A God Who Sees

El-Roi; the God who sees. Something I’ve been learning about God this Summer.

When we feel invisible and it seems that all of our efforts to serve and please God go unnoticed by those we want to be seen by, there is one who sees. God sees. No matter how invisible we might feel, we are never invisible to God. El Roi, means the God who see’s and this is a reminder I really have been needing this summer.

All my life I’ve felt like I have just been invisible to certain people. No matter where I go or what crowd I’m with, I am never the one in the center of the picture, I’m just there, in the background. And each year of my life I’ve had to really fight and wrestle with this strong desire and longing I have had to be that one who is in the center. To be the one everyone wants to hang with. To be noticed and appreciated instead always being invisible.

Without even knowing it, I have been putting so much worth into certain roles people can have in life. Instead of seeing all the roles we have as fitting together and working together for God’s purpose in the body of Christ, I have been looking at all the ways I am not like others and feeling like I will never measure up. But this summer, God has slowly, and few many mistakes, been getting through to me and doing some hard work on my heart.

I spent this entire summer working alongside other Christians but when I look back I realize that I was unable to fully enjoy the fellowship of working with them because in my heart, and in my pride, I was telling myself that their roles was more valuable than mine. I found myself constantly striving and basing my happiness in serving on reaching certain goals instead of being fully focused on serving God in the way He has specifically called me.

Well, long story short, it took an unplanned injury and many days of “forced” rest to awaken me to a new view. Suddenly my life was slowed down by a very bad sprained ankle (which I just found out this week is also a small fracture). I no longer felt like I had constrol in my life and I was unable to strive for the things I thought were so important. I had to choose to rest and take on roles that I deemed as less important simply because it was all I could do. The last few weeks of my summer were filled with days of “forced” rest and I found myself getting back into long mornings in God’s word each day and looking to Him more for help.

And as hard as it was, somehow in the midst of this change, I began to see something. I realized that when I stopped striving I began to understand that each role is important and needed. Just because one role requires more skill and responsibility it doesn’t mean it is more important to the function of the body of Christ. God made each of us to have separate roles and callings and to simply serve Him in the whatever area He’s called us to.

But this is probably the biggest realization I made this Summer – People don’t love me less because I don’t have the skills for these roles nor do the roles that are more in the background have less importance when it comes to serving God.

I was reading a verse in Hebrews today a verse that really cemented in my mind this concept that God has been teaching me;

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,” Hebrews 6:10-11

In this passage, I saw that God doesn’t overlook any acts of service to Him. God see’s all we do, even when we do things that are more in the background. God is the God who sees! One of my favorite things I find myself constantly saying to myself is that God knows my heart and all the desires of my heart, so I can trust him. This means that, because God is the God who see’s and knows my heart, I can rest in Him and find fulfilment in whatever role He calls me to. If others don’t see or give me the appreciation my heart longs for, God sees and nothing will go overlooked by Him.

He is the God who sees! God sees me and He see’s you!

Maybe this post is mostly me babbling on about my experience in something I’m learning. But I want end it by saying that there is also so much that you can take comfort in when you know that God is a God who sees. Whatever your struggle is, whenever you have days where you just feel invisible and unnoticed. God always sees you and your heart. God loves a heart that serves Him for the pure joy of serving Him and not in serving with hopes of being noticed. It took a hard trial and setback in my summer to get this truth into head. So my urge and prayer is that you won’t have to learn this lesson that hard way like I did.

Resting in the God who sees shouldn’t just encourage and comfort us, it should also spur us on to serve Him well in every role we have and stay faithful to the call He has on our life.

Choosing God

What do you do when your heart wants one thing, but you know deep down that it is probably not the best thing for you.

Or maybe something has happened that you’ve been waiting for and it’s not a bad thing that happened but the timing is just not right. This is kinda what happened to me just the other day.

There is a line from a song that comes to mind from a song I used to sing; “Sometimes my brain says no but my heart says yes.” And I just have to say that this saying rings so true at times. Sometimes our hearts can be so set on something, so ready for something we want, that we say yes without thinking. But then our minds hold up a red flag to us and say wait.

