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

Another Year

Another year has come and gone. 

I can’t believe that November is here again and today (Nov. 8) is my *ahem* *ahem* birthday.  I’m another year older and another year wiser, right?   I have officially crossed over the halfway through my twenties mark.  And I thought twenty-five was a hard number to swallow, now I have to get used to saying twenty-six.  I’m officially in my late twenties, and I don’t know how I feel about this.

But if there is anything I’ve learned about getting older it is that you can’t do anything about it. You can’t freeze time and stay the same age.  You can’t go back in time and change the choices you made.  The only thing you can do is move forward.

Looking back at my life there are a lot of things I wish I could change.  A lot of choices I made that led to heartache and heartbreak. This past year particularly was not an easy one for me. Exactly one year ago I was in pure bliss. I was newly engaged and life was just… perfect. My phone keeps showing me pictures from last year and it’s pictures of my smiling face, my beautiful ring (but none of him because I deleted all of those ones).

I had no idea that when I celebrated my birthday and engagement last year how it was going to end. I had no idea that in just a few months it would all fall apart. I was oblivious to the deep darkness and hurt that was soon to follow. But I can say this. All the pain that I walked through led to something that was unexpected.  The closeness I have found with Jesus this year is a gift I never imagined would be mine.  Jesus has walked with me so closely this year and I wouldn’t go back and change anything because all of it lead me closer to my sweet savior.

Just the other day I was chatting with my mom saying that so much has happened this year that never would have happened if things went as planned. All of my writings were a direct result of the pain I was walking through. God spoke to me so clearly about what to write about during my hurt. I began serving and following Christ with a new boldness and fervor than I had before. I’m not the same naive Christian I was when I turned twenty-five. No, I am growing and maturing more and more in my walk. God is becoming dearer and dearer to me and I’m beginning to want only Him more and more.

Even though this past year was one of the hardest seasons of my life, it was also filled with so much joy.  I found purpose and passion in writing this year.  I made many new friends and I reconnected with many old friends which has brought so much joy to my life.  I had one of the busiest summers of my life packed full of serving opportunities, including spending a week up in Oregon serving my first time at a Joni and Freinds Family Camp.  I flew by myself for the first time this year and also planned a successful Disney trip with my sister (huge adulting points for this one!).  I explored many new hiking trails, including an amazing backpacking trip in the Trinities for the first time.  And that just briefly touches on a few of the many good things that came out of this year.

Now, as I stand at the end of this year, and after seeing all the good things that came out of this year, if you were to tell me that twenty-five would be the hardest year of my life, it would be hard to believe you.  But there is a saying I believe I’ve heard somewhere.  “Out of great pain comes great joy.”  Or at least I think that’s how the saying goes.  This has been my beauty from ashes year.  My year where through great pain I have found the greatest joy.

And now as I look forward to twenty-six, I’m excited to see where God will lead me.  God has captured my heart in new ways this year!  What will he teach me next?  What new things will this next year have for me? How will God grow me and change me?

Another year older.  It’s not that scary anymore.  Not when you realize that God is the one directing our steps and leading us on.  Here’s to Twenty Six!

Next Steps

Healing is a process.

Sometimes it seems as if it is a never-ending process. You take one step, you have peace. Then you have unrest again and the hurts return. You realize there is another step you must now take. So you take that step and the peace comes back. And on and on this cycle goes. Each step making the heart hurt a little less. Each step bringing new clarity and direction into your life.

I’m still in this cycle. Still healing and learning how to move on with my life. This week God showed me the next step – forgiveness.

In my Bible study, we have been going through the book of Matthew and this week I have been reading the Sermon on the Mount. The other day as I was reading the notes for chapter 5 when I felt a huge sense of conviction fall on my soul. The verses in Matthew where Jesus tells us to make right and reconcile with our brother before we worship God stared blazingly at me.

“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 6:23-24

I knew what God was telling me. In that moment, I knew it was God whispering the words into my soul that this was the next step. For the longest time I have been telling myself when the time is right, I’ll seek some sort of reconciliation for the way things ended, but not now, not yet. But Jesus’ word hit me deep. He says in order to have pure worship we need to make amends and we need to not wait. Oh how much I desire to have a pure heart before God. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer.

