I waited to be clear before choosing my Word of the Year - ALIGN. Align means "to sync" or "cooperate".
When we sync with God’s intentions for us, it helps us find rest in every other aspect of life – career/academics, parenting, marriage, and everything else. At least that has been my experience.
Alignment is the key to fulfillment.
Even though God is sovereign, He has gifted us with free will. He knows what lies ahead and wants to equip us with the tools and mindset to thrive in every situation. However, we may lose His favor if we don’t align with His will.
I vividly recall standing in line for my favorite beverage and hearing the Holy Spirit ask me to leave. I thought it was a safety issue, but then I would walk into some other places and get the same instruction. When the pandemic/quarantine/lockdown hit, I knew God had been preparing me for an event I could never have prepared for on my own.
Where would I have started? Who could have imagined this? Now, I’m glad my favorite salad place hired that outrageously rude attendant because it forced me to ignore those cravings as well. The strong desire to homeschool my kids’ education was also a part of God’s plan.
When we align with God’s instructions for us (not promising it will be easy), we realize that He wants things to work together for our good and to keep us safe from harm.
He made sure Jonah got to Nineveh even though Jonah didn’t want to:
He prayed to the LORD, "Isn't this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”
– Jonah 4:2
When Abraham pleaded for Lot’s family:
“What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing-to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" – Genesis 18:24-25
The Lord reassures us of help despite tragic unsettling events around us:
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains." – Mark 13:7-8
I believe God wants to stay in communication with us and that we are all called to ALIGN with Him.
A – Always affirm the truth of God’s word.
L – Love ourselves and never compare our timelines with others’.
I – Be intentional about the way we represent God.
G – Grow and be open to His renewing of our minds.
N – Nourish the spaces He puts us in through the gifts we have been given.
What practical ways do you plan to ALIGN in the coming months?
2021 will bring its own fair share of challenges, but we can choose to let God lead us through it all. He is able!
Biodun Dapherede is a speaker and author who's passionate about faith, representation & confidence building. She blogs at The ImmiGreat Life, an online platform advocating for Representation and community among Immigrants of African descent. Discover more at https://www.biodundapherede.com/