I won’t go into detail, but I made a decision today, a decision to put something I know my heart wants on hold because my brain has told me to wait. It’s not that what I want is bad, but that the timing is just not right. I had to choose to either say yes to what my heart wanted and allow something into my life that would be a distraction or to say no so that I can choose to keep my focus on God for this season in my life. You probably know what choice I made.

After some prayer and seeking some counsel, I felt like I could see things a lot more clearly. God made it so clear to me that I needed to choose the things He wants for me and not the things that I want. God has me in a season right now where I need to keep my focus on Him because I’m working at a camp in ministry this summer. And this week I have found myself, well, a bit lost. A bit overwhelmed and stressed about things that were happening.

But I made the decision to say no to chasing after what I wanted so that I could give God and this camp my whole focus. This decision has been a wake-up call to me. It’s caused me to realize that when you are at a crossroads, you can say no to your heart, and you must choose the path that is going to bring God the most glory and honor.

So wherever you find yourself, struggling with decisions and not knowing what to do. I just want to challenge you to take some time to really think about the options that lay ahead of you. Think about all the things that you want, and then about where God might be leading you. And choose the way that is going to keep you closer to God, even if it means saying no to the things you want.

And my friend, realize that saying no to what your heart wants can also simply be because the time is not right, not a it’s never going to happen or it’s such a bad idea.

I have learned today that choosing to put God first over what I want is the most freeing decision and that it leads to a peace that is so refreshing. You will never be disappointed when you make a decision to put God first above whatever it is your heart wants.

A Lesson from Jonah…

Do you know about Jonah in the bible…

A couple of months ago my church preached a sermon on Jonah. It’s been a while since that sermon, but I still have the story ringing through my head. And, like it or not, I have been seeing myself in parts of the story of Jonah. Mainly in Jonah’s stubbornness and unwillingness to rejoice in God’s goodness. I know, a great character to relate too…

After trying to run from God, being thrown into the sea, swallowed up by a fish, and then given a second chance by God, Jonah finally makes his way to Ninevah. He delivers a short and to-the-point sermon to the Ninevites and then he smugly makes his way to an outlook to watch the city receive God’s judgment. We look at this story and we shake our heads at Jonah. Johah just didn’t get it, we say. He didn’t understand God’s character and grace. But in reality, when you read chapter 4 of Jonah you will see that Jonah did have a right understanding of God;

“But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.  He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity”

Jonah 4:1-2

Jonah was upset and admitted that the whole reason he didn’t want to go to Ninevah in the first place was because he knew God’s character and He knew God would show them compassion. This really paints a whole different picture of Jonah’s heart as he ran away. And as much as I try to hide it, I can see parts of my heart reflected in this.

How often have I been too scared to pray a certain prayer, take a chance with a certain person, or say yes to opening a new door because I know deep in my heart what God’s character is and what God is going to ask me to do. I know that what God wants for me is going to be differant then what I want and I just don’t want to go there.

When following after God means showing grace and love to those we don’t like, going outside of our comfort zones to reach the lost, and forsaking our flesh and choosing the path marked with pain instead of pleasure, wouldn’t it just be easier to stay where we are. Or to run away in the opposite direction.

But as we see with the story of Jonah, running from God doesn’t help us. In fact, it’s impossible because God is everywhere and he is sovereign over everything. And when Jonah finally obeyed and went through with it all, He still did not have his heart in the right place and he wasn’t able to share in the joy of seeing God show compassion to sinners. The compassion and grace God gave to the wicked people in Ninevah is a beautiful thing, but Jonah was blinded to it by his pride and discontentment.

When we are so focused on our pride and our life not being where we want it, we miss out on the good things God has for us now. Just like Jonah, we sit under our own tree, angrily waiting for the thing we think we deserve, when in reality, God has already given us more than we could ever need and His plan for us is to stay in this season a little longer.

When we are discontent, we will complain and grumble to God about all the things we don’t like and we miss out on seeing all the good things he has given us. But on the flip side, if we are content where God has us, we can rejoice in all God has done for us and all the grace he has shown us.

