One of my daughters has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor and a very quick wit. She always has an immediate thought and quick response to any situation…and yes, sometimes it gets her into trouble. But I’ve laughed with her over her comments a million times and I love it!
Maybe that is why I loved reading Kayla Aimee’s new book, In Bloom. Her stories are told with the same type of quick wit and sarcastic humor as my daughter. But another reason I loved this book is how honest Kayla is about life (also like my daughter) and how, in the midst of real life, God wants us to BLOOM. Over and over she shares how God’s redemptive grace has changed her life. Her “real” life.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Is this real life?”
Perhaps you felt excluded by a group you wanted to be a part of. Maybe you watched your family fall apart and wondered, “is this really my life now?” Did you ever serve the Lord obediently and the outcome was nothing like you thought it would be?
I could probably name hundreds of times I’ve wondered this. And if this IS real life, how do I thrive in this season when I can barely take the next step? I didn’t sign up for this part of life!
But, in God’s providence I have taken the next step. I have experienced God’s presence and peace. I have seen God’s faithfulness EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Have you?
Often we believe we shouldn’t be where God has placed us. We may be betrayed by a loved one and in great pain. Maybe we think we shouldn’t have been where we were because of bad choices. Perhaps Satan is in our space and we can’t seem to fend him off. Maybe you’ve prayed for YEARS for something to happen, but so far, nothing!
But in each of these places, because of God’s grace, He still wants to use us for His glory. He also wants to teach us more of who He is in this place. So we can take the current real life situation and seek God’s next step so that it blesses Him and others.
So, what do we do when we find ourselves in that place we’d rather not be? Seven things that can help:
- Ask God what He wants you to learn in this place.
- Continue to worship Him in this place.
- Seek His forgiveness if necessary.
- Ask a friend to join you in prayer in this place. (Isolation will not help!)
- Find ways to use your story of God’s redemption to help someone else.
- Trust His presence and His faithfulness NO MATTER WHAT.
- Praise Him as you see Him work in this place.
One thing Kayla shares is how our expectations of others can often lead to disappointment. We expect our friends to know how we feel and what we thought they would do. She reminds us that no one can meet all our needs. We are only made complete in God’s work. Then we can truly live IN BLOOM.
One illustration she share that I bet we can all identify with is when her daughter Scarlette began complaining about how heavy her backpack was. Normally all she had in it is a folder and a bottle of water but she was struggling to lug it up the stairs. Kayla finally looked in the pack and found rocks!
And isn’t that how we sometimes live life? Carrying things like hurt, disappointment, fear, unforgiveness, unmet expectation. God wants to relieve us of carrying unnecessary things in our backpack and will carry that for us if we let Him.
Matthew 11:28-30 reminds us of his light burden:“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
By the way, I’d LOVE to meet Kayla’s daughter Scarlette! Sounds like she has a bit of her mom’s quick wit!