Hi all, I’m just jumping on here today because I gotta say something.
I know it’s been awhile since I posted anything on here, but a lot has been happening in my life and I have been busy, in a good way. I haven’t had the time to sit down and write on here much, but I want to get on today to write a little bit about what’s God’s been doing in my life so I will have this to look back on someday.
I’m not ready to fully share all that’s been happening in my life. The timing is just not right yet. But this is what I want to say to you all; When God works, He works! And He always goes above and beyond anything we could ask or hope for.
I have been slowly watching God do a miracle in my heart. And I am not exaggerating when I say miracle. Even in the small and mundane things that God does for us, we get to witness miracles. Within a day God healed hurts in my heart that I thought would never go away. I experienced feelings and joy that I thought I’d never be able to feel again. One day I was struggling with my past and the next day God began leading me into something new and all I can think about is that it happened so fast and sudden.
Our God is amazing when He works in our life!
I feel like I’m in the middle of something new and good that God is doing in my life. And here’s the thing; I wasn’t looking for it or asking for it, it just happened. And now I am filled with joy and excitement as I get to watch and see what God will continue to do and how this new thing is going to play out in my life.
This is my miracle; God is restoring my hurt and my heart in a way I never thought he could. I can’t wait to share more with you all, but for now, that’s all can say. As I’m still watching and waiting and this thing He’s doing is still very sudden and new, I’m not ready to provide any details yet.
But as I close, I hope and pray that you have also gotten the chance to witness little miracles in your life and to see that when God works, He Works! He always goes above and beyond our imaginations. If you’re still waiting and discouraged, keep waiting and keep trusting God.
When God works He works! And like I’m learning, it can happen so suddenly! We have an amazing God who is doing little miracles in our life every day! Let’s keep on trusting Him and giving Him praise for all the ways we see him work in our lives!
Remember when you were hurting so much you would fall asleep reciting scripture just to keep your mind at peace.
Remember when it wasn’t hard to go to God because you daily needed comfort from Him.
Remember when He felt so near because of how much you hurt and needed His comfort.
Remember how easy it was to be near to God in those times because of how deep and raw your hurt was.
And now it is harder.
Why is it suddenly a fight to make all those things happen that used to be a necessity? What changed, what is different? Why does getting better and healing, mean that sometimes you don’t feel as close to God as you used to be?
Why does it suddenly feel like right now, I’m far from God. I’m not content and I’m not able to make myself practice the disciplines I know I need. Why does it seem that my soul is in constant turmoil, always searching for ways to numb and ignore the issue? There’s a weight pushing down on my mind, day and night. I just want peace, but I can’t, however hard I try let go of my feelings. I want to be free but I don’t. I just want to stay here and wait, because my poor heart refuses to love another.
I cried last night. Cried because I was so confused. Cried because I missed him so much still. I cried because I think last night I saw a glimpse of God’s heart. To love someone still so deeply, even after they have hurt you. Isn’t this a picture of God’s love for us? We sin and run from God. We do things that hurt God, but God still loves us.
I think of all the times the Israelites, Gods chosen people, turned from God and all ways they must have grieved God. I think I know a little more now how God must have felt, loving a people that constantly rejected him. It’s a love that I can’t explain, loving someone even after you’ve walked away from each other. It runs deep and it is hard to let go of, this kind of love. And I know that I will keep holding onto this love until God makes it clear that I need to let go of it.
So you can see, the kind of constant battle I’m in inside my mind. Which is why somedays I just want to go back, back to those days that I remember.
What do you do when your heart wants one thing, but you know deep down that it is probably not the best thing for you.
Or maybe something has happened that you’ve been waiting for and it’s not a bad thing that happened but the timing is just not right. This is kinda what happened to me just the other day.
There is a line from a song that comes to mind from a song I used to sing; “Sometimes my brain says no but my heart says yes.” And I just have to say that this saying rings so true at times. Sometimes our hearts can be so set on something, so ready for something we want, that we say yes without thinking. But then our minds hold up a red flag to us and say wait.
I won’t go into detail, but I made a decision today, a decision to put something I know my heart wants on hold because my brain has told me to wait. It’s not that what I want is bad, but that the timing is just not right. I had to choose to either say yes to what my heart wanted and allow something into my life that would be a distraction or to say no so that I can choose to keep my focus on God for this season in my life. You probably know what choice I made.