I don’t know about you all, but this story of Jonah has been hitting home for me a lot. I keep saying to myself, “Wow, I am a lot like Jonah as he sat on that hillside waiting for God to give him what he wanted.” I can so easily fall into the habit of complaining about my life more than praising God for it. But when I remind myself of God’s character and how God is sovereign, I begin to see things better. I see that this life, is not about me and making the things I want to happen, but about God and letting God do his will in my life.

So as I end this post, if you ever find yourself like Jonah, you’re not alone. We all find ourselves on the hillside wanting our own way over God’s way. But this is the challenge; Instead of sitting on the hillside waiting for God to work, we ought to be jumping up and down for joy praising God because he is always at work and he has already done the greatest work! Sending his Son to die for us so that we might be free! That is the greatest act of compassion and mercy in all of history, and if we have our hearts in the wrong place, we just might miss out on this great joy.

Rejoicing Always

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

Philippians 4:4

Have you ever thought about this verse and how it doesn’t just say rejoice in the Lord? It says to rejoice in the Lord always.

The other night, I was in my room again and I was feeling sad. It was Easter and it was another Easter I had to celebrate alone, without him. I saw post after post of all those I know sharing about this being their first Easter together as a couple. It wasn’t long before I found myself thinking about him and crying out to God to comfort me. So I did that Bible thing where you pray for God to bring you the right passage in the Bible and then randomly open up the Bible.

I opened up to a random chapter in Ezekial. I was very skeptical but still decided to give it a read. And nope, it wasn’t very helpful. I tried again and opened up to Psalm 116. This Psalm was actually very encouraging and relatable so spend some time reading it and meditating on it a bit. But what I really needed came after I finished reading in my Bible. I picked up a small book I have full of prayers. My hope is to read one of the prayers in the book each night before going to bed. Well, the prayer that I read was the “Ode to Joy” poem which was made into a familiar hymn. What’s funny is that I instantly felt the urge to not read this prayer. A call to be joyful was the last thing I wanted to read about and I felt the tension in my spirit. But as I read it the conviction began to set in. This prayer was just the reminder I needed that there is always so much I can be joyful in. I want to bed with a prayer to be more joyful in the Lord.

And if that wasn’t enough of a reminder to me, the next morning I read Philippians 4 where Paul tells us to rejoice always. I just have to say here, as I know I’ve said many times before, God is just so good to me in all the ways He reminds me of His goodness.

Here is the truth that I realized; we can rejoice in the Lord always because our God is faithful to us and He is unchanging in all that He does. Our circumstances change, but God never does. If our rejoicing is based on our circumstances it’s impossible for us to always find joy and keep that joy, because our life is always changing. But when our rejoicing is in the Lord, we always have reason to be joyful. We can be joyful because of all that God has done for us and all that God has promised us in His Word.

So today, I’m choosing to be joyful. I’m choosing to rejoice despite my circumstances and this season that seems to have no end. I will rejoice always in my God and I will rejoice in all that God has done for me. I will rejoice in the fact that God has always been with me, is still with me, and has a good plan for all of this in my life.

Not Ready…

I was laying in bed last night, drifting off to sleep.

But as I felt my body drifting, I got inspiration and a new idea popped into my head. I don’t know why it is that inspiration always comes to me at the worst times. This is not the first time I have been inspired to write something while trying to fall asleep.

It’s a miracle that when I woke up in the morning I actually still remembered what I was thinking about as I fell asleep. So here I am now, writing about my thoughts that I had late at night.

I fell asleep thinking about how a year ago, when I was on the verge of getting married, I felt like I was so ready for that next step in my life. I had been waiting so long to be married and now it was my turn and I wanted it so bad. But in truth, I was anything but ready, and it was by God’s providence and grace that he didn’t let me take that step into marriage.

Whenever I look back now, I cringe when I think of how blind I was. I was not ready, I can see now and say so confidently now, I was not ready. I was selfishly wanting that next step so bad that it was unhealthy. I was so shattered when I didn’t get it because I had made myself believe that I deserved it.

As I was thinking about this, the thought came into my head about how so much has changed in this year. Now I feel ready, more ready than I was then. I thought, yes, I am ready now. But the minute that thought entered into my head, the dangers of that statement came to my mind at full force.

