The Lord provided for me above and beyond this year. It wasn’t an easy year by any stretch of the imagination, which I am truly grateful for, because the circumstances I faced are what allowed me to continue to grow in my faith and trust in the Lord.I started 2013 sick and questioning why God was calling me back to the Marine Corps. I had a full blown plan for The Loop of Confidence/Confidence Builder, the radio show, and speaking engagements. What I ended up with was an extremely demanding billet as the Force Headquarters Group G-6 for 9 months, where I discovered real uglinest in me. I had to lean on the Lord more and more just to make it through the day. I also came to understand I serve one Master – God. All I do is to be pleasing to Him; it doesn’t matter who I work for and how I feel about them.
I was exhausted after those 9 months but next came a lot of uncertainty and change as I left New Orleans for Germany.
2013 was also the year I laid all my hopes and dreams at the Father’s feet and began to fully obey Him. I was pretty crushed and very scared at first; I felt like I lost who was, I no longer had a self-identity and my life would be mundane if I wasn’t pursuing my own goals. Even now it’s not always easy as visions and aspirations continue to burn in my heart but greater is my trust in His plan (and…yea, my life has been far from mundane). I not only believe but now understand at all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually that what God has planned for my life is far better than anything I could come up with and achieve.
Upon arriving to Germany, I walked into less than ideal circumstances and found myself crying a lot, but I didn’t feel defeated, nor did I feel self-pity…I was finally a new person in Him. I knew how to trust God. I prayed for Him to improve the tiniest of things which would make a world of difference. I witnessed Him work in my every day life – answering my prayers and turning things around.
I have come to know God in the ordinary. In the drudgery of life, amidst messy circumstance and struggles I have seen him develop my character, work in me and bless me. I also found great comfort in realizing “To obey is better than sacrifice”. It is great deal better to fulfill the purpose of God in your life by discerning His will then to perform great acts of self-sacrifice. Great acts of self-sacrifice are more often than not ego/flesh oriented and highly unnecessary. They might make us feel holy, when in fact, they go against the will of God.
It’s only because of His Grace that I acquired patience and found greater humility and became even less judgmental and critical. Being more patient has led me to being at the right place at the right time especially during my travels!! Anger had become a daily struggle but now I go days and weeks without it raising it’s ugly head.
This all lead to the highlight of this year, which was, finally finding true joy in living an obedient life according to God’s plan. My heart had grown weary, negative and dark over the last decade and although I gave my life to God a few years ago – I had not yet found real joy but I knew if I kept asking Him; I would receive it.
Handing my life over to God has allowed me to really start LIVING it. Great scriptures I came to understand this year: John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. Again Jesus spoke to them saying “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. Dying to self = truly living!
I am at peace without pressures to perform or achieve. Doesn’t mean I don’t work hard or do my best but it does mean I trust all I do is what I can do, God is in charge of the supernatural, and the consequences and outcomes are not up to me.
I was fooled for years like many others are and spent my time and energy seeking self-realization, self-interest and self-sufficiency. It led to the worst of all there is. This past year I deepen my desires to seek the Lord and only the Lord…I found Him and the best of everything. Make no mistake about it – the life I am living is all thanks to God.
I will spend 2014 on my knees seeking Him further. I look forward to knowing Him better. I will spend more time in His Word, more time acquiring greater discernment, and working on a better prayer life. I spend my time with Him and He spends His time working everything out in my life for my good. I shall continue to glorify Him. It’s really that simple!!
I invite everyone to consider the best way to spend your time in 2014.
Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed New Year!!