So I took the next step. I sought out forgiveness for any wrongs I have done in the breaking up of the relationship. As a sister in Christ, I wanted to seek forgiveness for any way I didn’t act in line with God. I know in my hurt I hurt him and I don’t want to be held accountable on judgment day for doing nothing about it. I also felt the need to tell him that I truly do forgive him for all the hurt and pain that his sin caused me. This has been a hard step, but a freeing one. I do not want to hold onto any anger and bitterness in my heart for the way things ended.

And just like that, I had peace again. I had joy again. I felt a new freedom and lightness in my soul. Because I did it. I took the next step. I heard God speak to and tell me what to do and I obeyed. My heart is moving forward again in this long and hard journey of healing. And I’m thankful for God who keeps being faithful to show me the way and when to take each step.

(just a note that because this was a difficult situation and I know that it would not be wise to do this in person or have him back in my life in any way, it was done by a letter, not in person. My seeking forgiveness is not changing any of the decisions I have had made about ending our relationship, but I believe it is a necessary step for my conscience to have peace before God.)

Here We Go Again…

Here we go again

I feel like I’m back to where I started. I was making progress and I was pretty sure I finally knew where God was leading me. Things were starting to fall into place and my life was beginning to take on a new direction. But then it all ended. Just like that, I am back where I started. Here I am again, not sure what God is doing in my life. The return of feeling lost and lonely have also been overwhelming.

I keep crying out to God, my desire isn’t bad. I simply want to fall in love and be in love again. I long to have someone in my life who will love me and who I can love in return. I’m tired of this waiting game and there are times when I literally feel like I can hear the clock slowly ticking ticking away. Is it not wrong that I just want to start a family together before I get much older and find myself in love again. I wish I could tell my past to stop coming back to my mind and reminding me of everything I lost.

Yes, I’m here again. I’m sad and struggling again with feeling depressed and it doesn’t help that I’ve also been recovering from Covid. My body has just been so weak and tired and I’m finally starting to get back to some sort of normal again. But the fatigue from Covid is no joke.

Maybe I need to take more time to look on the bright side some more. I’ve been here before so I know I can get through another hard season of waiting. I’m still young, even though I’m over halfway through my twenties. Yes, I didn’t get a love story when I wanted it (right out of highschool would’ve been prefurred) but I’m still in my twenties and still young. There is still plenty of time for God to write me a love story so that I can raise a family someday. I have a family that loves me and supports me even when I feel lost. They provide for me and don’t pressure me to leave even through I wish I could’ve been out starting my own home already. And I know I have a God who loves me still and is with me. God has a plan for everything I walk through even this. Somehow writing out these things helps me to stay focused.

So yes, here I am again. I know I’m not over this yet and I still have many hard days ahead. But I will not lose heart. I will keep moving forward and keep waiting on God.

The other day, I felt so lost but I was listening to the song “It is well.” I suddenly felt overwhelmed and tears flowed down my cheeks. I verbally said out loud to God – “Okay, God, If I never fall in love and get married, it is well with my soul. It is well.” And that’s how I want to end this post. As much as I want God to bring these things into my life, I can’t demand them. I can’t make them work with the wrong people. So I am learning to say that it is well, it is well with my soul, whatever the path the Lord takes me down.

But I’m not gonna lie, a little direction would sure be nice.

A Loving God

I am just overwhelmed by how good God is!

Guys, I can’t believe how much God loves me. I had a hard but also very wonderful past few days. I drove down to an outdoor adventure camp I work at to spend a few days cooking and rafting. I was happy to be at this place, but it was also so hard. This was the place where I met him. Just being at camp makes me think of all the memories I’ve had with him. It made my heart hurt so much. Not only were the memories hard, but many of the staff that I was working with had their significant other with them and it made me feel so lonely. Seeing couples doing what couples do at a place where I use to hang out with him really made my heart ache.