I realized that to say that I am ready is to say that I know what’s best for me. And to say that I know what’s best for me, is to say that I don’t trust God’s timing and plan for my life. To say that I am ready, is actually a selfish thing to say, because it takes away the fact that I need and depend on God each day. Saying I am ready puts me in the position of demanding things from God and being upset for not having things because when I say I am ready I am saying I deserve certain things now.

There is a quote that I remember from C.S Lewis’ book “Prince Caspian” where Aslan asks young Caspian if he is ready to become king;

“Welcome, Prince,’ said Aslan. ‘Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?’
I – I don’t think I do, Sir,’ said Caspian. ‘I am only a kid.’
Good,’ said Aslan. ‘If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”

C.S. Lewis

It is because he is not ready, that he is ready. If Prince Caspian had said he was ready, he would be showing that he had a prideful heart and he would not be open to learning how to be a king. But his humble admitting that he was not ready, showed that he was ready, because he would be able to go into this new role willing to learn and lean into the wisdom of others.

So the reality is, to say we are ready, is not a wise thing to say. Yes, there will be times when we must prepare ourselves for something and we will be more ready than we were before for the task we are called to. But the minute we say we are ready and we have no more need to work or wait, we take a prideful selfish stance.

Saying we are not ready, is evidence of a heart that is seeking to lean on God and trust in God’s timing and in God’s way. Saying we aren’t ready, is the humble response God calls all of us to take so that our great God, can then come and be our strength and meet us in the places where we need His help.

So today, I am saying that now, after a year, I am not ready. I am not ready for the next step. I am not ready because I know how much I need God to strengthen me and lead me. And whenever God does bring the thing I desire most into my life, I will have to lean on Him for help and guidance. Because the minute I say I am ready, I am not ready.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

When God Speaks…

Have you ever heard God’s speaking to you? What’s it like? How do you know it’s God’s voice?

Does God verbally speaks to his people today? It’s a question I’ve long wrestled with. Now, I don’t discount that he does speak this way to some of His children, but He has never spoken to me in that way, even after one time, a little over a year ago, when I sat in silence begging to hear his voice. But I have a story for you all today. I had a little experience the other day that I just have to get on here and write about, and yes, it does involve God speaking to me.

There have been two times in my life that I felt God’s overwhelming and powerful presence in my life telling me what to do. The time I surrendered my relationship and made the decision to move to Redding, and now this new experience that happened just a few days ago.

If you read my last post, you will be familiar with where my heart has been this past week. I got to see how God truly has been at work in his heart after I walked away from the relationship. I got to see him being baptized and my heart was not only filled with praises to God but also with a lot of hope. Now, the only picture in my head that I can think of to help you grasp the kind of way this new feeling of hope is like in my soul is to use a picture from Pilgrims Progress. So bear with me as I try to explain…

In Pilgrims Progress, near the end, when Christian and Hopeful are close the Celstial City, they begin to get glimpses of all the good that is to come. The hope and excitement of what is to come when their long journey is over and they reach this beautiful city fills them literally with so much hope and joy that they are sick. They literally cannot stomach it and they have to stop and rest.

This is such a beautiful picture of how the closer we get to Christ the more real and powerful the hope we have gets. But today I saw this part of the story, reflected in my heart. As my hope and excitement in seeing how God was working escalated so much this week that I found myself literally overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with good things and praises, but also, overwhelmed to the point where I have been unable to process.

And somehow, amidst all of the joy and hope and good things I was praising God for, a huge boat-load of worry crept in along with it (granted, a huge part of this worry is also due to the world’s events and all the news about Ukraine.) Suddenly I was filled with so much panic and worry for the future and worrying about things not working out or me not taking the right step. Worrying about God not giving me the answers and telling me to keep waiting even longer. Worrying about the world and all the horrible worst case scenarios that seem very real in my mind.

Well, when all these worries came, do you know what I did? I did what I always do when I get so overwhelmed. I headed outside, to my favorite walking trail, and I walked, and prayed, and walked, and prayed. I prayed but I didn’t have the words to say. I said a bunch of random and jumbled up things that probably didn’t make much sense and I walked in silence because I had no words. I don’t know how to describe this to you , but inside my head there was so much pressure and tension. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much, just straight heaviness, in my head as I wrestled with all the thoughts.

