What to do When God Isn't Doing Anything with LaShawn Nieves

Today, we’re actually answering a question that came in from one of the members of our community. And if you’ve been with our podcast for any length of time, you know, that we love to answer direct questions. And this particular question came in from Lakira and here’s what she writes. I’ve been praying and praying and praying and I still don’t hear anything from God. What am I supposed to do? If God isn’t doing anything. And I hear this question often and I struggled with it myself. 

And as much as I would love to answer your question directly, I actually felt led to bring on a friend of mine, LaShawn, to not only help me answer but to share her story. LaShawn is a wife, a mother of three. And most importantly, she is a worshiper of God. LaShawn’s passion is for all people to experience the life-altering presence of God. And she has been serving in music ministry for over 20 years. And she is a sought-after worship leader for conferences and events. And I certainly understand why, because just being in her presence, you can actually sense the love that she has for people. So let’s go ahead and dive right into our talk with LaShawn. 

I am so excited to be here with you today. You know, when we had this topic come up, what to do and God isn’t doing anything. I knew that I had to have you on this portion of the show. So welcome LaShawn.

What to do When God Isn't Doing Anything with LaShawn Nieves

LaShawn: 

Thank you so much, Kris. It’s such an honor to be here with you today. That’s great.

Kris: 

Yeah, you know, LaShawn,  I really I’m looking forward to you sharing your heart with our listeners because you know, I know we’ve talked at several points and I want you to be able to share a time in your life where you felt like God wasn’t doing anything.

LaShawn:

And when I thought about that, I said that she wants the whole list or just the top 10, but because there’s quite a few times where it felt like he was just kind of M.I.A.  But the one I’ll refer to the most is back in July of 2017, I recorded my debut project, worked on it for seven years. We worked on that project and released it. And I had all these Kris, I had all these imaginations of what was going to happen after of course I was going to be shot into superstardom or whatever, and be worship leader to the nations.

Kris:

And now you’re referring to your new CD, right? Sufficient grace.

LaShawn:

And so we launched it and we had a launch party. Everything was beautiful. People were very supportive and then nothing went through a significant time in my whole life. Our family had a flood.

And so we lost our home and like 80% of our belongings. And so everything just kinda came to a screeching halt and I’m like, okay, God, I did this. I spent seven years doing this project, pouring my heart into it, writing these songs between my husband and I, and things like that. And okay, where did we go from here? And he’s not saying anything, nothing is happening. I’m pushing, trying to make certain things happen. Nothing is happening. God is completely just kind of silent. I was saying I’m like, there has to be a reason I did this. I was being obedient. I was following what you told me to do. And everything came to a screeching halt. And for about, I talked to you several times during this season, probably about a year and a half or a little more things were just unclear. Nothing was clear, nothing.

It just felt like nothing was going on. What are you doing this season? I talked to him regularly. We chat on a regular basis, but as far as direction and clarity and motivation and momentum, it was just not there. And so I’m like, okay, well maybe I think we’ve had the conversation. Maybe I missed my time. Maybe I wasn’t obedient to what was going on. And through that process, God has been really teaching me about his character and who he is. One of my favorite scriptures is in songs where it says that the children of Israel knew the acts of God, but Moses knew his ways. And so I really began to go on a journey of learning the ways of the Lord, as opposed to just the things that he does and the doors that he opens and the miracles that he would. But what are his, what is his character? What is, what was he like? And so that is what he was trying to get me to see, I guess, in the process. But he was really hiding out, really taking his time.  I tell people all the time, I said, God is never late, but he is rarely, he’s never early.

 

Kris: 

True. Well, you know, you said something really poignant. And it was like, oftentimes we, we can almost find it easier to say, okay, God’s not doing something because I messed up God, isn’t doing something because I’m not listening. God isn’t doing something because I’m in disobedience. And isn’t it funny how we quickly go to that as an assumption on why God isn’t doing something?


Lashawn: 

Exactly. Exactly. I have a performance-driven background. I’ve dealt with a bit of rejection in my life. And so I feel like I have to perform to earn. And so if God’s not doing something, it has to be because I didn’t do something right. Or I’ve missed something somewhere. And so, and, and there are times there are absolutely times when we need to go back and say, okay, God, what? And re and do some repenting and, and get some stuff in order to take care of some stuff. But that is not always the case at all. Especially with God. It’s not always the case. Because he blesses us in spite of ourselves many times. But it is a posture of thinking that we somehow have control in this situation. And if I can just fix that, then God will. That means the opportunities will open. But I’ve learned that God is doing multiple things. Even when we can’t see him or feel him, he’s doing multiple things in a situation that we can’t. 