So, as you might guess, I got really sad. I was doing great, serving the campers that came and loving on them as I worked in the kitchen. But after one long day when I was done working I layed down and I couldn’t hide the pain anymore. I let the tears fall down. I just had this overwhelming sense of needing to feel loved. I didn’t know what to do. I was to unsure about seeking out love from the other staff so I took my Bible and found a quiet place to read. In a very raw and scratchy voice (my voice is always a bit scratchy after crying), I said “God, I just need you to comfort me and bring me the right passage from you word that will comfort me.” I then randomly opened up my Bible to chapter 3 in Ecclesiastes. And my heart just about burst.

This was the chapter where it talks about there being a time for everything. My eyes fixated on the parts of the passage that said “there is a time for mourning, a time for healing, a time to weep, a time for lose, a time to to break down.” All these things reminded me that it’s okay to feel the hurt still. That just like there is a time to be happy and joyful and a time to love, there is also a time for healing and all the painful emotions. I kept on reading to verse 11 where it says “He has made everything beautiful in His time.” I prayed and thanked God for this beautiful reminder from His word that he is working in my life and I read that passage out loud over and over again until I felt better.

I know that God loves me so much because I was broken, I came to Him in my hurt and simply asked Him to give me what I needed. I wasn’t expecting anything big. Maybe just a Psalm that I could relate to. But my heart is overwhelmed because God heard me and he cared for me in my time of hurting. He gave me what I needed and it encouraged my heart so much.

And there is more! God is just so good, you guys. That same night, after I began to feel better I went to campfire with the group that we were serving at the camp. One of the leaders shared a message that night. In his message he shared about a hard experience he witnessed and the peace of God. His main point in his message was that in life we will face hard times but throughout each hard time we go through God is able to give us peace and joy. The fact that he said peace and joy was just amazing. Every single day when I pray, I have been specifically asking for peace and joy in my life. I haven’t been praying for just peace, but peace and joy. The fact that he paired both those things together and shared how they can be ours during hard times really touched my heart. I knew without a doubt God was looking down on me and covering me in His love. I’m also thankful that the next day I had a chance to personally thank the man who shared his story and tell him that I was going through a hard time and his message was such an encouragement to me.

I’m back home now and enjoying some rest after a fun trip on the river (which may and may not have included me falling out of the boat during one of the big rapids and taking a little swim). I’m still a bit sad because memories are something I can’t easily forget. But I’m also just in awe at how God came through and gave me what I needed. Oh how much our God loves us! It’s these little moments when we are at our end, when our darkest hurts feel so real, that God gives us just what we need to keep going. God loves us enough to say keep following me and here is what you need to keep going.

I’m ready to keep trusting Him and keep following Him because I know that God loves me so much. We truly have such a loving God!

A New Change

Hey all!

I feel like it’s been awhile. Honestly, I’ve been doing really good. I’m realizing that if you don’t hear much from me on this blog it probably means I’m staying busy and I’m thriving because most of my writings are the product of strong feelings of hurt and pain. But, even though I’m doing good, I thought I’d still pop back in and say hi and give a little update.

I’m realizing now, when I look back, that a lot of things in my life have changed. I have this new feeling, like I’m at the beginning of a new season. I feel like I’m starting again, starting fresh. My hurt and pain is beginning to become less and less consuming. It’s not gone, but most of the time I have so much joy from the Lord and depression only comes if it gets triggered by some experience or memory. After having days where I couldn’t think without crying, it feels so good to be in this place.

Also, you may have noticed in the picture above, I decided to do a “physical change” too and change up my hair a bit. Welcome summer hair cut! This is the shortest I’ve ever cut my hair and it’s also the first time I’ve done this much highlights.

I’ve been wanting to do this to my hair for awhile but once I got home from the salon I honestly was shocked. I was not used to the person I kept seeing in the mirror. Initially I wanted the highlights to be a little more subtle. Somehow what ended up happening was close, but not exactly what I pictured in my head. It’s still the style I want and I’m learning how to rock it. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it from everyone. But for me, it has been taking me awhile to really ‘love’ it because I have always seen myself with long and dark hair.

As I think about this experience I had with having to get used to my new haircut and not instantly ‘loving‘ it right away, it kinda makes me think about life. Life is actually a lot like my haircut experience. We all have plans for how we want our life to go. But when things don’t go as planned, when you get home from the salon and realize the haircut looks a bit different than we had hoped. It can be hard to accept the sudden change. After the rough break-up, it took me three months to get to this place here; finally content and happy with the new direction God is bringing into my life. And even after these three months, I’m still healing.

