But, Are You Ready?
I recently have felt very far away from God. Very, very distant. I didn’t hear his voice. I didn’t know what he wanted from me. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. And I have to say it’s a scary thing to wake up every day and feel like you don’t know what to do. Like you don’t know what your purpose is. And I was angry. I was so angry because I felt like I was being so diligent and specific in my prayers and he just simply had not given me what I had been praying for. So I just stopped talking to him for a while. Which I hate to admit, being a worship leader on Sundays, makes that a little difficult. But there was a period of time very recently where I fully dreaded praying after I lead worship. I even asked some of the other singers to pray instead. I didn’t want to talk to him because he refused to talk to me. But something clicked for me recently…… have you ever asked God to help your flower bloom then you suddenly realize…. you haven’t even watered it yet.
Let me back up a bit. For those of you that know me or follow me outside of church and on social media, you know that I am a recording artist and full-time singer, I have a podcast, I have a blog, I produce different projects and I run an entertainment company. I try to stay busy because I love submerging myself into projects that matter to me. We live in a city where opportunities are endless, so for me, living in Los Angeles, my dreams seemed possible. And for the last 12 years I’ve had the same dream. To be known for my music. Touching people through my music has been the sole goal I have had my whole life. There was always a certain level of a singing career that I wanted to reach and even through all the things I’ve accomplished in touring the world, winning awards performing with musicians I have admired for years, I have always wondered “Why am I not where I want to be?”
Well, let me start by saying after praying really hard for clarity, and I mean screaming, yelling and probably cursing it became ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that what I wanted and what God wanted for me, were two COMPLETELY different things. I realized that through all the chaos and multiple things in my life that the reason I wasn’t hearing God’s voice, was because everything else was so loud. I also realized that God hadn’t given me my hearts desire for a couple of reasons. First and fore most I was limiting myself. God has had this huge plan for me this entire time and I only wanted small part of it. The best way I can describe my epiphany is that it was as if God was trying to make me more like Oprah……and all I wanted was to be a singer who can’t even own her own music. Real Talk! That’s how much I was limiting myself and God. And secondly, I wasn’t ready. ------------------------------------------------ I don’t know if you all remember the Disney/Pixar movie Moana. But it was by far one of my favorite Disney Pixar films. And one of the messages I got from that film has stuck with me to this very day. And I didn’t until recently realize just how much like Moana I truly am. If you remember the story, Moana was dead set on going out into the ocean and sailing. It was calling her and she didn’t know why. It was this passion that had stirred up inside of her that she just couldn’t let go. Her village at the time was suffering from lack of food and water and she wanted to be the one to save her people. So she sneaks off with no preparation, no sailing lessons, no compass and tries to sail. Naturally she gets beaten up by the ocean, her boat breaks and she swims back to shore. We later find out that Moana was actually chosen by the ocean when she was younger to be the one to save her people. She learns of her families history and that she comes from a long line of voyagers, hence why this passion to sail the ocean was so deeply engrained in her. Once she is fully equipped with the knowledge she needs she embarks on her journey to restore the heart of TaFiti in order to restore the land of her people to what it once was. But on her journey, she runs into many obstacles, and at one point she even gives up. She then tells the ocean to pick someone else. She loses her will, her drive, and her courage. --------------------------------- We’ve all been there. Felt defeated. Felt broken. Felt like maybe we were wrong about the one thing we are so passionate about. And because our passions haven’t been brought to fruition, we sometimes think what’s the point…and we feel like we don’t know what we are doing anymore. But sometimes there’s this little voice that reminds who we are, the deeper meaning behind what we’ve asked for, why we were chosen to do something. That voice for Moana was her grandmother. She appeared to her and told her to keep going to find her true calling. So she does, and not only does she restore the heart of Ta Fiti and return her peoples land to what it once was she discovers the one thing she always wanted, her true identity. She was a voyager. She wasn’t only meant to save her people in the moment, she was meant to lead them. And the journey she went through positioned her so she was finally ready.
You see for me, I have always said I was ready. But now, I realized I hadn’t fully positioned to myself to receive the blessing, the blessings that were coming my way. You see just like Moana I have often gone out into the ocean with no preparation, no sailing lessons, no compass and more often than not the ocean would beat me up, destroy my boat and send me swimming back to shore. I just expected to get to my destination without being properly prepared, without fully knowing why this passion to change the world and make a difference through music was so heavily engrained in my soul. And even throughout my journey when I finally did make it to the ocean, and I met obstacle after obstacle, I too have given up. We tend to focus on the what and the when, and not the why or how.
We say: “What I want is this, and God when will I get it?”
But God says: “Why do you want it, and how do you get there?”
And without answering we say: “What is taking so long, when is my chance or big break going to happen?”
Gods says: “Why don’t you trust me?” and “How have you made yourself ready?”
Preparing for God’s blessings requires that you put your faith in him into action. It’s not enough to simply say you’re ready to receive God’s blessings, and yet you do nothing to position yourself for them. You don’t listen to the things he is trying to tell you and you allow yourself to be distracted by anything and everything. And more importantly you allow fear and doubt to take over. To consume you. But blessings simply will not come until you are ready for them. Jesus couldn’t turn water into wine without there being water first.
There have been great moments in my life where I have received blessings beyond my imagination. But I’ve never been positioned to receive my ultimate blessing. I’ve never been positioned to truly fulfill my calling. I’ve never been positioned to walk in my greater purpose because I simply was not ready. I have no idea what the future holds for me but I do know that Jeremiah 29:11 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I do know that I am in a season of preparation and that my position is essential for the overflow of blessings that are about to come my way. And I know this because I’m finally ready. I’m ready to get out of my own way and to be uncomfortable. You see before you can move into a new thing, or truly walk in your purpose you have to stop doing the same things that you’ve continuously done. You can’t keep asking “When will things change” if you yourself aren’t doing anything to change. God shows up, with something new that is essentially made to put us where we want to be but there are so many times we try to hang on to what’s familiar because we aren’t sure that this new thing is what is right for us. When all along it’s what we’ve prayed and all God is doing is simply positioning us to be ready to receive it.
Having faith is hard. Trusting is hard. Believing is Hard. The journey is hard. But when God anoints you and appoints you for something, you have to know it doesn’t come without tests. It doesn’t come without trials. It doesn’t come without hardship. And it requires so much patience. So I say to you today, before you set sail in the ocean, before you embark on your journey, remember to ask yourself: Are you ready?