It has been a LONG time since my first post.
I have been troubled with some personal storms in my life for awhile now. I say I have three major storms going on right now but my main one of the three is getting done with grad school. I have been in graduate school for almost three years. My time in school has been like this spiritual, mental, and emotional rollercoaster. There was a time that I wanted to give up grad school. I felt like I wasn’t ready, and it wasn’t for me. I felt defeated over and over again. I was unfocused when I first got to grad school. I was still in that “I just graduated from 4 years of intense biomedical engineering work and need a mental break” mode. On top of that, I was not baptized in the Church. Therefore, I was only concerned about “self”.
My relationship with someone very special in my life is one that I will always cherish regardless of what we go through. I was very foolish back then but now I have become wiser. I was selfish back then but now I am learning to give more. I really appreciate him putting up with my pettiness and staying by my side. We have a history…a MAJOR history…only a history between us and God. God used my relationship with my special one to bring me into His Church. April 09, 2006…the day I was added to the Body of Christ.
I am DEFINITELY not the same Kristal I was when I first started grad school. PRAISE God for that! If it hadn’t been for my graduate school experience and my relationship with my special one, no telling where I would be right this moment. I no longer regret being in grad school anymore. God brought me here for a reason and now I see life in a completely different light compared to when I was ‘lost’ in the world.
Ok ok, I am getting off topic with what I want to discuss. But hey, it is MY blog so I can do this MY way. Anyway…
I have been in a spiritual low lately. I have been doubting myself in regards to my capability to get through my thesis. First off, I haven’t been able to get into contact with my advisor for awhile now. I still have data to analyze but am not even sure my data is adequate and of statistical importance. I am having a hard time organizing my background and lit review of my thesis. I am grading papers as a TA, which is taking up time from my thesis. My committee wants me to have my thesis completed by the 18th of this month (less than 2 weeks). I have no clue on how I am going to pull this off. On top of that, I am facing a very personal issue that is really weighing down my self-esteem. Plus, I am having some slight issues with a relationship of mine.
Last night, my heart was so heavy that I cried myself to sleep. I felt like I just couldn’t take it anymore. I lost sight of God and what He can do for me. I was lost in my storms…all I could ask God was “Why me?”
I prayed last night that the lesson preached today will REALLY touch my heart and prick me to the point that I can get over my foolishness. Seriously I was doubting myself=doubting God. I couldn’t continue this way. I needed a word from Him.
After the singing of “Keep on Making A Way” (my favorite song!!!), Bro. Stephens got up and began his lesson. The title of it was “How to Handle a Storm”. I immediately was very attentive. God heard me and this lesson was for me! Here are the major points of the lesson:
- Lesson taken from James 3:1-6 with emphasis on v. 4
- One thing we all have in common is that we will all go through storms.
- Only God cangive the accurate/adequate answer to our answers.
- If I am seeking peace, joy, healing, strength, restoration, etc–>Ask God for these things!!!
- Everyone who goes through storms won’t make it (or will perish) due to lack of preparation and faith in God
- 1) Outward appearance WON’T stop storms from coming into one’s life.
- Outward appearance doesn’t dictate how one will respond to a storm.
- You never know how much energy it took for a person to actually get up to go to service this morning. People can be crying deep inside feeling defeated while smiling at others on the out.
- We are nothing but little ships in a big sea full of storms no matter how great we THINK we are.
- Ex. Paul was a great teacher but had many storms in his life.
- We are weak vessels when we don’t trust God during our storms.
- 2) Fierce (harsh, violent) winds accompany storms.
- Bad news about those winds is that they can destroy you and others around you.
- Good news is that the storm won’t last long.
- The storm is not made stronger by the winds. The winds actually blow the storm away. The storm only gets stronger when there are no winds and the storm is stagnant. Therefore, we must keep going in our storms because when the wind is blowing there is hope.
- Jesus shows up and shows out. Help is on the way. Thank God that the winds are blowing the storm out of the way. Therefore, we must not be frightened. We must praise God in the midst of our storm!
- 3) Secret of handling storms is to control the helm of your ship. This is the rudder (a small part of the ship that is hardly ever seen), which determines which way the ship goes in the sea.
- The rudder is synonymous to our tongue. Our tongue has the power of speaking life and death into existence. It determines our outcome to our storms.
- Therefore, we must countrol our rudder (tongue) in order to get out the storm. We must say the right thing in our storm.
- Stop saying “I give up, I quit, I can’t do this, I can’t take this.”
- Start saying “God didn’t bring me this far in the storm to leave me…He is my Shepherd”
- We have to have the right perspective while going through a storm. We don’t have the insight to get through on our own. This is why we need a resource…Jesus.
- Angels are appointed by God to watch over us.
- Just remember that God will NEVER exhaust His riches to people outside His House!!! God will definitely take care of us because we are His children!
- Morning (calm) always follow the night (storm)
These are the major points of the lesson. There is more but these are more than sufficient to convict me of my foolish thinking and doubting. God didn’t bring me to this stage of my graduate career to leave me out on my own. Yeah, it is taking me longer than average but there were some things God needed me to go through during this time. God has been testing my faith in Him the entire time. There were times I have strayed but because He LOVES me SO much, He brought me back to where I need to be. I have witnessed many great blessings God has given me over these past three years…blessings that are not even comparable to when I wasn’t “saved”. Trials aren’t supposed to be easy…my thesis isn’t supposed to be easy. But now I know that God is making me stronger…just what I asked for in prayer time and time again in the past. Brother Stephens has said several times “Be careful what you pray for…your pray for patience and you will go through things to test and strengthen your patience.” How can you pray to God to help you love your enemies if you are never approached by them? God is teaching me to be stronger through this experience. But only through Him am I stronger…I am not stronger because of ME!
Ok, I can go on and on because this lesson touched me SO much. I am more confident now. God is with me ALWAYS even when I feel like I can’t take another step. I must remember to keep my eyes on Him. He is going to get me through!!! God is going to get me through my storm…Thank You God!
I am spirtually high again. Thank You God for answered prayers….I am now ready to conquer my thesis!!! Please pray for me.
(Excuse any grammatical errors…it is getting late)