In The Middle

I went on a walk the other day.

As I was walking I was talking to God. I was thinking about all the different things my heart has been feeling these days. All the hurt, all the pain, anger, and disappointment. But I was also thinking about all the peace, wisdom, and direction I’ve received from God. I’m overwhelmed with how many people have reached out to me and lifted me up in their prayers.

I looked up into the sky and said to God that this place I’m at is hard, I don’t like it, but I know that it’s the place I need to be. Then I realized something I think is kinda cool. I’m in the middle, the middle of something great. I’m in the middle of God working his plan in my life. And even though the middle is a great place to be, the honest truth is that the middle is not fun.

Every story you hear has three parts; a beginning, a middle, and an end. The middle is often the part of the story where the conflict comes to a head. Everything that could go wrong goes wrong and hope is slim. When it comes to our story, it’s the same. Being in the middle of God’s plan is often the place where it hurts the most. It’s the dark before the sunrise. It’s the conflict before the climax. It’s where the pain may feel like it’s too much for us to bear. But if we just hold on a little longer we are just moments away from breakthrough.

I thought to myself, on my walk, “Wow, what a cool idea! I’m in the middle of God doing something great in my life!” This thought lifted my spirits and gave me strength. Yes, if God is doing something great in my life, than I can keep going. I can stay here, in the middle, a little longer, because I know that God is doing something good. I can walk through the hard days ahead, I can be at peace about being alone again, because I know I won’t be stuck in the middle forever. And these days in the middle are a necessary part of God’s plan.

I’m looking forward to that day, however far away it is, when I get to the end and get to finally see what God is doing in my life. But for now, I’m ready to learn how to be patient while I am here in the middle. If you are in a hard place, maybe this perspective can help you too. Ask God to give you the strength to make it through each day in the middle. The time we spend in waiting are times that we must endure because they are essential to God’s plan in our lives.

Embrace your life in the middle, because without these hard days in the middle, we will never get to see what God’s beautiful ending is for our story!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

I Want God More

There comes a time in everyone’s life where we must ask ourselves a question?

Do I love God enough to forsake the things that mean the most to to me and follow Him? And then after asking that question, do I have the guts enough to do what I must do to follow through in obedience?

I have been thinking of the story of Abraham… It think it’s ironic that my bible study group has been studying Genesis and we just finished up Abraham’s life. What a testimony this man of faith had. I’m thinking of the time that God asked him to take his only son, Isaac, up to the top of a mountain and to sacrifice him. Abraham must have thought this to be a weird request from God. But not once does it say in the Bible that he questioned this request from God.

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. (Genesis 22:1-3)

Abraham didn’t even hesitate. The very next day he took Isaac up the mountain with intentions to sacrifice him. I have to say, I am amazed at such faith. I wonder what Abraham must have been thinking. He must have been holding so firmly to God’s promises and the things God told him, that He was willing to do this thing. Such faith is inspiring! There was no promise Abraham would get Isaac back, but because of God’s promise to him, he must have believed that somehow, God would restore Isaac back to him.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:9-12)

Abraham reached that point where he was willing. He took the step of obedience without hesitation and was about to sacrifice his son. But then God intervened and rewarded him for such great faith.

God wants to ask us that same question that he asked Abraham. I don’t know what it is in your life that you hold so dear. I know what it was for me. God desires us to give that thing over to Him, just like he asked Abraham to do. And just saying that we surrender isn’t enough. I believe that a huge step in us surrendering to Him is to follow through with a step of obedience. I can look back on my life and see that I’ve said the prayer “I surrender” over and over, but never truly taken the steps of obedience.

Today I did something hard, but I know it’s what God wanted me to do. Even though I have truly surrendered this relationship that I desire to God, I have felt like there was one more step I needed to take. I returned the ring (my engagement ring). I believe that this was my step of obedience, like Abraham. I am completely giving the future of this relationship to God. But I am encouraged in Abraham’s story, how God looked down and said to Abraham “now I know you fear the Lord.” After Abraham took that step of obedience God restored that thing that he held most dear back. Abraham passed the test.

