And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28NIV)
Anyone who knows me well knows I am an accessories girl. As women, we carve our identities and sense of style subconsciously from an early age, and early influences – mother, aunties, friends, icons on TV. My influence was my mother when I look back. Some girls are into shoes, some into clothes, and others into makeup and hair. I became the ‘accessorize girl’ from my teens. I hear someone say, “Why are we talking about such carnal things on a worship blog?”
Well, I had a profound teaching from the Lord using one of my favourite things – accessories!! Being very particular about how I accessorize over or under, I am quite particular about how people touch my earrings or necklaces when I have them on. There was a necklace I had that was way too long and one had to double it to wear it appropriately, but sometimes the double look just did not work for the outfit and I would get easily frustrated as it was a three-coloured piece that went with many outfits. On this day I was in a hurry, not interested so I wore it at its full length – not nice
We had an office event and my 2nd level Director i.e. bosses’ boss would be there amongst all the ‘ogas at the top’. Lol! My 2nd level Director approached me to say niceties and give kisses as they do in Europe and whilst giving me a sweeping glance from top to bottom, she smiles says, “You look nice” but then immediately goes for the very long chain, ties it up in a knot, so that its shorter and looks like some style they were these days. She taps my chest and says, “There. It’s better, is it not?”
Remember this is my ‘oga at the top’; I could not say a word so I smiled sheepishly whilst disliking the fact that I was touched and my necklace was knotted. I carried on my affairs for the day, went home and tried to undress, the knot would not untie; it had become entangled with the small, big beads and stones that came with the necklace. In my impatience and frustration, I cut the necklace – one of my favourites!! Now I was mad at my Director for touching it. I let it be and went about by job no. 2 – catering for my family, dinner, home work….. like most working women do.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks after, I desire to wear the necklace again. I prepare for my morning the night before, try to salvage the chain and in the end I had to cut the tanged piece of and reattached the longer piece. Guess what? It was now a great length sitting just over my navel and looking good for anything – a dress, shirt, name it. I was shocked. And even more so, the excess was just long enough to make a hand chain! Now was this a breakthrough discovery? NO! Is this new to new to any woman who is practical? NO. But in that moment, God began to speak to me.
I was going through a pretty tough situation at work, we were in a restructuring and I was being asked to do an old job beyond required time, whilst the new roles I applied and interviewed for were given to others ; I felt it was unfair and hard done by. But in it all, through occasional doubts, I never lost my praise or faith. I thanked God, laid all my fears at His table and each time, just said, “Thank you, Lord” whenever fears overwhelmed me with thoughts that this was a ploy to make me redundant. As the new structure was being implemented the newly appointed team struggled with the ambiguity of the situation, manoeuvring through the office politics, and overall, the high pressures of setting up in a new job, building foundations of new processes, policies. I knew deep in my soul that with my young children in my care, no real support system out here in Europe, I could not pull the long hours (15hours a day) required. I began to enjoy the fact that I was doing what I was doing, outside the hot mess. I began to see what God was saving me from in many ways, too numerous to type on this blog. He had positioned me in a place of honour and kept me in a place of safety where I could still perform well within my limitations on the job.
So on that faithful evening as I fixed my chain, God drew an analogy and said to me:
– This is your evolution. It looked confusing at first, and you were ashamed and felt you had no new role or new title but just like your chain that you wanted to leave in a certain way, no one to touch it, things were adjusted for your own good but you did not know this at the time.
– Now you work with joy, peace and confidence with no conflict, no strife; you are doing what is just right for you at this time. I liken this to your chain which is now at the right length – no longer, no shorter. This was not a setback but a set up for your success!!
– Through this experience, I was able to walk you through the excesses in your life – your insecurities, negative self-talk, pains and bad attitudes; together, we cut them off like the excess part of your necklace.
– As we cut off excesses, we were able to convert these negative emotions for good, using the energy for positive actions like reinforcing My words to you, reinforcing prayer in your life, reinforcing Godly thoughts through Philippians 4:8 in your head. Just like your necklace, you can use the excessive length for a hand chain if you so wish.
So friends, this was indeed an adjustment for my good. It looked and felt awful; I walked through a period of shame, low self-esteem, but God was actually protecting me from a chaotic and painful near future. I bless Him daily for this, knowing He always has my back; knowing that my worship, service and faith is never to no effect but that in Him, I really do live, move and have my being.
What situation are you in right now that you can’t make sense of? Know that just as the word says, it will work together for your good indeed if you love God! You will be able to list the benefits at the end of the day, some will be too numerous to count. Hold on, hang in there, stay the course, stay rooted in God alone. He’s got your back!! Of a truth know this –
No one who hopes in God will ever be put to shame (Psalm 25:3)
Written by Bee
Be Your Best Self For God series