Life. It can be filled with so many things; blessings, laughter, sorrow, frustration. It throws us curveballs and situations that we have to handle. Someone once told me, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." This saying really hit hard with me because it made me start to think about past situations that could have had an alternate result had my reaction been different (better in most cases). Reactions can be hard to control. We are human and so, naturally, we have the tendency to either get angry at situations that don't go our way or to be overly excited in other situations and not think about how they could negatively effect those around us. Reaction is definitely a trained response if you really think about it. You have to get in the habit and remind yourself about perspective. For instance, you live in a tourist populated town (insert hand raised emoji here). It's summer. Your reaction to traffic and crazy drivers shouldn't be one of anger and frustration but one of peace and tolerance (I am totally preaching to myself here!). Life will put you into situations that may cause setbacks but, our immediate thought process is not always a reaction of leaning into God. Most of us allow the setback to overtake us and we, in a sense, prepare for combat against God; meaning, we build up walls, lose trust, turn away from Him, listen to the Devil's lies, etc. You may be in the midst of a setback as we speak or maybe you simply need to collect some "armor" for a setback that may be coming.
Have you ever had something come up in your life and you suddenly find yourself thinking of how your life will be IF you succeed and end up achieving whatever it was you were wanting but then you don't get it? In the past month, I encountered a certain situation that ended up being just that. I was sure it was going to be a part of my comeback story but it ended up feeling like a setback. I went in for an interview and met with someone whom I have known for a while. During the interview, there was the basic introductory/ catch up questions ("How are you? What are you up to lately?, etc). Then I was asked what I had been doing since I graduated college (a year ago). After I gave them my response, the first thing I was told was, "You have some big decisions to make, kiddo." This phrase was repeatedly said to me throughout the rest of our meeting. It felt like everything I said wasn't good enough or wasn't exactly what they wanted to hear. I kept questioning why I was even called in, both during and after this meeting. It really set me back because I went in thinking that this was a potential opportunity at a career and God clearly had other things for me. That phrase still resonates with me because I, along with almost every human on the planet, have and will have big decisions that I need to make.
In all honesty, I don't know if the career field that I interviewed for is something I should be pursuing or if there is a different field where I will make a difference. I need to decide if I am going to let God run my life or if I am going to try, and probably fail, at running my own life, thinking that I know what is best for me in every situation. I need to decide who/what I'm going to let define me; God or social media's opinions of me. I need to decide if I am going to continue to live in this setback or if I am going to use it to my advantage and come back with more trust in the Lord. Many of you may be facing the same issue in deciding how to respond to the current situations happening in your own life. So, what will you do kiddo?
Will you make a comeback or prepare for combat?
Let's talk/think about what the difference between comeback and combat are.
Combat is the place where you find yourself having to make excuses for all your actions; you are on the defense constantly. You are trying to plan your next move and you think you know exactly how each move will turn out and what will happen in result. You turn into your own Raven (for those original Disney Channel peeps) and you think you can see the future. But, remember everything Raven saw wasn't always as it seemed. Truth is, we can't predict our future and we don't know what's going to happen. God has all of that already planned for us and it is perfect. I'm a planner myself so not knowing can kill me at times but I know that what I think I want for my life, my God has something even better than I could ever imagine. Combat can lead to defying God and fighting the plan that He has for you. We can block and delay His blessings for us by not allowing for Him to do His work, in His timing, for our lives. Sometimes in our setbacks we give God the Heisman pose; we hold on to our plans for us and push Him back to prevent Him from taking them from us in fear that He may change them. Giving God that Heisman is not a trophy worthy move; it's actually kind of cowardly. It makes us who are believers look like we don't have enough faith in God to fill our lives with goodness.
Making a comeback is being in the place where you know that you are executing a game plan that God has created for you. You know that everything that lies ahead was planted there for a reason. Comebacks show the world that you still have a fight in you because you have God in your corner directing you and you trust Him. The fight is against the enemy and we have to keep "fighting" him in a sense until he is destroyed from our thoughts. Our fight is for the Lord, not the world. The comeback fight is really to show who you let control your life and put your hope in; Instagram can control your life but it isn't great enough to rest your hope in. Comebacks may also mean that we must prepare for the combat that Satan will try and deliver on our hearts and get into our thoughts. He will attack you with lies and try to shut down the growth or "comeback" you are trying to make. It threatens him to know that he is losing control but he is NO match for the God of the universe.
We all have had, and will have, moments where we are down and out for the count and Satan is just counting down and mocking you. He may be saying things such as, "10, you think you can defeat me?, 9, God won't help you with this one, 8, you asked for this to happen to you, 7, this is what you deserve, etc." When you are in moments that feel like defeat, turn to God and ask Him to help you. Don't give the devil that satisfaction and let him count all the way down to one. He isn't the one you want to have a comeback with; he is the one you want to have a comeback over. Ask God to help, guide and strengthen you so you can share your comeback victory with God instead. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." You can be victorious when you believe in the God who has moved mountains. The more victories you allow God to work in you, the more trusting you will become in knowing He can and will do it again when a new setback occurs.
All of you that know me know that I love Miley Cyrus. Ever since her Hannah Montana days she has just been super fab in my opinion (even as she was going through her phase). One of my favorite things about Miley is that even through the years as she was growing and exploring as an artist, she stayed true to who she knew she was and who she wanted to be. She didn't let the public and news people get under her skin and change herself just so she would "appeal" to more people. And now look at her, she has comeback better than ever and found her true self and is putting out great music still.
If you are dealing with a setback currently, try having a new approach. Don't try to do it all on your own anymore, try it again with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:57, it reads, "...for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity." Before going into that interview and in the midst of other setbacks I have dealt with, my prayer has been, "God, change my heart or change my circumstance." God knows your desires and he wants to provide you with SO. MUCH. goodness. He also wants to do life with you and he doesn't want you to suffer. I read somewhere a quote that read, "True surrender doesn't deny desire." When we truly surrender to God and trust whole heartedly that He is in control, we will see God work in our lives.
I say all of this because it's all a part of life. The hard times can either destroy us or drive us. Your setback is God's set up for your comeback. We have to decide to turn our setbacks into comebacks and to turn our combat into contentment and confidence. It's hard but people do it, and have been doing it, for a long time. Some of the greatest comeback stories can actually be found in the Bible. The stories of Moses, David, Joseph, Job and Ruth are some that might give you the inspiration you need to begin your comeback. Remember that through all the moments, the good, the bad, and the ugly, you are never alone.
Go out and be the best comeback story your friends have ever seen.
God knows you can do it, you just have to know you can too.