“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.”
For 21 days straight I declared this scripture for 21 days the first few months of I 2017. This scripture was given to me in some manner in 3 ways within 7 days from 3 different people who have no association with each other – you want to talk about God being intentional? It was overwhelming and it was the answer to many, many prayers that I had. The last 4 years have been very hard and eye-opening for me. I have been a cosmetologist by profession since 1996. And the Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to own my own business and be able to do what I love with integrity and respect. As I said, God is intentional. Cosmetology was not my first choice, but it was Gods for me, and it ended up being the best decision I could have ever made at 19 years old. I can honestly say that if I would have entered into the profession I thought I wanted to pursue, I would not have been happy nor would I have been who I am today.
But after so many years of operating in this gift, I realized how I had taken my gift of working with my hands for granted. I didn’t see cosmetology as a career, I saw it as just something to do. I thought of it as “less than” and not a respected career that would provide a comfortable life for my children. I didn’t see it as a ministry to bring me close to my clients to influence their lives and their world. I was nothing less than ungrateful. But God knew, He placed this gift in me intentionally. Yes, I did try to run from it, but again He placed me intentionally in the presence of women in a salon atmosphere that literally changed my life forever. I have grown to learn the spirit of gratitude, what it is, and how it is essential in life. I was overwhelmed with guilt and emotion.
So as the Lord began to place new ideas and goals in my heart; what had become somewhat of a comfort zone in my life no longer was comfortable for me and it manifested in every area of my life. My health (stomach issues/skin rashes), my finances (holes in my pockets), and especially in my emotional health, when God began to reveal to me that it was time for me to move on to new things, I could not see further than my current circumstances. I thought I was okay. I looked okay. I could still dress up my emptiness. I was still the funny Tosha. But I was dying on the inside. So I begin to have candid conversations with my Lord. You see, I talk to God like I am talking to my home girls and I begin to have some very deep heart to heart conversations, “So God you want me to leave my cheap suite rent? You want me to take on more financial responsibility? You want me to do this now?” These are just a few of the questions I would ask God daily as He was making it more and more uncomfortable for me. I actually got to the point that I hated the space I had to work in. I felt no growth, like a noose was on my creativity.
Then the opportunity became available for me to secure my own space. It was the exactly what I wanted and something I always thought about, but I would allow fear to always reason me out of it. I desired natural light, an area where I could usher in the right vibes and energy for my clientele I wanted to attract. But financially it would be a strain. A sacrifice and provision would have to be straight from the Lord. Once again I will say GOD IS INTENTIONAL!
I have heard that sometimes it is healthy to have fear. This is a lie from the pit of hell. Fear is not of God, it is negative meditation, and it is the direct opposition of faith. The Word says,
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord. His heart is established and steady, he will not be afraid while he waits to see his desire established upon his adversaries.” (Psalms 112: 7 -8.)
As I look at the time when my thoughts and sleep were gripped of fear, I don’t believe I was casting fear down with the Word of God. What I didn’t have and could provide with my own resources spoke louder than the Word of God I knew, see when thoughts of “cants and wonts” come into your mind, you must counteract it with the established Word of God. I wasn’t standing on the Word that was given to me intentionally by God through people. Every plan for me is to prosper me, not to bring any harm to me and to give me hope of a future. That’s His Word. His promises like in Psalm 111 verse 5 to “provide for those who reverently and worshipfully fear him,” not fear something that has not even happened but have respect and hold his Word dear to their hearts. I do that!!!! So why would He ever withhold any good thing from me?
And as things got worse, I heard His voice and I made the move. I worshipped more. Things have got more worse and I read His Word more, and I worship even more. I sow even more and I expect an even greater return. I am still here. Waiting. Expecting. Being exceedingly happy remembering it has always worked out for my good. I am remembering the times He was there even when I didn’t see it working. There is no difference in Him now. When I took the step of faith and wrote my first blog, I received an overwhelming response in something I never thought I would do and realized in the process more gifts laying dormant within me. I am witnessing Him being intentional and as I position myself where I am supposed to be; Fearing LESS.
Contributed by: Natosha Stewart
Natasha is a resident of North Carolina. She is the proud mother of two sons, a successful stylist of 25 years and owner of Charlotte Hair Therapist. She is a faithful covenant partner of The Sanctuary. She’s a passionate and zealous woman of many talents who is eager to share her wisdom and knowledge with those who are seeking to radiate the glory and beauty of God from the inside out. If this devotional has fed your soul, please share with your friends and family. Click the social share button or leave a comment in the box below for Natosha.