 

Kris: 

So true. And you know, what else I’ve recognized is that in those moments where God isn’t doing anything, we now get into, what did I do wrong? And like you said, there’s nothing wrong with a little self-evaluation God revealed to me, any unconfessed sins reveal to me any area that I’ve gone wrong. Of course, we are to do that. But if there’s no revelation, if there is no need for repentance, here’s now where the enemy gets in. Oh yes. You’re, God’s forgotten you. You must have done something wrong, you know, just kind of forget about it. And we have a tendency to now detach. Even if we don’t say I, I renounced God, I don’t believe in him anymore. We kind of detached just a little bit, a little bit emotionally, a little bit mentally where we’re like, oh, Okay. And we kind of go through the motions again. Wow. That was, thank you for sharing that. You know I know a lot of people struggle with performance mentality and if you do, and God’s not doing anything, we have a tendency to act like little monkeys. Like what do you want me to do next? What do you want me to do next? What am I supposed to do next?

He’s not asking for our do, oftentimes he’s asking for our be, will you be my daughter, please?

LaShawn:

Right? Can you just sit with me for a little while? Can we just talk about something other than what it is you want to do or what it is you feel like you need to do for me? Can you just get to know me? Can you just sit with me for a while?

Kris:

Yeah. Yeah. But you said something I just really want to bring to light. Again, we look at our circumstances. We know some of the acts that are taking place, but we can look past the acts when we know the ways. Absolutely. Absolutely. I know my God is good. What difference does it make? If it feels like all hell is breaking loose.

LaShawn:

Absolutely. Absolutely. The children of Israel. As soon as God wasn’t doing something when Moses was on the mountain too long, they made calves out of gold, all this other stuff, and worshiping other gods and things of that nature. And Moses knew God in such a way that even when he didn’t move immediately, he trusted. He knew the character of God is this. If God says it’s going to do something, he’s going to do it. And that’s the only way you get to know that is by getting to know God and trusting his character. But oftentimes we know God through the things he does for us or the things we want them to do. So what happens when he’s not doing anything? It’s just like with our relationships and our spouses, my husband, I mean, I want him to tell me he loves me, but if he doesn’t tell me on Tuesday that he loves me, does that mean he stopped loving me on Wednesday?

Kris:

Right. That’s a great analogy. It’s so true.

LaShawn:

It doesn’t mean that it, it, it just means he may not have thought about telling me, but things, but he may be doing things that are demonstrative of that love for me that I’m not paying attention to because I wanted to come a particular way. 

Kris: 

That’s exactly right. It’s exactly right. You know, it actually reminds me of a while. You’re on the husband analogy is years ago, my husband wanted to do something very special for my birthday. And if I was the type, which a lot of people are, they really struggle with. If they are struggling with any father wounds or mother wounds or, or hurt and rejection issues, we do put it outwards onto people to say, you now need to continue to validate me on a daily basis. And if you don’t, now I fall apart. And it’s your fault. First of all, whole other teaching, we’re going to

Move on from that. However, I remember one time when my husband was out the morning of my birthday and you know, I gave him a call and my husband is usually very forthright and very, you know, shares everything.

And I’m like, oh, “Where are you?”
Out.
“Okay. What are you doing?”
Things.
“What Is going on?”

And I was so busy I didn’t recognize it, but the reason I share that story is even though he didn’t share anything with me at that moment, he was doing things behind the scenes to make me feel special at a later time.


And that’s what we have to remember. Sometimes this isn’t all about God now responding to us when we expect him to. And that’s interesting cause we dove into the sermon earlier and we’re talking about expectations. So I know this is a little bit vulnerable, but can you share any expectations that maybe you had during this process?

