by Casey Cassady
Moving to a new city several years ago greatly ignited a new level of my relationship with God. Being able to feel such an overwhelming intensity of love from Him and for Him was something I had never experienced in my previous 20+ years of salvation. For the first time in my life, I stepped into my God-given identity. How beautifully God drew me to Him at that time is a story for another day; but I will say that I found myself in a place of accepting God’s grace and desiring to move forward from my past in ways that are pleasing to Him.
I was grateful for my new call toward holiness, but along the way, I have had to accept the fact that I am still imperfect. I understood that even though I gained a desire to express my love for God through obedience (among other ways), God has designed us all to be imperfect. Let me be clear with saying that sin should not be justified, and there are consequences to our actions. But God is a God of forgiveness, love, and mercy. He can turn our shameful and sinful experiences into an experience of beauty and of purpose. Through repentance, the outcomes of our sins lead us to a better understanding of God’s love in such a way that should reposition our hearts toward Him and bring us to our knees.
I got pregnant with my son Micah after moving back to my hometown, during a time that my relationship with God had become more distant. Sexual sin had always been a conviction of mine – yet also at times a personal struggle. Before my son’s conception, I was heavily involved in ministry, while choosing to be celibate for nearly four years. And because of that decision, I never thought that I would have a child out of wedlock. But I was suddenly reminded that even one decision can be entirely life changing. So, there I was, in a Starbucks bathroom reading the word “pregnant”. I was numb, ashamed, and in absolute shock. I was flooded with so many fears about possibly being a single mother, my “reputation” being ruined, and what others would think of me. But despite any of those thoughts, abortion was simply not an option for me. I had to believe that even in a season where I felt distant from God, He was giving me the greatest blessing, and possibly testimony, of my life. And even though I knew that keeping the baby was the best decision for me, I continued to question how this unexpected blessing could come from a decision that did not favor the Word of God.
I have realized that God can choose to bless us in any season, whether broken or whole, and here is why He does:
- To express His love for us, which in turn, should draw us toward a deeper love for Him. Our love for Him should be rooted by Him loving and choosing us first – even when we were still sinners.
- So that He can be privately glorified because of His mercy. Glorifying God should not always be private; but we can glorify Him in prayer when we know He extends His mercy toward us. “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).
- So that He can be publicly glorified when using us for His Kingdom.
Jonah is a Prophet in the Bible who God used to bring the people of Nineveh to Christ. But before God was able to use Him, Jonah turned away from his calling to Nineveh and ran the other way (both literally and figuratively). Even when hearing the voice of God, Jonah initially justified his disobedience because he was angry with the people of Nineveh. Because of this, there were consequences to his actions. He was thrown into the raging sea and swallowed by the great fish where he thought he would die. However, God knew that there was so much more for Jonah – as well as for the non-Christian Assyrians of Nineveh. Because of God’s mercy for Jonah and compassion for Nineveh, He blessed Jonah with a second chance at life so that Jonah could ultimately turn back to Him and be used mightily for His Kingdom.
As we are brought back to the path that God has for us, we must, like Jonah, be intentional in understanding the significance of our obedience. But beloved, we will never be required to be perfect. I wrote a poem called “Wounded Warrior” that says,
“He heals even the most broken of Queens. Not because she [the queen] is perfect, but rather far from it; but because by Perfection, she is seen, and she is loved. And she is cleansed by the reddest, most sacred, and purest of bloods. So over her, it pours. So that she can then become the mightiest of warriors.”
I chose to share this excerpt because it reminds me that it is only because of God’s perfection that we can be driven by our imperfection to become who He intends us to be. It is only because of how sacred and sacrificial the blood of Jesus is that allows His Spirit to dwell within the veins of our own flesh. It is only because of the love of our Father toward us that allows us to be cleansed through repentance when we have moments of our disobedience not expressing our love for Him in return. It is because of not what we have done, but what He has done; and not who we are, but who He is – that give us the unexpected (and expected) blessings that we could never earn.
I hope that I have demonstrated the importance of living a lifestyle that is aligned with the Word of God, as well as the character of God and what He is willing to do to bring us back into His arms. So, when life gives you lemons and God gives you blessings – don’t disregard them because of the fears of what others may think, how life changing it is, how much work it will be, or if you deserve it or not. Praise God in His glory, cry out to Him with thankfulness, and embrace His rainbow after the rain. As challenging as it has been at times, I have let the love of our Heavenly Father turn my experience of shame and sin into an experience of beauty and purpose. Will you?
7 thoughts on “Embracing Unexpected Blessings”
Omg I love this so mhch. Thank you for sharing and for your transparency! So so good!
Yes I can totally relate 💞
Awesome! “When life gives you lemons and God gives you blessings…” He transformed what was perceived to be sour into a sweet message of His grace and mercy! Wooing you back into His arms! He gets the glory:) Thank you for sharing.:)
Perfectly said. God always gives us exactly what we need. Not on our time, but His time.
I love this Case! So proud of you.
It’s the testimony for me💖
Absolutely beautiful in every way.