A Song and A Poem

Two things today that encouraged my heart.

One, during church we sang a new song about trusting Jesus that I have never heard before. Well, it actually wasn’t a new song, just one that was new to me. The song was called “I Will Trust My Saviour Jesus”. The song had a similar feel to the well known hymn “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”, but the lyrics seemed to go a bit deeper. As we sang the song the lyrics spoke to my heart and I saw my own story reflected in the song. The song encouraged me to keep on trusting Jesus through the unknown days ahead of me. However hard the days may be, I know I can trust my Jesus. I’ll attach a video of the song at the bottom of this post so you can listen to the sweet words of the song too 😉

Secondly, I went on a nice long walk today and brought my journal. While I was outside taking in the peaceful views I began writing some things down that were in my head. Of course, since I had heard the song about trusting Jesus earlier, the idea of trusting Jesus was still in my head. Before I knew it I had jotted down a little poem about trusting God.

I have already read this little poem to myself a dozen times and I want to share it. I hope you’ll enjoy it and find it encouraging. I should warn you though that when I write poems, I don’t follow any sort of rhyming rules, I kinda just write what flows and call it a poem. With that said, here it is:

I will trust you God
Even when it's hard
When with all my heart
I wish to go the other way

I will trust you God
Down every path you lead me
Because I know deep in my heart
Yours is the way that's best

I will trust you God
Everyday and for all my life
And if ever someone asks me why
I'll say it's because I love you most

{Poem written by me, 3.7.21}

I rarely get inspired enough to write a poem so I am quite happy with this little creation I just made. Truly, it was my heart speaking as I was writing. This poem is my reminder that I am choosing to trust God not because the road is easy but because He is my heart’s deepest desire and He truly is what I crave the most.

Doing Nothing

I went on a walk and I talked to God a bit.

I was thinking of all the possible ways that God could be working things out for me in my situation. I thought about what my heart wanted and the different ways God could restore it all back to me. I thought about the little bit of news that I do know and the little ways in which I do know that God has been working. But for how long I spent thinking about it, I also realized that there really is only one thing I can do. All I can do right now is do nothing.

Let me tell you, doing nothing isn’t easy. Doing nothing is the hardest thing ever. I really want to know what God is up to so I can offer my assistance somehow. I don’t like being in the dark. I hate being in this place of not knowing what God is doing in his life. But I also know that it’s not my place right now to know what God is doing. Nor is it my job to help God as he’s working.

I am confident that God is working. I don’t know how to explain to you all this feeling that I have, I just know that God is working and doing mighty things for me. But with a reluctant heart I have to admit to knowing that if I want God to keep working I need to do nothing. When I do nothing, then I can be fully assured that God is the one working. Doing nothing is the only way to show full dependance on God in my situation.

All the great characters of the Bible, when they were in times of hurt and mistreatment, they did nothing. When I read my Bible I can see how God was working for them. I see the outcome of their struggles, but I also need to remember that they didn’t see the answer. They probably felt a lot like me, in the dark about God’s plans for them. And what did they do? They did nothing so God could work. I imagine it must have been hard for them, as it is hard for me, but they knew it was necessary.

I let out a strangely relieved sigh as I finished my walk. Doing nothing is what God has called me to do right now. Doing nothing may be the hardest task God has ever asked me to do but I know he has given me the strength to do it. Doing nothing is what I am choosing to do right now and somehow that brings a sense of peace to my heart. I choose to do nothing so God can work and get all the glory.

Somedays

Somedays hurt more than others

Somedays I just want to lie in bed a forget about everything. Forget about how lonely I am. Forget about all the memories that are no longer a part of my life. But how can I forget all these memories when I still want to have them.

Somedays I wonder how I can feel so happy and full of hope one day and then the next depression hits me. I miss him everyday, but today I miss him more for some reason. Nothing triggered it. I just miss him. And all I want to do is lie on my bed and dream about the past and make up a new future.

I don’t know what good this does to me. But I do know that somedays the hurt is too much and I can’t make myself do anything else. And those days are okay. Those days are a part of life. Those are the days I need to cry out to God for strength. Those are the days that I learn to truly rest in my Savior’s arms.

Today has been one of those days.

The only thing that is getting me through today is the promises I know God has for me. I came across this letter I wrote to myself from God two years ago, on February 5, 2019. It speaks to my heart today and gives me the strength I need to get up and out of my bed. How did I know two years ago that this letter I wrote would still be speaking to my heart today.

My Child,

I can see that you are confused.  I don’t give you the things you ask for because I have something better for you.  You can’t see the whole picture yet.  There are some things I am doing that you won’t understand in your life.  But you can know that I am always working for your good.  My plans are always for you because I love you.  One day it will all make sense, but not yet.  I know all your heart’s desires and I want to give you more, in my perfect timing you will see.

Your Heavenly Father, God

Choosing to Rest

How important is rest?

I feel like I have been running nonstop. I desperately need a break but I just keep going. I’ve been busy, so busy, and I hate to admit it, but I’m finding that I’m getting addicted to this busyness. When I keep myself busy it numbs the pain. I don’t have time to think about how much my situation hurts and the wounds that are still bleeding inside of me. So staying busy has become my answer.