I am not expecting God to instantly work and give me back this relationship. I have finally come to terms in my heart, that if it isn’t meant to be, than I’ll be okay. But I do know that whatever God does, he will bless me and restore joy to me, just like he did with Abraham. I have decided to believe that God has something good instore for me at the end of this hard season. And I’m grateful to be standing here knowing that God truly is more to me. Oh how I would rather hear God’s voice saying to me, “now I know you fear me, my child” than to have my relationship back. I pray each day that I will have passed the test and be able to choose Him first.

And I hope that you can find encouragement from the story of Abraham too. The next time you read the story Abraham, think about the areas in your life that God has asked you to give to him. Prayerfully consider what that step of obedience might be, and don’t be afraid to follow through. I wish I could say that I went through with obedience without hesitation, like Abraham did. But I fought hard to have my way. Still, the peace that God gives to us after we choose to surrender and obey, has been overwhelming. So, don’t worry about how difficult it will be, or how long the wait will be. Just start with choosing to take that step of obedience, that leap of faith, knowing that in due time God will restore it all back and bless you just like he did with Abraham.


What does true surrender look like?

It looks like tears falling down your face. It looks like standing at a crossroads, knowing only one way is the right path to take. It looks like defeat. But it is not defeat. It is something beautiful. It is letting go of the things we hold onto so tightly and giving them to God. It is saying that what we want is not as important as what God has for us. It’s opening up the door for God to lead us to what’s next.

I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever be done learning my lesson of surrender. I’ve always partially surrendered things to God. I’ve said that I love God more but I only would walk away if I had too. I see now that it never really was surrender because I was still holding tightly onto what I wanted. I was saying I was surrendering while being ready to jump back as soon as God gave me the slightest sign.

But today I found myself at a crossroads. I had a choice to make. Two obvious choices were before me. Never in my life have I felt so torn between such a choice. One choice would keep me closer to the thing my heart desired most, holding onto my relationship. The other choice felt like a leap of faith because it took me away from that hope. Today an opportunity to stay do what I wanted most was placed right in my lap. All I had to do was say yes and I could keep holding on tightly to the thing I wanted most. But when I checked my heart something wasn’t right.

I have never before felt such strong resistance between making a decision then I felt today. I have been fighting to have my way but deep down I had this gut feeling about what was right. After much distress in my soul and prodding question from a dear friend I went on a walk to clear my head. I cried most of the way. I had a “hard” conversation with God. I begged him to speak to me and show me what to do. I even sat down and waited, hoping to hear a physical voice speak to me and tell me what to do. I didn’t hear anything. Probably because I already knew what God was asking me to do. The rebellious spirit in me just wouldn’t stop fighting.

I know that today was a defining moment in my life. I came back from that walk with a heart that was decided on what to do. I made a choice. I chose to choose the path of faith. The path of surrender. I gave the outcome of this relationship to God and I will leave it in his hands. Then I cried in my closet.

I wish I could tell you that once you surrender to God, the pain will all finally go away. I’m sorry, but it won’t. I’m still hurting immensely. I am choosing the path that is hard and everything that is within in me is screaming to go the other way. But I can tell you that surrender does bring peace. I know that if I chose the other way, I would never have peace. I would not be truly trusting God to work in this area of my life. There is much pain in my heart still, but it’s okay. It’s alright because I know God is with me.

I’m overwhelmed when I think about the possibilities that this choice may lead to and the hard days to come. But today I made the choice to surrender and that’s where I’ll start. I’ll take it one day at a time and follow God in this life because I know that in life that is what matters most. Living a life completely surrendered to God is what I am called to do.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

The Peace of Christ

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on the Lord." Isaiah 26:3

Yesterday’s sermon was on the peace of Christ and I found it refreshing to my weary soul.

The peace of God is always something that will baffle my mind. How is that in the midst of the hardest trials, when hope seems so far away, I’m able to say that I have peace. How am I after having all my plans for happiness put on hold until who knows when, able to stay here, in this season of waiting, and be at peace. It’s a miracle, that’s what it is. God’s peace is a miracle.

God’s peace is a peace that passes understanding. I think I get that now. It’s a mystery that only those who are in Christ can understand. I’m not saying that I am not hurting anymore. My heart still aches with pain and grieving for the way things have turned out in my life. I pray desperately for the waiting to be quick and for God to work mightily in my situation. But my hope was never placed in the fruition of those things. My heart may be breaking, but I have peace, because my hope has always been in Christ. No one can take Christ from me and that is what fills my heart up with this peace.

