Before I really took the time to really know God for myself in college, I had this glamorous idea of what it meant to be a Christian. I had this idea that now that I was taking this “Christian thing” seriously, life would get easier. But time has passed and I’ve realized that it's just not true. God never promised us that life would be easy but he did let us know he would be there when it gets difficult. (Hebrews 13:5)
Sis, I think there’s this huge false narrative that once we make a decision to follow God that nothing can go wrong and our path will be smooth sailing from that point on. I wish this were the case..... but it’s not true. God told us himself in Isaiah 54:17 that weapons will form, but they won’t prosper. (Peep that plural "weaponS."). Those weapons represent difficult situations, tests, and trials that will come our way. My takeaway is that they will come but they won't destroy us.
I wanted to write this blog to first let you know that you can be doing EXACTLY what God told you to do and experience disappointments, pushbacks, and setbacks. But the second thing I want you to know is "Please, don't give up when this happens. Keep going, sis. Sometimes, we have this thought that “Life shouldn’t be THIS HARD because God, you're supposed to be “with” me, not against me. So why does this keep happening??? Why do I keep taking 3 steps forward to get pushed back 2 steps? It. SHOULD. BE. EASIER, GOD. ”
Honestly, it has taken me a long time to realize that we can STILL be doing what God wants and things are tough. It can get to the point where we want to throw in the towel. But sis, remember this quote when you are at your breaking point--” I wanted to throw in the towel, but God threw it right back and said, ‘Wipe your face off, YOU ARE ALMOST THERE. I'm not done yet.’” Sis, don't throw in that towel. In fact, it’s often when we are “in his will” that things get chaotic. Like everything that could go wrong...goes wrong. Why is that? It’s the enemy’s way of trying to stop us through discouragement. It sounds really deep and spiritual but it’s a real thing.
Sis, we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. There are physical setbacks but there are also things that are happening spiritually that we may have no idea. Keep praying, sis. Keep making those moves because God really does have a plan. Sure, it may be taking longer than we expected but it is for good reason. (I have to remind myself of this every single day.) The reason I can confidently say that is because God wastes nothing. He doesn’t waste anything we go through. In other words, everything that happens to us is used by God. Yes, even the setbacks, rejections, heartbreak, etc...All of that was and is factored into God’s plan for us.
Sis, it's time to eliminate this idea that we’re on the wrong path when we experience push back. I’ll expose myself as an example. I’ve told my story before but I wanted to highlight the setbacks in my journey. I know God has called me to be a pediatrician, but I have faced a good deal of rejection and disappointments. I have taken the MCAT 3 times (It’s a necessary test to get into med school). Yes, 3 whole times in hopes of getting a higher score.
As you read this blog, I’m in the process of applying to medical school for the 3rd time. Prior to my 3rd time of applying, I wrestled with the idea of applying again. I had a heart to heart conversation with God. Here were my exact words, “Okay God. I’m feeling really crazy out here. You’ve confirmed to me over and over that I’m going to be a pediatrician but here I am denied twice into all these medical schools. I keep applying and I keep getting rejected. Something's got to give because this rejection isn't easy. Am I missing something? Did I hear you wrong? Am I really supposed to be a doctor because medical school is the ONLY way to get there? Oh and God, ff I apply for the third time...this is THEE last time and then I'm done!"
I was giving ultimatums and everything lol. I felt like I literally was about to lose it. But the beautiful thing is---when we are about to give up on a dream that is confirmed by God, I often find that God will send little reminders that he is STILL with us and we are on the right track. I’ll give a personal example. This past summer, when I was still struggling if I should continue pursuing my dream of medical school. I was legitimately about to call it quits. One sunny day in May, I was standing in line outside of this store called “Hobby Lobby” (right after quarantine hit) when this random guy drove by and shouted, “Doctor!” Mind you, everyone in line had masks so everyone was looking confused like who is this man talking to?! It was beyond random! But something in me literally froze. Call me crazy but I took it as a whole word and a sign for myself. At the moment, I managed to whisper, "Thank you, God. I needed that."
See, God knows when we are at our breaking point so he will always send reminders along the way that tell us to keep going. And here’s a tip, sis---It’s not always the case but I find that God often confirms in “3’s.” When I say, “3s”, I mean he will often tell us a similar thing three different times. God is ALWAYS looking out for us so be on the lookout for signs that he is talking to you, sis. In my own journey, I’ve had to come to the conclusion that “If God called me to it, it’s up to him to figure out how to help me through it. And honestly, if he really called me to be a doctor, med school HAS to happen. There’s no other way around it.”
Sis, the struggle can be so REAL. We often get into our heads when things don’t work out. We start to think things like--- “Did I hear God right?” “Did I make the right decision? Because I swear I heard God right.” We start to question our abilities and doubt what God said. The enemy knows he can’t stop us on our own so he tries to get in our heads so we can stop ourselves. Sneaky, right?? We have to see right through that and push through those thoughts. I want to let you know that there really is light at the end of the tunnel for you. I can say this even though I’m still in the process. Our process is so important, if not MORE important than the promise or the end result.
In the middle of my process, I can tell you that I’ve seen God be so good to me. And I know he will be OH SO good to you as well! One of my close friends pointed out that with each rejection from med school, something has been “birthed”—- In 2017, I started my first blog and in 2020, I started my baking business. I think both of these things are Romans 8:28 at work where God pulls “good” out of the "bad" that happens to us. I am believing that you will be able to see this in your own journey. God’s got you.
I shared all of this not to vent but to show that God can be in your situation and it won’t always unfold smoothly. You may experience multiple setbacks. I don't want to sugarcoat that. When this happens, share those feelings of disappointment with God. Vent to Him without blaming Him. Have those real moments. But end those same conversations with your faith. Know that no matter how crazy things get, God is still in control. There is NEVER a time where He is NOT in control.
A life that's easy would be a life empty of purpose. There is a reason that we hear purpose is "birthed" and not handed to us. Once we are in it, all the difficulties leading up to it makes us appreciate it that much more. Please hang onto that promise that God told you, showed you, or put inside of you. Hang onto whatever dream you have, sis. You may not understand how everything is playing out but God always, always, always has a plan. And the truth is, His plan almost never looks like ours.
Long story short, it's usually our plan vs God’s plan. What I’ve found is that it’s okay to make our own plans/dreams/goals but write them in pencil so that we give God room to come in and edit them. This is something I’m still learning but it’s true. Think about it. How many of us planned out 2020 and it hasn’t turned out anything like we thought it would? That’s proof enough to know we aren’t in control. Hold onto Galatians 6:9–“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”