The end of the year is close. Just three more days left. At least, at the time I’m writing this post it is.
What a year it has been! My heart is heavy for those who have experienced trial and trauma after another this year, causing it to now haunt your past. It SUCKS having years like those. Trust me, I’ve been there! This year for me however was a year full of growth. LOTS of growth. Growth that has been hard and painful, but so glorious at the same time.
If I could live this year again, I would. I’d relish each experience and try to glean as much as I could from each lesson I learned. I do this anyway thinking back on them, but to truly experience them again to glean even more… that would be awesome.
I wish I could say this year went the way I wanted it to. I wish I could tell you that I knew how God was going to work on Vulnerability in my life. I wish I could… but unfortunately, God doesn’t quite work the way I wanted Him to, ha. He has a plan for my life that I could never predict, no matter how hard I try.
It’s easy to look back on the year and see all the disappointments of God not doing what I thought He would… But instead, I am choosing to look back and search for the evidence of His work in my life. By doing so, I won’t miss the little ways He impacted my life and worked everything out for my good (even though some don’t show that evidence yet).
In all honesty, I was hoping vulnerability for me this year meant I’d begin a relationship at some point with this guy I was talking to. I’m not the greatest at being vulnerable with people, so I was hoping this is the area God wanted to work on.
There were instead two areas God wanted to teach me (continually) vulnerability throughout this year:
1. Trusting Him
2. Embracing Emotions
I love and hate that God is a gentleman and doesn’t force me to do anything. Love because I hate being forced to do something and hate because I hate that consequences happen, ha. (Mostly kidding) I am also so thankful that God doesn’t hold my disobedience against me. Instead, He continually kept trying to draw me close and continued to ask me to trust Him… ALL YEAR LONG. Every time I cried and vented to Him He listened, comforted, and asked again that I’d trust.
I leaned on those words. I needed that reassurance. I clung to His promise that He is trustworthy.
What peace that comes with knowing God is a good God and He will never let us down. I can confidently say this because of my past… AS WELL AS because of events from this year.
One example of this is job-wise. At the beginning of 2018 I was desperate for a new job. I loved my office job, but it had grown past what I loved and was good at doing. No matter how hard I tried making “great” jobs work out, everything fell through. So… I gave it to God. Within a couple months God worked on the heart of my boss, who released me from the burden of leaving them, and provided a job for me that is AWESOME. I’m now a barista again and I love it.
Another example of His work in my life is through the area of women’s ministry. In the beginning of me finally letting go of the guy I had been talking to a lot, God worked on my heart and revealed to me that it was time to step up into women’s ministry. I felt that He wanted me to focus on seeking Him in my singleness… to really truly understand what it means to trust Him in this season so I could in turn be able to genuinely minister to girls in similar situations.
It was definitely NOT something I entirely wanted to hear because I SO wanted things to work out between me and this guy, but eventually obedience won the battle (well, for the most part. I still deep down wish it would work out between us… pray for me. Letting go is hard). However, when I finally decided it was time to really try to let go of that and began to let God work on my heart in this area, He randomly brought me across a Single Women’s Ministry on Instagram and Facebook. I originally just joined the group to be a part of something where there were women going through the similar life journeys as mine… and then they reached out to me to ask me if I wanted to become a small group leader in my city. It was like all pieces fell into place. I said sure and somehow, some way, people keep coming to the events I put on. I do a TERRIBLE (my opinion) job advertising, but yet… people keep coming. It’s blowing my mind!
Trusting God is HARD. I wish there was some formula I could share with you that I learned this year that will help you also trust Him. But… sadly I don’t have any. There are many days I want to throw in the towel, stop trusting Him, especially when it comes to a future relationship. I’m instead going to do the one thing I know for sure to do: don’t give up.
When things get hard: I’m going to choose trust.
When things get confusing: I’m going to choose trust.
When things get painful: I’m going to choose trust.
When things completely derail: I’m going to choose to trust.
Trust is a choice, not a feeling. It is based on faith, not facts. Don’t listen to the feelings of your heart and definitely ignore the evidence of your circumstances!
Lysa Terkeurst said in an Instagram post a few weeks ago, “Never doubt we serve a God who still does miracles. In the middle of the work He did from the devastation in my marriage nothing looked like I hoped and everything felt impossible.
I prayed a million suggestions to God that never ever came to be. And the number of tears shed in the process about leaked the life out of me.
But all the while when I saw nothing, God was doing something. And in His way and His timing, new life came.
No matter how impossible that miracle you are praying for seems, please trust that only God knows the full story. He is workin. He is hearing and shifting and intervening and convicting and stirring and doing what only He can do.
God does some of His best work in the unseen.”
God has not abandoned you!
If you’re struggling in a situation in your life (or anything from your past), I want to encourage you to read the book by her that I’m currently reading by Lysa TerKeurst: It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. It’s healing, encouraging, and hope giving.
God’s got your back. Trust in Him!
In Proverbs 18:21 it says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”
This is going to be deep, so please proceed with caution:
I was talking with a friend a few months ago about my sister and the stuff she’s been going through, especially in the last few years. Her struggle with her life, chronic illness, financial trouble, and depression came up. My sister has become so consumed with her life situations and the pain she’s been experiencing that I have honestly gotten very worried about her. I confessed to this friend how I’ve thought through my reaction to any news about her committing suicide. It’s honestly almost gotten that bad. Talking with my sister, she seems fine, but not if you look at her Facebook statuses. I told this friend how I’ve processed how I would most likely feel and how I would react to such news
And as I talked with this friend however, this verse in Proverbs popped into my head. It hit me light a lightning bolt: This entire time I had been speaking death over my sister’s life by trying to mentally process how I would respond to news of her suicide.
In that same moment, I also felt the Lord reveal to me that my processing my sister’s potential suicide was also unhealthy as it was keeping my heart hardened, safe from emotions that could potentially break me. I was attempting to control circumstances that I never could in order to remain “strong” and “sane.” But as I listened to God speak to me about this, I became aware that me walling myself off from emotions was keeping God from doing His work in my life. What I feel would shatter me, He saw as something that could be used for His glory. Lysa actually talks about this in her book It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. She talks about how her life was completely shattered, to the point it couldn’t be glued back together. But the beauty of that though, is that her life was in the perfect position for God to make something completely new from the dust of her shattered life.
Me walling myself off was keeping God from doing His redemption work in my life.
Of course, as is typical with God, He’s revealed this same point in other areas of my life as well: waiting for my future spouse, my family’s relationships with God, expectations for how my small group will go. You name it…
Embrace the process.
Allow God to do His work…
The end results will BLOW your mind.
I’m not sure what your year has looked like, but I want to leave you with this last little bit of encouragement:
Even though your life (or your year) hasn’t turned out like you would have liked it to, know this: God is for you!
Trust Him and His process. Embrace all that He is doing in your life now, as it’ll bring so much glory to God when everything falls into place.
Alright… now for my word for 2019:
I’d like to try and predict what this will mean, but I’m almost scared to, ha. God always has a completely different plan that I could ever come up with. I’d love to predict it’s going to be in the area of women’s ministry (that’s my hope)… but whatever God has is going to be interesting and ultimately awesome.
I do know one things for sure though… if I want to experience in the increase, I need to be faithful. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or little.
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was making it grow and [He] gave the increase. So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but [only] God Who makes it grow and become greater.”
2018… so long and farewell!
2019… lets do this!
I wish you all the best in 2019!
Woman of Purity
P.S. These are two incredible books I’m in the process of reading right now. You should get and/or read them!!
1. “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” by Lysa Terkeurst
2. “Wait and See” by Wendy Pope