Pace of Grace, Part 1

Author - Keyshawn Parkman
This might be one of the most relaxing weekends I’ve had in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, while the event-packed weekends spent with friends and running errands have its perks; an introvert like myself thrives on a weekend of silence and solitude. Today was much needed, because this year started out with a kick. Week in and week out I believe each and every one of us has been tested in some way shape or form and for me, it began to take a tole on me mentally and spiritually. While this might not be the most comfortable season at the moment, I’m no stranger when it comes to a test from God. As the years have gone by I’ve noticed that God takes us through seasons of teaching and testing, to strengthen us and grow us for his purpose. And as James 1 says, for that very reason we should consider it all joy. I’d like to tell a story of my very first test from God, and how he taught me from it.
A few years ago, early 2021, God granted me an amazing opportunity to join a sales company right out of college. At the time, my relationship with God experientially was brand new meaning you could say we were in that “honeymoon phase”. I was all about God, I had genuine excitement for reading my Bible and doing my devotionals. I loved spending time with God through watching movies and shows with him like the Chosen or different sermons. God spoke to me clearly during this time period, through sermons, shows, movies, people and his word. I knew clear as day God wanted me to join this sales company and I was excited to obey Gods word for what may have been the first time. After weeks of not selling too many products, God continued to grow the relationships I had with the people in the company— and one day they offered to fly me out to Los Angeles where they worked out of.
Now keep in mind this sales company did most of their marketing through social media, it was completely remote. Most of us were anywhere from 19-20 to around 24 and we were all wide eyed and ambitious and I didn’t understand how fast life ran until I flew out to Los Angeles. Our team worked out of an air BnB just outside of downtown Los Angeles with around 25-30 people working out of this air BnB daily. I wasn’t prepared for how fast paced everything moved, we’d work 10 hours a day and then go out and celebrate downtown and we’d do this daily. After a few weeks went by my quiet time with God went to the wayside and I found myself lost in this “hustle/ party culture.” God was graceful during this time with me and very patient, I ended up staying out there for about 5 weeks, I came home for maybe 2 or 3 weeks and went back out there for a month. I traveled to different places such as Miami for events and ended up doing about 20,000 in sales in just under 4 months. In what seemed like a difficult first few months ended up going “in my favor”  simply because money started to come in.
As that summer approached sales began to shorten up, and by the end up June I had zero sales, no commissions and I was flat out broke. My relationship with God ended up at the backend as I hadn’t made time for him in months, and I sat there in my bed one day confused. My mentality was I was being obedient, I was doing everything God wanted me to do yet he stopped blessing it and I became frustrated and angry at him. Yet quickly did I realize that my issue lied in my priorities. After constant prayer and searching the scriptures, God began to speak to me again in such a loving and forgiving tone; My season of testing was over and I had failed miserably. He began to teach me about the pace of obedience and how he sustains a certain pace. He showed me that in many ways I was running ahead of him, and whatever I went after that I placed over him I’d have to sustain. He showed me in the gospels how Jesus never ran anywhere, he was never in a hurry even when others around him tried to speed him up. Everywhere Jesus went, he walked with a pace; he consulted God for everything. In a nutshell, God taught me in this season to slow down.
I’m thankful for this season of testing and teaching, he grew me tremendously from those few months. And what a blessing it was for him to allow me to travel across the country while doing so, every season of testing has only increased my steadfastness in Christ and deepened my relationship with God.

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