Help me, I’m drowning!

Last week I wrote about the story of Jonah and how the Lord sent a huge storm to redirect him and remind him of his purpose. If you haven’t read it, you should go back and read it. As I was reading the story of Jonah the Lord spoke two different things to me. I did you guys a favor and split it into two different posts so you wouldn’t have a 4 page letter to read! (to all my Aaliyah fans out there!)
Part two is about guilt and who you surround yourself with. Jonah was surrounded by other sailors on the ship. When the storm hit they questioned him about what they should do. Jonah started to feel guilty and said, “Throw me overboard, into the sea. Then the storm will stop. It’s all my fault. I’m the cause of the storm. Get rid of me and you’ll get rid of the storm.” MSG The storm got worse and worse and when they realized that they couldn’t beat the storm they threw Jonah overboard in hopes that the storm would calm down and it did!
Jonah was aware of his wrong doing and felt guilty about it. He knew that the other sailors were not at fault for his mistakes. I personally think Jonah told them to throw him overboard for two reasons. The first being, he felt guilty for putting them in a situation that would possibly take their lives. The second reason being maybe he was so determined to get away from God that he didn’t care if he lost his life.
Jonah owned up to his mistakes and he was willing to pay the price for what he had done. Guilt can be very destructive and if it’s not brought under control it has the ability to take your life; physically and spiritually. Often times we blame ourselves for things that have happened and sometimes it makes us want to take our own life. Guilt shouldn’t have this much power over our minds to make us think that we should give up on life because a storm has hit. Despite Jonah’s guilt the Lord STILL chose to intervene and save Jonah’s life. Romans 2:11 says “there is no favoritism with God.” HCSB This means that if God gave Jonah a second chance at making it right, He will do the same for you.
The other part of this story is about the people who were around Jonah. We have to be careful who we surround ourselves with. Jonah didn’t do background checks on the people who were on the boat, he just hopped on, thought he could take a nap and wake up to a beautiful sunny day. Boy was he wrong! He woke up to madness and surrounded by people who were okay with throwing him overboard to save their own lives. At that moment they didn’t care about Jonah and his mistakes they only cared about saving themselves and that meant throwing Jonah overboard to drown.
Jonah had a calling on his life, just like you, and I and everyone else in this world. No matter the kind of storm you find yourself in, it is vital for you not to surround yourself with “the wrong” people. You may soon find out, that they will throw you and your dreams overboard just to save their own life!
This story really hit home for me because it reminded me of a time an ex of mine threw me overboard and left me to drown all to save himself and his current relationship. I was in this storm because I was still trying to hold onto someone that I loved. He was in this storm because he was caught lying and cheating. When all of his mess came out he had the nerve to ask me to lie to his girlfriend. I asked him why? In his own words he said, “because I need a place to stay and I can’t afford the rent by myself.” Of course, I told him “Hell no!” (Sorry to all my super spiritual folks J) What do you think he did next? Whatever your first thought was… Nope!
This man orchestrated a master plan to “apologize.” The only reason he planned this fake apology was to steal my phone so that he could text his girlfriend saying that I had lied about the things that I had said and proceeded to add lies after lies. There was nothing in this text to her that was true. He threw me OVERBOARD and left me to drown all to save his own life!!!
This was a hard reality for me to accept because the man who claimed to love me really didn’t care about me or the hurt that it was going to bring into my life. He didn’t care about the repercussions of his actions. He only cared about himself, so that he may have a roof over his head. You can only imagine the negative state I was in. He was so toxic for me and I was so unproductive with him in my life. His words and actions had the ability to kill me and my dreams and I almost let it happen. Had it not been for the Lord who sent a storm to save me, Braveheart would most likely not be in full effect as it is today. God gave me a second chance at redeeming it all!
I was now Jonah in that belly of the whale. I was in the dark and in such a broken state with nowhere to go. I cried out to God and “humbly” admitted my mistakes. I had no other choice but to ask God for help. God heard my cry and saved me. He gave me my life and my dreams back.
It’s okay to make mistakes, but have the right people around you that will help build you back up and not throw you overboard. I had to re-evaluate the people around me and cut off those that were dream killers and not dream builders. Sometimes, it will hurt you to your core to let some people go, but no man/friend is worth giving up your dreams for. God loved Jonah so much that he gave him a second chance to get it right. Just because you got it wrong the first time doesn’t mean that you can’t make it right the second time.
Choose your team wisely, because your future depends on it. God will place people in your life to help you, but when he says it’s time to let go, or their season is over in your life, let them GO! The Lord will replace the bad with His good. We have to be wise enough to choose the right team and wise enough to say goodbye when it’s time. Don’t do what I did and hold on longer than I should have. If I would have listened to God when He told me to let go it would have saved me from this storm, but I was Jonah stubborn and trying to ignore God’s direction. I tell this story to not throw my ex overboard, but to help someone else not do as I did and let go before it is too late. Trust me, you do not want to be in that belly, it isn’t fun. But, if you do end up in that belly, look around you, ensure that you have a team that will help build you back up! The people around you have the power to destroy or the power to build. Keep builders around because they will naturally start to make plans on how to reconstruct and rebuild and assist you in fulfilling your purpose!

Vanessa Ramos

8 thoughts on “Help me, I’m drowning!”

    1. That’s how we are going to reach the people by “true” transparency!

  1. I really enjoyed this! Last night I was just telling this to my 12 yr old step daughter when she was talking about her friend who does not seem like the right person to surround herself with. Thank you for this, I just sent her a copy of this.

    1. Eva, thank you for sharing. As I said in my post “choose your team wisely, because your future depends on it.” I truly believe that planting that seed early in her life will help her through the hurts of friendships! She is blessed to call you “MOM!”

  2. It’s interesting how pride can get in the way of our obedience to God. We think our way is best and forget that our Creator knows the end from the beginning and that it is He who knows best. Jonah ended up doing what God wanted him to, but not before suffering the consequences of his own actions. If we only would listen the first time, we might spare ourselves some pain. I am guilty of this and seem to be stuck in a season repeating the same painful scenarios. Ditto on the comment before, your transparency truly ministered to me.

    1. Jen, How great it is that our God doesn’t look at us as the disobedient child, He still looks at us at the apple of His eye! When we are able to
      recognize our cycles that is when we have the ability to change the cycle. We have to be “intentional” with our actions. Our “intentional” actions usually come after the consequences to our mistakes. We usually have to learn the hard way!(LOL) That’s why it’s so important to have a team of “builders” to help you restore, reconstruct, and rebuild!

  3. Great read!

    “Misery loves company”, you definitely need to watch your “team/circle/crowd” you invest the most time in, you are likely to become them (in a good or bad way) Letting go can be so hard because some fear the idea that “you are losing out” on something good and forget to value yourself, even if what you need to let go is TOXIC. I praise you Ness for coming out of your storm and finding YOUR VALUE again!

    “Yes, I was burned, but I called it a lesson learned” (to all Alicia Keys fan lol)
    Mistakes are not always a “bad” thing, they are our lessons in which consequences may be received, but this where we grow and learn to be “intentional”. It’s not an easy process, but as you said above, you need to surround yourself with those that “build you up”!!

    I think it’s truly in those situations/seasons/circumstances where we are trying to control the outcome and think we know what’s best for ourselves because this is WHAT I WANT, that we have a hard time understanding why things may be happening the way they are and want immediate answers. When time passes and certain people fade out of your life, relationships end, you become a different person, then we sit and say “Okay, God, I see what you did there” and Thank you.

    1. It’s always hard to see the lesson that is to be learned when you are in the middle of it. But, that’s when your “builders” come in for the rescue. xx

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