I would love to say that I’ve learned a lot over the past three years when it comes to just trusting that God probably knows what he’s doing a little more than I do. You’d think so, right? I mean when all the fitz hit the shan and I tried to dig myself out my way, how well did that work for me?
And yet here I am again, same song different verse and I find my levels of trust are once again dangerously low. And even worse is that I know I’m doing it this time. At least last time I had the luxury of ignorance but come on, how have I not learned to get out of my own way and let him do his thing? It’s pretty spectacular really. Gold medal in Sochi kind of talent here when it comes to overthinking. Worrying extraordinaire! WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!
Yeah. I’m that good.
But the point of this nonsense is not to tout my inability to let go and let God (but seriously, if you need lessons let me know, I’m a total pro) but to shout form the rooftops once again that that pesky, ever present grace has got this.
He’s got this.
Intellectually I know that, but the translation from head to heart and back again is something that I’m constantly working on and praying about and lately, guys, he’s talking back.
He is all. over. this.
And here I am like some blithely unaware idiot actually marveling at it like it’s some new thing!
I certainly am glad it’s true what they say about how we can never wear God out with our incessant prayers because if it were me, and I was dealing with someone who repeatedly pulled the kind of shit I do like swirling into constant panic over the same old things time and time again, I’d be pretty pissed at this point.
But like I said, he’s talking back to me and even though I’m still constantly finding ways to mess myself up again (seriously, can’t emphasize enough how good I am at this – mega, mega skills folks) it’s getting to the point of ridiculous.
Here’s what I mean… Often, like once every ten minutes or so kind of often, I will wind myself up into such a spectacular inner fit that I just about lose control of the spiral. And I swear, without fail, that is when something comes at me that stops me near dead in my tracks. And these are not even subtle hints – these are blaring, fluorescent, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades of messages sent to attack my doubt and knock me back into place.
And sure, it doesn’t always last (actually seldom does) but for roughly 20 seconds there I am so fully reminded of the power around me that I am actually able to find that peace that surpasses understanding and calm the eff down.
Want proof? Here are a few of the things I’ve stumbled across whether it be a caption on IG or a literal sign on the side of the road… In a situation where things are good, but not moving along the way I want them to, and in which I am desperately trying to command my own destiny, here is what’s been coming at me…
- A post from an old friend who has been dealing with similar crises of faith and trust: “Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you’re about to give up hope,”
- Found while scrolling aimlessly through Tumblr: “Things take time. So just. be. patient.”
- A poem found in an old book: “May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith…. May you be content knowing you are a child of God…”
- From one of the pastors at church: “Lean into the unknown future with eyes wide open and a heart full of trust.”
- Same pastor, different day: “Practice patience.”
- Pin on Pinterest: “Everything will be so good so soon. Just hang in there and don’t worry about it too much.”
- From an amazing IG feed by Staci Landis: “Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing. Hold that deeply. Nothing. Do not give up. Be who God designed and created you to be. Keep speaking. Keep loving. Be pure. Be bold and be strong and courageous. He will hold and you and he will bless you. He will take care of you. He will. Trust him.”
- That same pastor, Ian Nelson (who is seriously being used as some sort of conduit for what God is trying to get through to me): “We want instant results, but the best things in life take time. Be patient, and don’t let yourself lose heart.”
- Posted by a friend of great faith: “God, thank you for the closed doors. Thank you for not allowing me to settle for second best. God, every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, you were redirecting me to something better. God, I pray you will give me peace when frustration creeps in. I pray you will give me strength to press on when I’m told, “No”. God, I think you for teaching me “No” is just a step to a bigger and better “Yes”. Amen.”
- A status from an old acquaintance that brought my lack of trust and the battle I’m working on with letting go of some anger (the two issues are actually deeply linked) into sharp, sharp focus: “Forgive and be filled with hope and joy for what is to come.”
- A tweet from Overcome The Lie that felt like it was just a little too perfect on the timing: “I am not sure, but I feel like there are some people here tonight battling with some hopelessness + discouragement” (and I was – so badly that night)
- From Ian, again: “Sometimes a closed door means “not gonna happen” and other times it just means “not yet”. Sometimes you have to wake up, smell the coffee, and move on when doors slam shut; and other times you have to just be patient, and stay faithful where you’re at.” (GOD! This one was a big one)
- Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it give us assurance about things we cannot see.”
- Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions…”
- IG feed from WithLoveFromMI: “I’ve learned to stop rushing things that need time to grow.”
- Random tweet from an Overcome The Lie “Twitter Party” I stumbled into: “Just let it happen. Don’t hijack it with your head. Just let it happen.”
- Ian! Again! It’s uncanny!: “Sometimes the best move is just to stay quiet and wait.”
- Staci Landis again on IG: “Trust for not only great things, but for the right things.”
- And again! Dammit, Ian!: “See all the reasons you have to be patient and keep going.”
- Dinner with Nathan and Justin where Justin asked us what was one thing we’d learned this year – Nathan’s response: “Fast is good. And slow is good.” (this was in the same conversation where I brought up this issue of trust and wanting things to move faster than they are going in one area of my life… It was ridiculous timing)
- And then driving home that night and passing a big marquee that has said the same thing for WEEKS, only to pass it around 1am and see that it read: “Take it slow.” (it was back to what it said before the very next day).
Now I know this could easily be a long stretch, sure, but to me these little messages of faith have been stacking up unnervingly fast, and only on this subject since I started freaking out about it about three months ago. So while holding fast to my resolve to stay true and trust God on all the things I cannot see is not always something I do, these are the little pushes I find to keep going; the little things that make their way to me when I need help finding my center again. These are the burning bushes that I pray for when I am so often at my wits end with fear of the unknown and my fear outweighs my faith and I am in the most desperate need of reassurance that I might be, I just might be on the right path.
So as ever, I’m not writing this to unload on the internet but really to keep the word out there that He is listening – He is most definitely listening to us when we cry out. And while he won’t always do it so pointedly, be on the watch for when he starts talking back.
Because it’s pretty amazing.
And even those 20 seconds of peace are enough to keep you going.
Be on the watch. Have faith. Keep trusting. Keep going.