Oh how happy I am that we have a God who cares for us through each and every trial we face. God sees us with our aching hearts. He sees our hurt and our pain. He has a purpose in the waiting, but he also promises to give those who are his children peace as they walk through each hardship.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which your were called..." Colossians 15:3

I have a feeling that the Devil likes to tell us that we have no hope, that we’ll be stuck like in this valley forever, that we’ll never be happy. If we let ourselves think this way we can’t have God’s peace. If we can’t find peace, maybe it’s because we are looking down too much at our struggles and our pain. When we fix our eyes above to Christ and let his love and peace rule in our hearts, we will find the rest and strength to face whatever it is that God has asked us to face.

The lyrics from the popular hymn have never sounded more true or sweet in my ears

Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.

This is going to be my focus this week. I want to keep soaking up this peace that comes from Christ. I want to keep looking up and choosing to take all my worries and pain to the God who cares for me. You can find this peace too! Whatever your waiting for, take heart, God loves you and wants you to have his peace as you wait.


Oh the amazing amount of feelings that you can experience simply by one thing being changed.

When we have our hopes set on something we really want it is crushing to the soul when we don’t get it. Disappointment leads to hurt, sadness, and I’m learning it can even lead to anger.

I don’t like disappointment but I sadly have no control over the things that happen. I wish I could close my eyes and make all the feelings go away. And sometimes I wish I could go back in time and change things. I wish I saw the signs and got help sooner instead of letting things fall apart in such a messy way. I wish with all my heart I could still have my plans come true and just forget about the disappointments.

To be honest though, the truth is I like soaking into the feelings of hurt and pain. Feeling pity for myself feels oddly good. But in the end I just need to get up and keep going. Keep hoping, keep praying, keep moving, because I know God is working.

I think disappointment likes to tell us that we made a mistake, we failed in some way, so we don’t get what we want. It tells us that we must now wait longer to get what we want. The bottom line is disappointment is an unwanted request from God to wait. Waiting is the last thing we want to do, right? We want what we want when we want it. But without disappointments in life I don’t think we’d be able to learn about how beautiful the virtue of patience is or how sweet the act of surrendering can be.

I may be preaching to myself mostly here. I need to not be discouraged about the huge disappointment life has thrown me so writing about this has helped. But whatever disappointment your facing in you life, I’ll be the first to join you and say disappointment sucks and waiting is no fun. But I also will say that it has a reason. Even though we may not see it, there’s a reason from God for every disappointment, unmet desire, or canceled plan. We just have to keep moving on and keep trusting God.

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." Jeremiah 29:11

This Isn’t My Story

This isn’t my story.

This is not the path I would have chosen for my life, this pain, this heartache. I wasn’t supposed to have such a sad story. This isn’t my story because it’s not the story I want for my life, but I am comforted in this one thing. This is His story that I’m living and all this pain and hurt has a reason in God’s plan.

I remember hearing stories of people who get so close to marrying someone and then just days before the wedding day they cancel everything. I have always told myself, that will never be me. I will never let myself get that close to someone unless I know for sure it’s gonna work out. But I got engaged to my best friend and I knew we had issues. I somehow hoped they’d resolve before our wedding date. But the problems he had were deep, sin runs deep and sin hurts others. We made the choice to postpone our wedding date because of the distrust that has formed in our relationship.

My story isn’t one of walking away. I have always loved this guy and I always will. But right now God is asking me to wait. My story is a story of waiting for healing, waiting for peace, waiting for reconciliation, and waiting for the fulfillment of my dreams.

So in my waiting, I have decided to fill my days up with writing. I want to write about the hard and raw emotions I am experiencing and about how true rest and peace is always found in Christ. I want to be open with you about how real the pain of sin is and how much it hurts. I want to share my story because I know I am not the only one with this story. I hope that by sharing, those who are also waiting, will be encouraged to keep trusting God.

When I realize that this story isn’t my story, I finally have peace. I can let go of control. God has called me to live out His story and to wait. That’s what this blog is for. It’s for my waiting. If my story intrigues you can read more here. If you are also in a season of waiting please follow this blog for encouragement and hope.

I’m already anxious to get to the end of this season of waiting and see what God is going to do with my story, but right now God has said wait. So will you join me while I’m waiting.