Then, suddenly, as I was walking it happened. I don’t know how to describe it to you, but I felt this overwhelming sense of something. And suddenly a new idea was placed into my head. Suddenly I was given these words, as clear as day in my mind; “God is working, God is making him into the man he needs to be. You don’t need to worry, God is working.”

Immediatly after this happened I did two things. I wrote down on my phone the words I heard placed in my head, and then prayed that if this was from God, God would make it clear. And this is how God answered me; all of the noise and build-up that I had inside my head, all of the worry, was just gone. It was like night and day. In the past God has always given me His peace after making a rough decision, but it’s always been the day after, never this immediate. I literally found myself laughing with joy and ecstatic because everything I was worrying about was just gone. The crippling sense of worry and fear I had literally one minute ago, was gone. If that is not a miracle and the hand of God working, then I don’t know what is.

He didn’t speak to me verbally, like I’ve always wanted God to do, but there is no doubt in my mind about what God told me. God told me not to worry. Gold told me that I can trust him because he is working. This was exactly what my fear-filled mind needed to hear.

Whatever happens in the future, whatever path God takes me down, I don’t have to worry. God is at work, I know God is at work. God comforted my heart in letting me know that I don’t have to make any decisions right now or take any actions other than trusting in Him. I simply need to wait and let God work, and while I wait, I don’t have to worry.

So, that’s my little story for you all today. This is a moment I want to remember and document and hold dear to my heart. And I want to encourage you as well, that what God told me is true of you as well. Whatever you find yourself facing, God is working in ways you can’t even understand. You can trust Him and you don’t have to worry. Let this be our new anthem (I’ve even made it my phones screensaver because I never want to forget what God told me 🙂 ) We don’t have worry!

A Praise and A Prayer

Well, today did not go how I planned it to go, and that’s okay.

Something happened today. My eye’s are wet and stinging from crying so much again. I’m not sure yet what it all means, but I do know one thing. This is something to praise God for and I just need to write about it and share this praise with you all and give God the glory.

I woke up today, groggy, tired, and sore from skiing all day yesterday with friends (which was so fun, by the way). Even though it may have been a bit of a struggle to wake up, I was so happy to be off to church to worship today.

It’s been a full year now since I walked away from the relationship and it has been a hard road, but God has been with me every step of the way. My walk with God has grown so much in this year. For the first time I’ve found community and a good solid group of Christian girls to surround myself with. I love my church, and I’ve truly found myself overwhelmed with just feeling happy and content with all these new blessings God has brought into my life.

And today, God blessed me with a little glimpse into how God has also been working in his life in this past year

While driving home from church I got a text from a friend that something happened in his life today. He shared his testimony and was baptized today at his church. The church we used to attend together.

So today I found myself in my room again, the tears again coming down my face. But they were good tears. After watching his testimony I cried. I heard him say things I have always yearned and prayed for him to say. But he was saying those now, after I’ve been completely out of the picture.

He stood in front of the church, and he shared how he was a sinner, how he was lost and deceived by his sin. He shared how he thought he could make it on his own, but now realized how much he needs God. He shared how God had pursued him and somehow held him near through all his mistakes. It truly was a sincere and special testimony as he shared about how much he messed up but also how much he needed God. God used all of it, all the pain, to bring him to see his need.

Today, I want to praise the Lord for this work that is being done in his life! And that this work is being done in his life while I’ve been out of his life. God is getting all the glory!

As I listened to his testimony I couldn’t help but think of the story of the lost sheep that Jesus tells in Matthew 18. Jesus, our good shepherd leaves the ninety-nine, to pursue that one sheep. But not only does he pursue that sheep until it’s found, all of heaven rejoices when it is found.

I can’t help but be filled with joy when I think of all heaven rejoicing now as he is found. I have this beautiful picture in my head of how God has pursued him and now all of heaven is rejoicing over him.

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish”

Matthew 18:12-14

I may have cried many tears, but today has been a joyful day, because I got to see that God truly has been working in his life! The joy of seeing a sinner turn from sin and turn to God is the sweetest joy, but how much sweeter when it’s one your hearts cares for so deeply.

