Taking a step back and reflecting on the goodness of God….

Giving God glory is always appropriate no matter what time of year it is, but I think even more so during this Thanksgiving season. 

I have spent alot of time reflecting on where I’ve been, where I am now and praying about where Gods taking me. God has done an amazing work in my heart over the past year and a half and the journey I have been on has taught me so much about the character of God and has strengthened my relationship with Him.

About 18 months ago is when one of the largest trials I have been through began. I was on the verge of making a decision that would have changed the course of my family’s life, but instead God was merciful, hedged up my way, turned it all around and led us to where We are today.

After this initial decision, God was moving in my heart in a huge way. The Lord was drawing me closer and closer to him. When I thought I had reached a good place in my relationship with the Lord, little did I know another trial was about to begin. 

A year ago this month, Cyber criminals infiltrated into my wholesale clothing business and took everything from me that I had worked so hard to build. I had designed a children’s clothing line and sold wholesale to over 150 boutiques throughout the US. I had gone from a home based, one woman business to bringing on multiple employees and contracting out other companies for manufacturing. God had been blessing! 

BUT THEN….

It all came to a screeching halt. The type of crime that was committed against me was not covered by insurance and I was left with nothing but debt. I knew that not only was my business over but our personal financial situation as a family was in jeopardy as well. That thought made my whole body ache because I felt responsible for what had happened. 

I must admit that I had already been praying about the Lord’s will for my business and felt as though he was telling me to close the doors, but I doubted what I heard thinking,  “how could this be God’s will?” I decided to move forward with one more season while I continued to ask the Lord for confirmation. It was during this season that the cyber infiltration and crime happened. I often think that if I had obeyed the Lord when I heard him speak the first time none of this would have happened, but I allowed doubt to determine my decision. As hard as it is to believe, I feel that God allowed this crime against my business to force me to close the doors since I didn’t do it on my own. 

I don’t blame God for what happened,  but have learned a big lesson from it. When you hear God, OBEY IMMEDIATELY!

 After it all happened I spent hours every day praying and begging God to perform a miracle and return to us what was taken. I was ok with my business being over and knew that was God’s will, but the personal financial burden this put my family in was crushing. I was reading my Bible more than ever and my faith was strong. I expected God to move immediately and looked every day for that miracle. It wasn’t coming and I struggled through what I thought was unanswered prayer and lack of faith on my part. My prayers continued, and my walk with God deepened. As God revealed himself to me and worked in my heart in a deeper way my prayers changed. They went from begging for deliverance to being settled and content in knowing that our lives may never be the same again.  I was now at peace knowing that God had chosen this for us. He gave me my business and our personal financial security and He could take it away if He saw fit. I knew He had a greater purpose in it all and in time we would see.

It’s been a year now and all though there has not been a financial miracle God has used this trial in so many ways. He has continued to  provide for our needs, He has continued to strengthen my faith, my family, my marriage and has made himself so real to us.

My 10 yr old daughter has received the Lord as her savior and our children have been able to witness the changes the Lord has made in our home. As a family we are walking closer to God.

It’s true that trials in life can be some of the sweetest times in life. It’s never easy, but well worth it. The Bible says in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”

We are still in the fire and don’t see an end in sight, but God is faithful. I wouldn’t trade this past year and a half for anything. 

VERSES THAT ENCOURAGE ME…

“Be still and Know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph. 3:20-21

Job lost EVERYTHING, but remained faithful and God gave it all back and more. David lost EVERYTHING in Ziklag, but God allowed him to “recover all”.            1 Samuel 30:18

The Lord is encouraging my heart daily to trust Him. 

Even though my life has been filled with ups and downs God has remained faithful. He has never let me wander too far from his reach and just as a father picks up his child when they fall he has done the same for me. 

The Bible says God is our Heavenly Father if we have trusted in Jesus Christ to save us and forgive us of our sins. We are the children of God.

 He LOVES us unconditionally and knows what’s BEST for us. He has wisdom and knowledge that we don’t have, but yet he allows us to make our own decisions. He knows when we haven’t made the best choices in life, but allows us to LEARN from those mistakes. If we get too far off course He WILL pull us back. If we ask for his guidance and help He WILL guide us. He doesn’t force himself on us, but allows us to come to him ANYTIME we want or need. He desires to GIVE us good gifts and desires to BLESS our lives, but only when He KNOWS we are ready for it. He craves OUR love and devotion. God is the ULTIMATE father!

Give God the glory and recognition He deserves. Let him work in your life. Be sensitive to His leading. Be thankful. 

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving. 

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