It’s good to remember that the change isn’t bad. Just like how my haircut wasn’t a bad haircut. After a few days of learning how to style it and seeing myself with the highlights I have come to really love it. When drastic change happens to our life, we need to take time to evaluate it. We need to soak in what is happening. We have to look in the mirror and get used to the new person that God is calling us to be. We also may need to learn how to style our life again. A huge reason I didn’t instantly like my haircut was because I didn’t have much experience with styling short hair. When change happens in our life the unknown can be scary. Accepting the change is going to require us to learn new learn skills and rely deeper on God.

And somedays, as you probably have experienced, we will have bad hair days. We will see the new path our life is taking and desperately want the old life back. But in the end, it really is just a bad hair day and it can be fixed with a little bit of effort. When I get overwhelmed by my emotions, I’m encouraged that it’s just my emotions and when the next day comes, I feel better. When we fix our eyes back on God, He reminds us that He has such good plans for us. God shows us how to fix up our life again so we can keep following after Him.

Whatever change God is bringing into your life, maybe your first reaction is to cringe. Maybe it’s to hide. When God throws you a huge, unexpected curveball in life, it’s going to take time for you to truly grasp what God is doing. But you can trust that in time, you’ll see that God truly is doing something beautiful. Over time you’ll learn how to, not just walk, but thrive in the new season God has called you too. It time you’ll see that change, when it is from God, is oh so good.

So are you ready to accept the change in your life. I sure am! I feel so ready and confident that God has great plans for me. He was with me through the dark season and now as I begin to see light again, all I can do is rejoice.

(Also, I hope you enjoyed my little haircut story. I find it strange how well it applies to what I’ve been learning about God and my life)

The Way God Leads…

Have you ever wondered how God leads His people?

Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it looks like when God leads His people. I used to really wonder sometimes if God truly does speak to his people even today and lead them down certain paths or does he just let us choose our own path? God has never audibly spoken to me so I found it hard to understand God’s leading in others people lives when I had no personal experience of my own. But I have now come to a place where I have strongly felt and seen God’s leading in my life. God has made it known to my heart in amazing ways the path I’m supposed to walk down. Also, God’s leading in my life has been very unique and different than what I always imagined it would be. So I wanted to just spend a little bit of time today talking about what this has looked like for me in my life.

First thing I want to say, though, is that God leads everyone differently. I remember at the beginning of this hard walk I’m on, I wanted God to verbally speak to me. I waited in the silent, dark, night, but God didn’t speak to me in the way I wanted Him to. God spoke to me in other ways that night. But even though God didn’t speak verbally to me, I do believe that God does still verbally speak to some of His children. That’s why as I share with you about the ways that God has been leading me, I want to also acknowledge that these are not the only ways that God can lead his children. The way God leads you will be unique to your personality and to your story.

One of the biggest things I’m noticing about God leading me is that it’s a day by day process. I will confess that at the beginning of this walk I wanted all the answers right away. I thought, if God is going to tell me to take this path, then I need to know where this path will end. But God didn’t tell me in advance what to do. This is what He did do – with each new turn in the path that I came to, God was faithful to tell me what to do. I’m just so amazed when I look back at how in each moment God made it clear to me what to do.

Back in January God led me to make the decision to move with my family. I didn’t know for how long God wanted me to be in this new place, just that it was what God wanted me to do. I remember just feeling a strong burning sense of knowing that I needed to move to this new place and I knew that was God speaking to me. At first, I ignored that feeling until I got a specific question from a dear friend that lead me to seriously seek God and trust that this move truly was God’s will for my life. Then, soon after I decided that God was leading me to move with my family, God brought me to make the decision to take two months of space (no contact or communication in any way) from the relationship I was in. For some reason I had the idea of two months in my head, then I had dinner with a dear family and the stories they shared with me about their relationship confirmed in my heart that God wanted me to set a time of space from each other before deciding on anything.

