’s this strange something that happens in waiting seasons, you can’t really hide behind the “what you do, or who you are, or exciting stories of your promotions and adventures, or successes." Maybe you would use these words to describe your season, words like can seem mundane, hidden, obscure, purposeless, wasted, lost, wandering, overlooked, last.
I can’t tell you that my life has drastically changed, or that I suddenly have this incredible story (as of yet) of how I've been promoted. But the growth and maturing lessons have been abundant and many. I've felt a new and strong desire to respond rightly in my winter season, that I would “pass the test”, loving Him regardless of the gifts He gives, but because He is true, kind, aware and trustworthy.
I was reminded through one of the most influential people in my life that “Job was tested to the end of the wire, yet he never assaulted or was confused about the character of God. He asked real questions, He prayed honest prayers, but he protected the truth of God.” I never want to be in a place where my questions outweigh the truth of who He is, that His love for me is not defined by my seasons, of hiddenness nor promotion.
A dear friend of mine, reminded me the other day that He is our Father, when we cry to Him it takes everything in Him not to respond, but He is after the perfect will of the Father, which is to radiate Him and perfect your heart in every season. Sometimes we are the brightest when we have been cracked and placed over an open fire to be glazed just like pottery, in the refining fires of testing.
Lazarus could have been raised on day one, when Martha and Mary begged God to resurrect him from the grave, but Jesus waited---until the fourth day, why did He wait? He waited because He wanted to display the full glory of God in the perfect moment. Jesus is after more than just a promotion, sometimes we forget that He is enamored with our hearts and the brokenness, vulnerability, closeness that these seasons bring, if we respond rightly we will display the greater glory.
These are just a few things that I have began to walk out since last October, specific things that the Lord has put on my heart to begin doing, regardless of what I see, I thought I would share them because maybe you too find yourself in a black highway of waiting, unsure of where the next exit ramp is.
1. Speak “what He has promised over your future”, Remind Him and declare the promises over your life.
You have a part to play, and it may be declaring in faith what He has already promised, you he may just be waiting for you to believe and ask for it eagerly and persistently. Ezekiel 37 talks about “prophecy over what is destitute and lifeless, and proclaim life over it and it will come to life."
2. Celebrate others promotions and opportunities as if they were your own.
Go out of your way to rejoice with those who are rejoices, don’t ever allow fear to hold you back. As a son and daughter of God, you are given full access to every good thing, He is not limited to the amount of gifts He holds, celebrate others gifts without fear of losing yours. He is testing you, pass the test, your promotion is coming with your name on it.
3. Write all the good things and miracles He has done.
Protect the character of who He is. It’s impossible to believe lies when you are looking at the truth. Thankfulness welcomes promotions. Don’t have a bad attitude, or a perspective that this is a wasted season. For me, many times the moments I am the most uncomfortable have the fondest memories, because I find true peace purpose and contentment being closest to my Father. Only He can turn desert seasons into springs of water.
4. Listen to what He asks of you.
Sometimes we are looking for Door "Z", and God may bring you a Door "C", to walk through, sometimes our dreams happen in the midst of our devastations. God may be stirring up a new passion, or opportunity, but is eagerly looking for your willingness to pursue it.
5. Be Excellent.
One of my favorite pastors in the world, Bob Mackenzie told me once, "God can’t move a parked car, but if your car is moving forward, hustling, being faithful, he can easily move you to the next destination." Don’t overlook the little things, because if you are faithful with them and excellent with them you are displaying that you are ready to handle more. Sometimes we feel ready in our hearts, but our lifestyles aren’t ready yet.
6. Nothing is wasted. Extravagant Fruit comes from Extravagant Encounter.
One of my favorite scriptures in the bible is the story of Mary of Bethany who wanted to be with Jesus than she wanted anything else, she wanted to give him the greatest offering she had though excessive and extravagant and mocked my some, and misunderstood by many she pour her perfume at his feet because he was worth it. God can take your life dreams, hopes and goals, farther in a moment than your own self-efforts could take you in a lifetime. Pursue closeness with Him first, as He is the Shepherd of your life who leads you besides only good pastures, He may be trying to restore your soul. I know He did for me.
Take Courage dear soul, He is here, in the waiting, and if it tarries, oh the plans He has for you.