But Today has also brought on a lot of feelings and questions that don’t have answers yet. I prayed a lot today, which looked more like walking in silence and letting God listen to my heart because I couldn’t form any words. The deep feelings I have for him are still really real and this entire year has been full of constant surrendering of them to God.

At the end of the day, my resolve is this; that all I can do now is to keep waiting. I don’t know what God’s plan is, and yes, I’m hopeful as I wait to see what God will do and where he will lead, but I’m also determined to follow God and seek wisdom, and right now this still means to wait and trust God.

So that’s where I am now. Nothing has changed. I’m still not talking to him in any form. I’m taking this life one day day at a time and enjoying each of the little blessings God has given me now in this season. But now I can also praise God for this beautiful work he’s done in a sinners life! I can praise God for getting to see this little glimpse into the purpose behind all the pain. I am praising God simply because God gets all the glory!

And that’s all I wanted to hop on here and share with you all today. To simply share with you this little update and ask you to praise the Lord with me for this work he Has done in his life and also to pray for me, that I might keep my focus on God as I seek wisdom in this waiting.

When Healing Doesn’t Come…

“I pray for your healing
That circumstances would change
I pray that the fear inside would flee
In Jesus name
I pray that a breakthrough would happen today
I pray miracles over your life. in Jesus name”

~ In Jesus Name (God of the Possible) by Katy Nichole

Have you heard this song before?

I keep hearing it everywhere and I want to be honest with you all… every time I listen to this song, I feel a little check in my spirit.  There is just something in it that doesn’t sit well with me and I’ve been trying to figure out what it is.

I think a huge part of it is the fact that this song is a direct prayer specifically for healing and good things from God.

Sometimes when we pray for healing, we can get so caught up in wanting the outcome and believing that healing is going to come that our whole world revolves around God bringing us that healing. But what if healing does not come. Because, I hate to break it to you, sometimes it doesn’t.

Yes, we do have a God who heals, we do have a God who does miracles.  But we also have a God who uses suffering and calls us to walk through hard trials simply for the purpose of His glory being shown in our weakness. And more often than not, the path of suffering is the path that God chooses for His children.

What if God is asking you to remain in your suffering for His good purposes.  When you pray desperately for healing and are not open to God’s answer being no, then, when God’s answer is no, it shatters you and brings you to a place of dissatisfaction with who God is.

Whoever you are reading this, as you listen to this song and send it to your friends and pray those words for healing over whatever situation you find yourself in, I simply want to call out to you to be careful.  Check your heart and come to God with a heart that is fully submitted to whatever outcome God deems best for your life.

Yes, pray for healing, but also pray that he will give you the strength to endure if the answer is no.  Don’t just pray for healing.  Pray also for God to be glorified even if healing doesn’t come.

Here is a thought for you; If God is going to be more glorified in our suffering, then may our prayer be that God will sustain us and help us to see Him in the midst of our pain.

As I end this post, I want to share one more thing. When I was reflecting on this song I decided to take the chorus and re-write it a way that I believe will reflect what a heart submitted to God’s plan would be.  To close this post, here is my simple rewrite of the chorus.  If you have found yourself enjoying singing this song, may you also remember these simple truths and hold them all dear to your heart:

I pray for your healing, but I also pray for you to endure.
I pray for you to understand that even when the circumstances don’t change, He is still faithful.
I pray that the fear inside you would leave you, but when it doesn’t, that it will bring you closer to the one who is love and who can cast out all fear.
I pray for breakthrough, but also for faithful obedience on the days it’s hard, that you might have His peace for however long He has you in this hard season.
I pray for miracles so that God’s glory might be shown, but if miracles aren’t God’s chosen plan for you, I pray you will still seek his name and let him be glorified in your suffering. In Jesus name

Surrender *Repost*

Reposting this today because…

It’s been one whole year since this day that changed my life. A day I’ll remember forever. The day I decided in my heart to follow God even when it took me away from the thing I wanted most.

Looking back on this post from a year ago I wish I could go back in time and tell this scared girl that it would be okay. That even though God wouldn’t bring back to her what she walked away from, God would give her so much more. I wish I could tell her that trusting God would lead to so much peace and joy and a newfound love and passion for the gospel. I would tell her that even though it would also lead to a long and hard season of loneliness, the new nearness to God will make each day worth it.