Now that I am on the other side of the two months, I truly believe God was the one who put that in my head. Because here’s the crazy thing. I spent basically all of that two months not knowing what I was going to do next, but I believed with all my heart God would reveal to me the answer at the end of the two months. The first month I focused on God and prayed a lot for change to happen in him so I could have the relationship back. I was full of hope that God was gonna restore it all back to me in the end. But in the middle of the two months I found myself so overwhelmed and full of fear because I just didn’t know what God was going to do and I was scared about things not going my way. I kept telling myself not to worry because at the end of the two months God would make the next step clear. I had no idea the great ways that God was working on my heart in those two months.

When I finally came to the end, and not before, God had changed my heart. He made it clear to me that His path for me was to leave the relationship. God honestly gets all the credit for what happened because only days before the two months ended, I was still wanting things to work out. My sister told me that God did a miracle on my heart and honestly, I couldn’t agree more. I keep telling people it was like night and day – I woke up one day, the week that the two months was going to come to an end and I felt like I had new eyes and I saw things differently. I knew what God was telling me to do and for the first time I felt like I could do it.

Guys, let me tell you, our God is amazing and He is faithful. I am just awestruck at how God’s leading and direction came through for me in these last few months. He has always been faithful to show me the next step to take, and I’m beginning to see now that God doesn’t usually reveal to me what that next step is until I get to it. So when it comes to God’s leading in my life, I’m realizing that it looks a lot like resting in the fact that the future is unknown and all can do is follow God each day, trusting that God will make the next step clear in His timing. As I seek God, I know when the time is right, God will put the right thought in my heart or use the right question or word from a friend at the time my heart needs to hear it.

I also gotta say that it takes a lot of faith to live each day not knowing where God will lead me next. I’m a planner and not a day goes by I don’t stress about or get anxious about the big unplanned future ahead of me. But I’m also learning that this is such a sweet and exciting place to be! I’m living my life ready to say yes to whatever the next step is that God has for my life.

This post is getting a bit long and when I started this post I didn’t intent for the content to basically be a little peek into on my life these past few months. I ended up sharing quite a bit of personal stuff in this post because I feel like leaving out certain parts doesn’t give justice to the story of how God has been faithful to lead me. If you ever ask me if God is visibly at work in my life and this world, I will give you the biggest smile and most resounding, “Yes!” God is so real and He is so present in the lives of his Children! He Has truly led me in great ways and that’s what I hope and pray you will see from my story.

So if you ever find yourself wondering how God leads His people, this is what I hope you can remember – God does it in His timing and in His way. There are many ways God may lead you as you seek Him, it might be through certain people in your life or through a burning feeling or desire. But always remember that true clarity about God’s leading may not come until the time is right. God wants us to be so in tune with trusting in Him that we are ready to follow Him in faith with the uncertainty in our life. As we trust God with the unknowns in our life He will reveal the next step to us in His timing.

Something New…

Hey all!

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a post. I found myself busy with life and believe it or not, actually thriving. I didn’t have any sudden urges to write on here like I usually do when I am hurting. Since writing for me is like a coping method, maybe this is a good thing. Maybe my broken heart is finally healing. Still, I figured It’s about time for another post. This post is a kinda different, it’s like a little update about something God is beginning to plant in my heart. Bear with me as I try to be a bit vulnerable and express it in writing.

Only a few weeks ago I was in despair. I had this overwhelmingly strong sense of not being able to wait any longer. It was also the same week that was supposed to be “our” wedding day. I realize that the significance of that day had a lot to do with why my heart was hurting so much. But I got through that weekend and I only cried a few times. I felt like getting through that weekend was yet another step in the process of letting go and moving forward. I came to a point in my hurting and grief where I took all my hurt and my desires and gave them to God.

And something happened after that weekend. It is as if I’m seeing things differently for the first time. I have been holding onto hope for so long to have this relationship restored. I have been ready to jump whenever I get the green light to go forward again. But suddenly I am feeling like I don’t want it back. I feel like I am seeing for the first time the major things that were missing in the relationship and I don’t want to be back in that place. This is such a hard thing for me to process. Somedays I feel so confident I want to completely walk away, and other days I find myself still grieving all the good things I came to love about him. But most days I feel so close and loved by God that I forget about all of it. My walk with God has never been sweeter and I don’t want to give up this new closeness to God to chase after the things my heart wants.

