Have you ever felt like you have been in a very dark valley? Boy, I have! I recently experienced an extended season of trials that started in the end of 2014. In this dark valley it has felt like shifting sand falling through my fingers.
You see, I was being forced to hold on loosely to everything and everyone so I could learn to hold on firmly to Christ.
I felt like God was doing a major sifting and many things were shifted around, but ultimately I have been lifted. I was lifted to a higher playing field with God.
Oh, it was not fun getting to this current place. No, it has not really been fun at all, and sometimes I am still being sifted and shifted, but I trust firmly and completely in the One that is guiding me.
You have heard me say, “Not everyone can go where God is calling you.” That is so very true.
God really showed me some things this last year and a half through many of my dark valley moments.
God was showing me that not everyone stays on your team, remains in your corner, and has your back or your best interest at heart. People disappoint us; God never does. Hold on loosely, to everyone and everything ….But God!
God will sift alright!
The first sifting came when someone that I thought was in my “top 5”actually was not in my corner at all. They were there simply by default through a mutual friend we both shared. They had a perceived notion that something happened that didn’t and in their words of anger God revealed that this was not what was best for me. I was a little bewildered by it all at first, but I also knew that when I pray “God reveal to me who my true friends are” God is always faithful to answer my prayer.
The second sifting came when I felt the Lord wanting me to use my words. I am a stuffer of my emotions and feelings. Over the years I have been learning to express my feelings and not stuff my face. I also didn’t want any weirdness with holding onto the hurt feelings I felt. I resisted at first but then I chose to be obedient to the Lord, knowing full well this would go over like “a turd in the punchbowl.” And Boy did it ever! They lashed back more fierce and vile than I could have possibly even imagined but God said, “Trust Me, they are hurting so they just want to hurt others. Perception is Full of Deception. Take what you need to own and let Me sift the rest.”
I learned that Rejection is God’s ultimate protection. I have been completely guarded and protected through it all. God will restore this relationship in His perfect timing and I trust Him completely.
The third sifting came and it had me Offended…. at first.
I hate offense too! When I feel it I take it immediately to God. I remind myself that Jesus was not offended that Judas would betray Him. He washed his feet and even kissed Judas, knowing full well Judas was about to sell Jesus out. This sifting was more about sifting my emotions and reactions. Those closest to me were constantly unavailable when I felt I really needed them. I was frustrated at what I perceived was one lame excuse after another. I knew they were rearranging things that they viewed important but felt offended that they were not willing to arrange things for me. Again, perception-is always full of deception. I realized in this sifting that the Harvest is plenty, but the workers are few.
But I also knew and trusted that God would continue to provide those Aaron’s and Hur’s for me to hold up my hands when I needed it most. So I have learned to “Hold on loosely to everyone and everything….But God!” I also let others do the same and don’t feel offended when they can’t make room for me.
The forth sifting came and it had me feeling excluded, or “kicked to the curb”. A group I was a part of for several years, I felt God asking me to step away to focus on some other things and in my stepping away I felt that I was being excluded or forgotten more and more. I had been removed from all communications and did not even get invited to a birthday celebration of what I thought was a very close friend and had to find out by another friend. God had other plans for me that day, and I still trust Him that no matter how hard I try or my emotions miss or want to rejoin the group, God keeps shutting the door to those invitations even with non-invitations.
I am learning to hold on loosely to everyone and everything….But God!
Many will jump on the bandwagon, very few are willing to stay on it. Many want to ride the waves, but few are willing to paddle out to catch the waves with you. It is all about the sifting, the shifting, and the lifting. “Not Everyone Can Go Where God is Calling You.”
You won’t reach that “lifted up” space or higher playing field if you remain afraid to let go or speak up when God asks you to sift and shift some things. He can force the sifting and shifting too! – remember …Hold on loosely….
Death of any kind, whether actual death or the death of a relationship, or the shifting of friends, can be terrible, but not to the sheep (or peeps) of Christ. It is God’s way of separating the wheat from the chaff. Celebrate rejection as God’s ultimate protection.
Valleys are often fruitful! I would not have learned to “Hold on loosely” to everyone and everything but Christ. I would not have continued to seek God and His will or even choose the uncomfortable obedience over the opinions of others, or perceived opinions of others, or even over my fleshly emotions.
The Lord can make any situation pleasant if we stay plugged in to Him. We just take our hurt, our warped perceptions, our hurt emotions, and offended spirits to God. Release it all to God to be restored!
I have found that even in the darkest, lonely and most trying hours -God is near.
I also know God sends Angels right when we need them. He has sent many to me. I have grown much closer with people that I have never actually met in person. Some of those connections online have reached out and given me encouragement, advice, prayers and some amazing prophetic words when I needed them most. I have also had reconnections with others and some pretty amazing opportunities through Divinely Placed people that have become some of the most amazing Divine Connections now too. I know God can even use Google to have Angels and even your Aaron’s and Hur’s to find you too.
Hold on loosely to everyone and everything… But God!
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
near with Your protection and guidance,
I am comforted. ~Psalm 23:4 The VOICE
Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way. ~ Psalm 23:4 TLB