After some prayer and seeking some counsel, I felt like I could see things a lot more clearly. God made it so clear to me that I needed to choose the things He wants for me and not the things that I want. God has me in a season right now where I need to keep my focus on Him because I’m working at a camp in ministry this summer. And this week I have found myself, well, a bit lost. A bit overwhelmed and stressed about things that were happening.
But I made the decision to say no to chasing after what I wanted so that I could give God and this camp my whole focus. This decision has been a wake-up call to me. It’s caused me to realize that when you are at a crossroads, you can say no to your heart, and you must choose the path that is going to bring God the most glory and honor.
So wherever you find yourself, struggling with decisions and not knowing what to do. I just want to challenge you to take some time to really think about the options that lay ahead of you. Think about all the things that you want, and then about where God might be leading you. And choose the way that is going to keep you closer to God, even if it means saying no to the things you want.
And my friend, realize that saying no to what your heart wants can also simply be because the time is not right, not a it’s never going to happen or it’s such a bad idea.
I have learned today that choosing to put God first over what I want is the most freeing decision and that it leads to a peace that is so refreshing. You will never be disappointed when you make a decision to put God first above whatever it is your heart wants.
I was laying in bed last night, drifting off to sleep.
But as I felt my body drifting, I got inspiration and a new idea popped into my head. I don’t know why it is that inspiration always comes to me at the worst times. This is not the first time I have been inspired to write something while trying to fall asleep.
It’s a miracle that when I woke up in the morning I actually still remembered what I was thinking about as I fell asleep. So here I am now, writing about my thoughts that I had late at night.
I fell asleep thinking about how a year ago, when I was on the verge of getting married, I felt like I was so ready for that next step in my life. I had been waiting so long to be married and now it was my turn and I wanted it so bad. But in truth, I was anything but ready, and it was by God’s providence and grace that he didn’t let me take that step into marriage.
Whenever I look back now, I cringe when I think of how blind I was. I was not ready, I can see now and say so confidently now, I was not ready. I was selfishly wanting that next step so bad that it was unhealthy. I was so shattered when I didn’t get it because I had made myself believe that I deserved it.
As I was thinking about this, the thought came into my head about how so much has changed in this year. Now I feel ready, more ready than I was then. I thought, yes, I am ready now. But the minute that thought entered into my head, the dangers of that statement came to my mind at full force.
I realized that to say that I am ready is to say that I know what’s best for me. And to say that I know what’s best for me, is to say that I don’t trust God’s timing and plan for my life. To say that I am ready, is actually a selfish thing to say, because it takes away the fact that I need and depend on God each day. Saying I am ready puts me in the position of demanding things from God and being upset for not having things because when I say I am ready I am saying I deserve certain things now.
There is a quote that I remember from C.S Lewis’ book “Prince Caspian” where Aslan asks young Caspian if he is ready to become king;
“Welcome, Prince,’ said Aslan. ‘Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?’ I – I don’t think I do, Sir,’ said Caspian. ‘I am only a kid.’ Good,’ said Aslan. ‘If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”
It is because he is not ready, that he is ready. If Prince Caspian had said he was ready, he would be showing that he had a prideful heart and he would not be open to learning how to be a king. But his humble admitting that he was not ready, showed that he was ready, because he would be able to go into this new role willing to learn and lean into the wisdom of others.
So the reality is, to say we are ready, is not a wise thing to say. Yes, there will be times when we must prepare ourselves for something and we will be more ready than we were before for the task we are called to. But the minute we say we are ready and we have no more need to work or wait, we take a prideful selfish stance.
Saying we are not ready, is evidence of a heart that is seeking to lean on God and trust in God’s timing and in God’s way. Saying we aren’t ready, is the humble response God calls all of us to take so that our great God, can then come and be our strength and meet us in the places where we need His help.
So today, I am saying that now, after a year, I am not ready. I am not ready for the next step. I am not ready because I know how much I need God to strengthen me and lead me. And whenever God does bring the thing I desire most into my life, I will have to lean on Him for help and guidance. Because the minute I say I am ready, I am not ready.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
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!
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”
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.
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
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;”
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!
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.)