To be honest, I never ever thought I’d get to this place, actually starting to desire something different, something better. I’ve been stuck on him for so long, my mind is having trouble adapting to this new idea. I have been waking up each day asking myself why do I feel this way? Is God really changing my heart? My inside is in constant turmoil, but I feel confident that God is in this. God is doing something. God is becoming more to me and I’ve decided I am truly willing to follow Him down whatever path He has for me and I don’t want to settle.

Anyway, all these feelings are still pretty new to me so I’m still learning how to process them. But for now, I’m once again reminded that the best thing to do right now is to follow God each day, choose Him each day, and live for Him each day. As I do that, I won’t have to worry about the rest of my life falling into place because I’ll be right where God wants me to be.

Content

Today I feel content

It’s the first time in a long time I’ve felt this way. And it’s strange. Nothing changed in my circumstances. I’m still in the same place, still not sure what God is going to do. But I it’s as if my whole outlook on things has been flipped around.

Only a few days ago I found myself consumed by stress and worry. I was having so many overwhelming feelings of despair and sadness. I actually began to be seriously worried about myself because of how depressed I was getting (I was having little panic attacks, and I never, ever, have panic attacks). But last Sunday, in the middle of those painful feelings, I decided to reach out to a few people. I asked for prayer. Then I went outside and rode my bike. I found a quiet place, I talked to God. I could feel all the inner turmoil inside me. I saw all the plans I had in my heart and I saw that I was holding onto them so tightly. I knew I had already surrendered these things to God, but somehow I found them once again in my hand. And I had a deathgrip on them.

But as I prayed and shared with God my heart something began to happen. My hand began to loosen up. I began to realize that it doesn’t matter how much I want certain things to happen in my life. God is the one who orchestrates all things. No amount of me wanting it can make it happen if it’s not in God’s will. And no amount of me worrying about it can stop it from happening if it is a part of God’s plan. God is the one who has brought me to this hard place I am in now. He was been with me all this time and I know that He will continue to be with me. I finally realized that I had to let go…again.

And the next day you won’t believe what happened! I woke up with such supernatural peace! I swear I was a different person. All the fear and worry I that I was drowning in the day before was suddenly gone. As I went about my day I started to get this new feeling. A feeling of “I’m content.” I’m content to stay here in this place. I’m content to keep waiting until God shows me where He is going to lead me. I wasn’t depressed anymore. Instead I was happy and I felt overwhelmingly content with the life I have right now. It once again clicked in my head that this is where God wants me to be right now and I can rest in Him.

Real quick, I want to make a interesting observation here. There is something strange I’ve noted that always happens to me right before I receive some sort of direction or answer from God. I find myself overwhelmed with so many feelings. I cry and tears flow down my cheeks in a steady stream (which isn’t normally how I cry). I can tell that these tears are different. Usually I’m in the process of doing what I know God wants me to do and I am crying because it’s not an easy choice. My whole body, and especially my arms shake (which is also not normal for me at all). The last time my body was in a distressed state like this was the first time I surrendered my situation to God. And the day after I surrendered I also was filled with the same kind of peace. I just find it so interesting how my body reacts noticeable different the day before God leads me to do something involving surrender and how it’s always followed by peace.

Anyway, as I try to bring this post to an end, I just want to say how thankful I am to God for the new peace He’s given me. I know it comes only from Him. But I also want to tell you that even though I have this peace, I still have my hurts and my desires didn’t completely go away. I still have days where I’m sad and I miss my ‘old’ life. I also understand that the hurt and sadness I experience is normal and only time can take it away. We live in a world full of sin and sadness and I’m realizing that until we are in heaven with Jesus there will be pain and hurt in our lives. But I no longer feel like I need things to happen my way anymore. I feel like I can rest now in knowing that whatever happens will be the path God wants me to take.

This new place I’m in right now is a good place to be! Honestly, I never thought I’d get to this place, especially after such a rough few days. But here I am and how Good is our God! After so much fighting and crying, my heart welcomes this peace and rest. God has finally shown me how to be content right here 😉

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13

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.