But last night, I felt tired, physically and spiritually worn out. I spent some time alone in my room journaling and enjoying the stillness. And I realized that I need things to change, I need stop this go, go, go mentality, I need to take a break and slow down. When I am busy, I forget to spend time with the Lord. I begin to create habits of ignoring God in the still moments of my day because of the fear that in those moments I will also awaken more hurt. To be honest, now that I write it out, I am actually quite ashamed that I have let myself get so busy that I don’t seek out God’s voice like I was doing about a month ago.

I’ll be the first one to tell you that staying busy is good. When your heart is heavy and hurting it is not good to lie around doing nothing. Staying busy has been my therapy and it keeps my mind focused on moving on and off of the past. There is even a proverbs about how idle hands breed trouble. But being busy can also be dangerous if we don’t balance it out with rest. If we don’t have the proper mix of resting in the Lord and being still and quiet then it won’t be long before we begin to feel overwhelmed.

Why is rest important? Rest is important because rest is how we recharge and refocus our lives on God. It is in the times when we are quiet and still that God speaks to us and tells us what his will is for us. Rest keeps us on track with God’s plan for our lives. Sometimes we need physical rest from the weight of the world and other times we need spiritual rest. Spiritual rest can be found when we take the time to slow down, read God’s word, talk to God, and seek his presence in the stillness.

I have decided that even though I often don’t want to, I need to make an effort each day to spend time in quiet with God. Even if it’s as simple as spending ten minutes of quiet with God in the morning before my day starts, or quietly journaling before going to bed. It may even be going on a long peaceful walk and talking to God as I walk. Having these habits of rest in my day will help me to stay focused on God and keep me from getting burned out.

I will admit to you all that I’m not looking forward to the pain that I know will come back when I slow down. But the only way to heal is by giving that hurt to Jesus and I can’t give it to him until I learn to truly rest in his presence every day. So here’s to making rest a priority in my life again. To slowing down and taking moments in my busy life to seek God’s presence in the stillness.

Moving Day

Moving day is has come

These past few weeks have not been the easiest for me. Not only have I been in such an emotionally hard place, but I have been in the midst of moving. I have been packing up my room in boxes. I can’t help but feel that as I pack up my things I’m packing up my old life. I’m packing up all my pain, all my mistakes, all my insecurities. All my good memories and all my bad memories too. All of me is getting packed away.

I have walked through some waters to rough too stay in. As I pack, I realize I don’t want to stay here in this place with all the memories. Packing away all of these things is almost in a way therapeutic. Packing them all away reminds me that I don’t have to let these bad experiences and my broken heart define me. I’m packing them away so I can start anew somewhere else.

Well, moving day is here. I finally can begin the process of unpacking. It is now the time to start over. But as I open up the boxes, there are boxes I’d rather leave unopened. Past pain and hurt that still threaten to consume me. The past is always gonna be a part of me and I could choose never to open those boxes again. To shut out all the hurt and memories. But there is also good things, happy memories and hope that I want to hold onto and remember. Maybe it would be better if some of these boxes waited a little longer to be opened?

I see two choices before me. Refuse to let go and hold onto the past, or let go and embrace the new opportunities before me. I want to step into this new season ready to follow God and ready for whatever he has for me in this new place. Even though I don’t know how long I will be in this new place, It may be a long time or a short time, I want to choose to make the most of this new season while I wait.

As I unpack the last box in my room, I realize that I’m actually a little bit excited. Excited about exploring a new place, excited about meeting new people, excited about learning more about myself. Excited about this chance for a new start. Yes, I finished unpacking all the boxes, even the ones with all the pain. The hurt will always be a part of me, it’s what brought me here. But I think my heart is finally ready to embrace this new season now that moving day is here.

Stop Fighting

I just want to fight

I don’t want to give in. I don’t want to make these changes. I don’t want to go down this long path of waiting. I want to fight. I want to fight to have my way.

Why is it that even though I am doing what I know is right, I feel far from being at rest. Surrendering is not easy. One day I’m at peace and happy and the next day I’m struggling. There’s a part of me that wants to fight hard as I go into this unexpected season of my life. I want to kick my legs and scream at myself. I want to feel bad for myself for how things turned out as if I somehow could have changed it. I feel like a little toddler having a temper tantrum at God because I am not happy with how things turned out.

But where does this get me? Where does fighting ever get us when we know what God wants us to do? Fighting with God is a waste of our energy because God is sovereign over all things. We can fight all we want to, but God’s will is still gonna be done. If anything, our fighting and unwillingness to surrender peacably is only going to wear us out and prolong our waiting.

So why do I feel this way? It’s gotta be my sinful flesh telling me to fight. I think of the chapter in Romans where paul shared how he does what he doesn’t want to do, and doesn’t do what he wants to do. I can relate to this internal struggle Paul is having. I know what I should do but my flesh says “no, no, no… “.

But the truth is, I’m only able to find peace and rest when I decide that I’m done fighting to have my way. I can’t change the things God is doing in my life. God has me on this path for a reason so the best I can do is accept it. I can’t go back in time and change things so the best thing I can do is move on. All I can do is do the next right thing and see where God takes me as I’m waiting. It’s only when I choose to stop fighting that God can work in my life.

