Disclaimer: As I mentioned last week and the week before, the introduction may be a bit lengthy, but please read all of it even if in multiple sittings.
Once I got of driving age, and my mother finally trusted me to drive, she would sometimes send me out to grab food for her and my dad. Because I wasn’t working yet and didn’t have my own funds to sponsor their meal, she would provide what I needed to produce what she was asking for. (Jot that down.) In the event that I had not eaten, she’d add a few extra dollars to the fund so that I too could eat. I’d take her money along with her order and set off to go where she instructed me. Once I returned and distributed everyone’s meals, I would walk over to her with a receipt and a few folded dollars…her change. More often than not, when I was given money for the purchase, my mom would say, “Bring me back my change,” but every now and then, the narrative would be different. Sometimes my mother, after thanking me for my obedience, would smile and say, “Keep the change.”
Let us begin.
The last three years have been a whirlwind of transitions, processes, and growth all because of an instruction. Here is my candid truth: I wasn’t interested in changing. This is in part because I liked who I was exactly how I was, I didn’t see the need to change, or because I feared change. Fast forward the clock, and I am nearly a new woman. I have taken chances, had accomplishments, walked away from things, and let go of some people…because God told me to. If you would have asked me in 2016 if I could imagine my life looking like it does today (the good and bad, gains and losses), I would have vehemently disagreed. God took me through a metamorphosis of sorts. The change was necessary, and I didn’t even know it. Here’s the thing, God had some assignments that I needed to complete for him, and I couldn’t do that the way I was, so change was necessary.
Let’s tie in my example of my mother sending me out to get food. In many cases I have considered myself too inadequate to fulfill the instruction that God has given me. To me, this correlates with my mother sending me to buy her food although I didn’t have money. God will never instruct you to do something that he hasn’t equipped and made provision for you to do. For example: when God instructed me to release music last year, I quickly reminded him that I didn’t have the funds and didn’t know what connections to make to do so. By clicking on the homepage of this website, you will see that I successfully released music. This isn’t the case because I figured it out on my own; actually all of my personal plans failed. God quickly shut down my self-doubt reminding me that he had already gifted and anointed me to sing – that’s the “equipped you to do” part. So the only remaining issue was funding. Well, just like my mama gave me a twenty dollar bill with her order, God gave me the instructions and he gave me the resources. Before I knew it, one phone conversation linked me with all of the key players I needed, and just when I needed it, the money showed up too. God provided what I needed so that I could produce what he was asking for.
Oh! I almost forgot to bring up the part about my mom giving me extra money so that I could eat too. Have you ever been faithfully doing the will of God, and it seemed like you were pouring out what you should’ve been keeping for yourself? I have prayed for people when I needed prayer, loaned money to people when I needed financial increase, lifted people when I was sinking, and poured into others when I felt depleted. In those moments, I found that God not only gave me what I needed to do his will, but he provided a little bit extra to sustain me too. It’s kind of his way of saying, “I won’t use you without taking care of you.” Whew!
Now for the “keep the change” piece…
Continuing with my example of releasing music last year, I can think of two ways that God told me to, “Keep the change.” Number one, the most obvious one: once I had paid all of the invoices for both my single release and the single release concert, there were a few hundred dollars left over. I can vividly remember sitting with my closest friends after counting the money three times feelings shocked that after all of that, I wasn’t empty handed. God had covered the tab for the assignment and gave me a little something something. Just like my mama… “For your obedience, keep the change.”
That’s not the good part because money runs out. In the time leading up to that big assignment, I was changing. I had to learn how to relinquish fear, take big leaps, trust people and not be so guarded, PRAY FOR WHAT I REALLY WANTED, be patient, be okay when people didn’t subscribe to or believe in me or my vision, and celebrate small victories. Often times an assignment from God isn’t just about fulfilling his will regarding what he wants you to do, but it is also about becoming who he wants you to be. That particular assignment grew my faith to a brand new level. So after the single was released and the concert was over, I found myself asking God, “Now what?” My calendar wasn’t booked, I hadn’t hit any top Billboard charts, and I still had to go back to work that next Monday. God, in essence, told me to keep the change.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
Isaiah 43:18-19 [New International Version]
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
One of the worst things you can do with a new season is live like you are still in an old one. Imagine finally getting a promotion that provides a substantial increase of pay but continuing to be a poor financial steward. Imagine having a liver transplant but still drinking like a fish. Imagine someone spending years in jail because of drug charges then returning right back to that lifestyle once he/she is released. Imagine going through a process of transformation then reverting to who and what you were at the end of it.
The greatest thing you can do when you have been changed is stay changed.
If I may say this, you did not endure all of those processes and learn all of those lessons to remain who you where when you first began. I’ll even go on a limb and say that the transformation wasn’t just so you could complete your God-given assignment. You’ve changed because you are becoming, my dear. Who and how you were were sufficient for that time, but your present and future requires something different. Yup, even who you are today may not be who you’ll be tomorrow; the process of transformation is ongoing. But here’s the thing to discern: your change isn’t the only change. God is literally shifting the things around you. Newness is bursting from the soil and budding all around you. Though a former version of you could figure out what to do with this newness, the changed you was created for it. Whatever you do, no matter how challenging it may be, keep the change.
I hope this helps.