LaShawn: 

Oh, absolutely. I expected God to, as I alluded to earlier, to open doors because I had been obedient and I’ve served you father and I’ve, I’ve led worship for 117 years and I’ve been faithful and all these things that I’ve done. And so, so somehow I have this entitlement of expectation for God that, you know, well, your word says you will do. And God’s like but in my time in my, so I definitely had expectations of what he would do and the time and the thing was, was it had to be done by a particular time or I wasn’t satisfied with the doors that I wanted open. There were things that I thought would happen, things that I thought he would do. And he was like, Nah, we’re not doing that just yet where I’m not right now. And I need you to sit in this and be okay.

Kris:

And that I find absolutely amazing. So you had your expectations, thank you for your vulnerability. And I appreciate your honesty. I wish more people would admit I feel entitled. Yeah, I really do because that’s what goes on in our bratty little souls sometimes it’s like, but I’m this, I’m this, I did this, I did this, I did this. And now we feel like something’s owed to us and it’s as simple as in. True. So I appreciate you sharing that. Yeah. I lost my train of thought at this point. So we’re just like resting at that because let the Holy Spirit do his thing, but this has been so encouraging. So Leshaun you’ve been through so much and it sounds like I know the battle’s not over. I know you’ve not arrived. None of us have, but you’re recognizing that his ways are above your ways. His thoughts are above your thoughts. And when you have these expectations, you’re able to put them in better check right now. So what would you say to that one who’s listening right now? Who’s feeling like God has completely forgotten.

LaShawn:

One of the things that I would say to two things. One is the analogy that I heard this was years ago at a church I was attending in Newark, New Jersey. Bishop Daniel Simmons. He’s actually gone on to be with the Lord, but he was sharing one day that he was in South Carolina and that’s where he was from. And they were working on the sidewalk. The sidewalk needed to be broken up or something. So he was taking a sledgehammer and hitting the sidewalk and it felt like he was hitting it for hours and nothing was happening then. And he’s like, what is going on? Why is this not breaking up? And then all of a sudden it broke, but when it did, it was broken all the way through. And so what he shared was that you can’t see underneath what’s going on. What, but when it’s dealt with, it’s dealt with all the way through. So God is working in our situations when we deliberate sometimes deliberately so that we can’t see him so that we build that trust muscle. We build our faith up in him. So even that, like the song says, even when I don’t see it, you’re working, even when I don’t feel it, that

Kris:  Sing it, Girl.

LaShawn: 

Truth. He’s always working for us because he loves us. And then to anchor that in scripture, I believe it’s an Isaiah. I want to say it’s either 49:15 or 45:15 where it says kind of mother forgets her nursing child. And it says, no, she, even though she forgets, I will never forget you because your name is engraved in the palm of my hand. And so it reminds me that even when I know I’m not, I don’t, it doesn’t feel like he’s thinking about me. My name is right there in the palm of his hand. It’s ever before him, it’s ever in front of him. He’s always thinking of me. He’s always working things out on my behalf. He’s always moving and, and I will see the manifestation of it when it’s my time to see it. And so I have to trust that God does not forget us, Kris.

He does not. He is not a God who walks off, who gets disappointed and says, I get whatever I’m done with them. Never. That is just not in the character, which goes back to knowing his character. That he’s good. Even when it doesn’t feel good when it doesn’t look good. When, when you can’t see him because of who he is, that feels good right there. I love it. I received that too. He will not forget you. And you have to trust that no matter how long it takes, he will always, always come through. And what we have to be mindful of may not look like what we thought it would look like when he does come through. 

Kris:  

That is so true. Wow. Such words of wisdom, LaShawn. Thank you. I really appreciate that. I really appreciate you sharing your heart and your story. I know part of the battle that you went through and the heart that you put behind this new CD and it is my friends. I have to share with you. This is one anointed worship album. You have got to get your hands on this. Her voice is amazing. But aside from that, you’re going to love, worship, and come into the presence of God with this. So LaShawn, please let us know where we can get our hands on this CD. Thanks.

LaShawn:

Thank you. Kris, it is on iTunes. Actually all digital platforms. You can find it as Sufficient Grace. And if, you forget that you can reach out to me on Facebook or Instagram, but you can find it on digital platforms. Thank you. 

Kris:

So much. So my pleasure. So you mentioned your social media platforms. Is that the best place to get in touch with you? Absolutely.

LaShawn:

Yep. Instagram or Facebook. They can instant message me or reach out to me and that’s the best place to find me. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LNMinistries

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dlnieve

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