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.

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

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.