So below are my thoughts from a year ago when my hurting heart decided to take that path of surrender. All I can say when I look back and relive that day is; I’m thankful for my God who has graciously led me and has stayed with me each step of the way.

Surrender (post from January 25, 2021)

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 than 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 a 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

In Due Time…

Driving back home after a fun and full day, my eye’s just about welled up with tears.

My heart felt like it was about to burst with sweet feelings of joy and thankfulness to God. For so long, I’ve waited and prayed. For so long I’ve asked God for friends and company on this lonely walk and driving home, the realization hit me, God heard me. And I am literally in the process of watching God is answering my prayers! This day is proof of that!

But, let me start back at the beginning.

A year ago I felt so alone. I ended my engagement with my fiance, my best friend of five years, after learning he had been lying to me. I then moved with my family to a new town, four hours away from the place that had become my home. I knew God was directing my steps as I made these decisions, but what I was not anticipating, was the fact that this would propel me into a long season of loneliness as my hurting heart healed.

Soon after moving, two things were at war inside me. I was anxious to find a community and meet new people but also scared to really open up and tell people about my past. So I prayed. I prayed that God would bring people into my life, new friends to start making new memories with. I was tired of being lonely for so long but reaching out and making new friends in a new area is not a skill God has blessed me with.

I attend an amazing church with my family that is solid on the scriptures and has helped my growth in the Lord so much, but the church does not have many other young adults my age which didn’t help me in my struggle of feeling lonely and longing for community.

Weeks turned into months, Summer came and was over before I knew it. I packed my summer so full of serving and traveling that I had no time to really feel lonely. But after Summer I was again back on my knees, praying to God, asking him for a friend. I prayed but when God said nothing, I still got up each day and kept going, not knowing when or how God would answer my prayer. And let me tell you all, it can be so hard and discouraging when you pray so hard for something you want and know is good, but God doesn’t seem to be doing anything.

But suddenly, just in these last few weeks, God has been working! The first thing God did was bring my sister back into my life. She moved back in with the family during the Holiday season and it has truly been an answer to my prayer having her back and going on outings and adventures with her. And then, God brought another new friend into my life. It happened so fast and out of the blue. I’m honestly still just in shock and amazement of how fast God can work sometimes!

This new friend was a girl my age, in a similar place in life, who has so many similar interests. It’s really quite a neat story how we met. We just happened to cross paths a few times a few months ago. We found out we had many common interests but didn’t actually get together until just recently. I have traced back all the ways and things that had to happen in my life in order to make meeting this girl happen, and let me just say, wow. God is a God who works in all of the tiny and random details of life. God truly does use everything, even the things we deem as a waste, for his good purposes. The fact that God was doing stuff in my life months ago that would make meeting this girl happen just blows my mind.

But back to my story, and this weekend. My new friend invited me to go Skiing on the weekend with some of her friends. It was the most fun and sweet time I’ve had in a long time. I honestly didn’t feel like I had to try hard to connect. It was so easy and natural meeting the two other girls that came with us. God was bringing more friends into my life through this new freind. On the last run of the day, while riding on the ski lift with one of the girls, I had very heartfelt conversation and learned that she had also gone through the pain of bringing her engagement to an end. What are the odds that God would bring another girl into my life, who has a similar story to mine. A girl whose is a couple more years down the road of healing which gives me so much hope to know that I’m not alone.

God is so good!

This is why I almost cried driving home from the skiing trip. I’ve been praying for so long to not be lonely and for a friend, and God has heard me. I am once again reminded that all of our times are truly in God’s hands. Everything we go through has a purpose in Gods’ plan. Even when it feels like we hit a dead end or our life takes an unexpected detour, God uses all of it.

The other day this verse kept running through my head from psalm 16 – “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Surely I have a beautiful inheritance.” I am beginning to see the lines falling around me, and they show me that God is good and has good things planned for me. God may ask us to walk through hard seasons and long seasons of waiting or loneliness. But we must remember this; He does hear each and every one of our cries to him. In due time God will bring us out. In due time God will bring his plans for us to completion.

“But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands;”

Psalm 31:14-15