The other day I was sitting by the river thinking about all these things. I decided I was done fighting. I reached the end of my rope. It was pointless to keep wanting things to be different. So I decided that I the only thing I can do right now is move on. I need to keep on going with my life while I leave the work to God.

I’ll probably still struggle a bit with my urge to fight, because of my flesh. But I’m realizing surrendering our life to God is a process of continually giving Him control and trusting Him even when we don’t like the place we’re in. It’s a hard walk, but what would this life be without these struggles that bring us closer to our dear Savior.

Still Hoping

Is it okay to hope while surrendering?

I was driving in the car with my mom the other day. Just talking about some things and I was sharing about some of the hopefull news I was hearing. As we were talking my mom curiously asked if it’s possible to hope if you’ve surrendered the outcome to God. She was wondering if hoping too much could be dangerous.

Well, that question made me think, and think, and think some more. I got real quiet for the rest of the drive as I went over all the thoughts that were playing out in my mind. I finally came to a conclusion. Hoping is a good thing. The Bible never says we shouldn’t hope, rather the Bible encourages us to hope and put our hope in God. But I think that we need to be careful though about where we are placing our hope. Are we placing our hope in unrealistic fantasies and desires of our heart? Or is our hope rooted in truth and centered on a true desire to see God’s glory displayed in the outcome?

God created us to be beings who hope. When we experience rough times, what is it that gets us through it; the hope we have for better times. We are always hoping for something, and that’s the way God made us to be. But if we don’t know God then we’ll only be able to put our hope in things that don’t last. Without God this life is an endless journey from one hope to the next. When we put our hope in God, we have something solid that won’t disappoint. God is what we were created to put our hope in.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

So how can it be wrong to hope? Again, it think depends a lot on the where we our putting that hope. I don’t believe it is wrong for me to hope that my relationship will be restored when that hope is rooted in desiring to see God’s glory displayed through the restoration process. But if my hope is simply rooted in my own desire to have what I want back then I should be careful. When our hope is in God’s glory being displayed in the situation, then whatever the outcome, we will be able to praise him and look forward to it. If we hope specifically for something because we want it and it ends up not being part of God’s plan, we will probably end up feeling even more hurt or upset. Hope is a good thing. But hope needs to be rooted in the only one who is good; our good God.

And then the question comes, can you surrender and still hope? I believe the answer is yes. If you truly have surrendered and have given the situation over to God, it is not wrong to desire God to use the situation to bring Him glory. If you hope for something because it will bring God glory, you can do that and still be surrendered. Because God will be faithful to take you down whichever path is going to bring Him the most glory.

So yes, it’s okay to hope. It’s okay to still be hoping for God to bring restoration and healing to our situations. It’s okay to hope for good things that will bring glory to God. But we must keep our hope fixed on God even if things don’t turn out how we want, or if the waiting takes longer, or if God doesn’t seem to answer us at all. Because we must remember that God will do what brings Him the most glory, which may not look the way we think it should look. But since our hope wasn’t in our situation, it was in God and His glory being done, we will be able to praise Him whatever happens.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame

Romans 5:3-4

Letting Go

Have you heard the saying “let go and let God”

I’ve heard it so many times and I wish I could say I have followed it well. But here’s my confession. I’ve gotten really good at the let go part. Many times I have come to the point in my life where I know I can’t do anything, so I let go. I let go because I don’t have any other choice. But even after letting go, I don’t change anything. I stay where I’m at because I have to make sure I’m still able to help. Because God is still gonna need me, right? Surely part of the letting go and letting God work is gonna include me.

Wrong. To truly let go and let God, means we need to surrender and step away. When God works, He may or may not need us. God will make it clear if and when he may have something for us to do. But if we truly are to trust God to work, we need to be willing to let God do it on his own and in the way that is the most glorifying to Him. And sometimes, or maybe I should say often times, it means us not being there.

I don’t know about you, but this part about letting go and letting God is hard to swallow. It’s not easy to walk completely away and leave it completely in God’s hands. But I can tell you, it’s also so freeing. It’s freeing because I realize that God is the one working and God can and will be faithful to me. God is working, and he doesn’t need my help. Because God is working the outcome of the situation will not be based at all on any of my efforts. When I let go and let God, I am acknowledging that I can’t make things happen. It’s not saying that God won’t use me, it’s accepting the fact that God will work things out in his way, whether that involves me or not.

In a sense, it’s letting go of the control we want to have over our life and the way things are going. There’s song by Tenth Avenue North called Control. Everytime I hear this song these lyrics in the chorus get to me;

"Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To open my hands up
And give You control
I give You control"

If God loves us so much, then we can be assured that He will work things out in our favor and for our good. If God loves us and is always for us then we can open up our hands and give Him control. If God loves us so much then it is our duty and an act of worship on our part to let go of the things we hold onto so dearly, and let God work.

Where do you need to let go and let God be the one to work in you life?

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

In The Middle

I went on a walk the other day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:18

The Peace of Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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