God never turns down a moment to teach us something, and it’s incredible how He manages to turn every experience we have, whether it’s good or bad, into some sort of takeaway that we can use to grow and apply to the next season of our lives. There’s definitely been no shortage of that in my life recently, including these 6 things He’s taught me below.
1. Your Prayers May be Answered, But Not Exactly in The Way You Want Them to be
God is full of surprises, and I’ve seen so many of my prayers become a reality, but differently than I had initially prayed for or expected. I remember praying long and hard about this new opportunity that came into my life — praying that if it truly was the right for me that I would see success with the steps I took towards this new opportunity. When my initial efforts didn’t work out, I was convinced God was telling me no, when really He had other plans in mind. God did bring my prayer to reality, but it wasn’t in the way I had prayed about at all. It wasn’t God telling me no, rather, he was showing me a better way to have my prayer come to fruition. It’s easy for us to be set on a specific way we want our prayers to be answered, but we shouldn’t limit God to that. He always sees the bigger picture, and if something truly is meant for us, He’ll bring it into fruition in his own way— even if it takes a little bit of a redirect.
2. Sometimes The Things God Wants You to do Won’t be Easy
Following God isn’t meant to be a walk in the park, and sometimes the things He wants you to do won’t be easy. And just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do. He purposely pushes us to make these challenging decisions or put ourselves in these difficult situations because He knows it’s what’s best for us in the long run. Growing into the person and life God wants us for us is far more important to Him than our comfort. He has a plan for us that He wants to fulfill— a plan that can only be fulfilled if we are making these difficult decisions.
3. The Importance of a Godly Community
There’s a reason why having a Godly community is so emphasized throughout the church, and it’s something I never quite understood until recently. A Godly community is there to help you grow your relationship with Him, push you to be a better version of yourself, be there to guide and support you on your faith journey, and keep you in check and accountable when it comes to your faith. God never intended for this journey to be alone. There’s nothing wrong with having other friends outside of a Godly community (I absolutely love my non-Christian friends!), but it’s important to have some Godly friendships to lean on because they can support you in the way you need them to as you navigate your faith journey.
4. Look for Peace
Making decisions has never been an easy thing for me, and for the longest time, I could never figure out if I was making the right choice or not even if I prayed about it. But, looking back at all the incredible experiences I’ve had as a result of a choice I made, I realized they all have a common theme: peace. The right decision should have a strong sense of peace. Of course, this shouldn’t be the only thing that completely determines your choices, but if you don’t feel at peace with it, it’s most likely not the right decision. And another thing I realized from my past experiences? You can be making the right choice and still feel some fear or anxiety about it. It’s normal to have moments like this, but you should still have an overwhelming sense of peace despite those feelings.
5. Clarity May Not Always be Given With Our Choices
It’s natural to desire certainty (I’ve been there many times myself) about everything. What the future holds, why things happen the way they do, and with the decisions we make. However, clarity may not always be given on what choice we should make, and we have to trust God will guide us to where we need to be no matter what decision we choose. If you think about it, that is one of the truest acts of trust and faith you can show in God. Because you are choosing to trust in Him even with the uncertainty of the moment and the road that follows.
6. Prayers Don’t Replace Our Actions, They Help Us With Our Actions
No matter what you may be praying about — a new job, a new relationship, or even acing your next upcoming test, there’s only so much God can do to help you if you aren’t giving Him a lot to work with. It’s like looking for a new job without sending in any applications and praying to God to help you. How is God going to help you land a new job? You have to give Him something to work with. Apply to those jobs, put yourself out there, and study for those grades. The way I see it: God is almost like our teammate in life. Just as much you want to reach your goals and dreams, so does He, and He’s there to help you achieve them, but the team only works if there is effort coming from both sides.
It’s safe to say God has taught me a lot over the last year, even if some of those lessons required me to endure some difficult moments, and I know I’ll learn so many more incredible things as I continue to live life with Him.