by Yolande Morris
I was mad at God.
And even though I didn’t realize it at first – the frustration and minor annoyances that seemed to be associated with the people in my life who just couldn’t see to “get it right” or “do the right thing” was stemming from bitterness in my own heart toward God.
He really doesn’t care, does he?
That was the lie that my mind kept believing and so I was mad but I didn’t tell him I was mad. So, I did what any good Christian does – I continued to go to church, serve in ministry, and fulfill all of my religious obligations but continue to take out my frustrations on those around me. Nobody really knew the cause – not even me. It was like a dirty secret that I kept from myself.
Yet, through it all, he kept whispering things to me through the Holy Spirit. And his whispers weren’t really suggestions, they were more like commandments.
Serve my people.
The good – no actually – the great thing about God is that when he wants you to do something, he tells the people around you too so that it serves as a confirmation of his word.
And in my life, the voice of God usually sounds a lot like my mother’s voice.
She called me a few months ago to tell me what she usually tells me – “You’re all over the place and you need to rest.” But this time she added in another tidbit – “You need to be serving in the church.”
What? I thought I was supposed to rest and not serve? How could I do both? And why now?
I didn’t realize it at the time what God was doing in my life but I knew that I needed to be obedient. I knew that for once, I couldn’t control this season of my life and I needed to let God handle the outcome rather than letting anxiety take root.
So, I joined two ministry teams. I started taking little breaks from social media and spending more time in Bible study and really listening to what God was saying to me. Then on August 10, I deactivated my Instagram for the first time ever and began to practice the rest that I have so diligently been preaching to others. I allowed myself to rest, listen and lean into God’s word. I spent time caring for my grandmother, practiced being present with family and friends, serve in my local church and attended a leader’s retreat.
It was there – at this familiar place in the woods (a.k.a. Lake Champion) – that God spoke to me and I realized that all of the anger and frustration that I had been feeling was rooted in disappointment. I felt like he had disappointed me. He knew the desires of my heart – marriage, family, ministry – and he was holding out. Somewhere deep down, I knew that he didn’t think that I deserved it.
So, there it was – disappointment rooted in shame – was affecting my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and many others around me.
What could I do? Nothing – the debt had already been paid on the cross, I just had to receive his grace daily. I had to learn to focus on him and seek him before anything else. Instead of believing the lies, I had to accept the truth – not only did he care but he was infatuated with me. He saw me – beautiful, graceful, sweet, lovely – in all the ways that I didn’t see myself.
At first, I thought that God wanted me to rest simply because I was burned out and I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t think that I could afford to accomplish my goals and rest at the same time.
But that isn’t who God is. He doesn’t issue commands to withhold from us but so that we can trust him with the outcome instead of trusting in ourselves. So, by taking a break to rest and spend time with him, he was showing me all the ways that He could be trusted with my heart, my future, and my provision. It’s not my hustle that produces favor and fruit in my life, it is His grace, and His grace alone.
The Bible says that apart from him we can’t bear much fruit.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
So, anything that I am trying to do in my life that is not aligned with his word and his will for my life, will not bear fruit. I don’t want to waste any time on things that won’t last or won’t matter in eternity.
Now don’t get me wrong, social media can and has been a fruitful channel for connection, inspiration, and communication. And, as a full-time communications professional, I can’t do my job without it. But, taking a break from it has helped me to recharge, refocus and reconnect with my family and my purpose. I feel strengthened, renewed, and fit for the season ahead. I am no longer consumed with anxiety – that has been replaced with unconditional trust in my God. I am becoming - day-by-day - unbreakable.
It’s fitting that today is the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה), which literally means a "day of shouting or blasting." So, on this day, I am shouting and blasting this from the Music Monday playlist:
And, I’m inviting you to become unbreakable with me. Join me at the 2019 Fresh Oil Conference, where I will be moderating a panel called: “How to Live Unbreakable Mentally, Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually.” The panel will feature special guests: Sade Solomon, Abby Crews, Dr. Jackie Greene, Gillian Garcia, and Sharo Ramkhelewan.