How many times have you been on that road trip and the directions are telling you to turn left at the fork in the road but you are thinking that one of your girlfriends told you that going right was quicker? Do you turn left because you actually took the time to print off the directions before you left home and your GPS is telling you to turn left, or do you trust that your friend would know because she has been that route dozens of times? Perhaps you are just going to sit right in the middle of the fork in the road and hope that after all the cars zoom by there will be a big neon sign that reads, “THIS WAY.”
Almost exactly one year ago, I moved back into the house I grew up in. It was my Mawmaw’s house. It had a tin roof that had rusted and been replaced in mismatched sheets of metal. The walls were lined in burgundy and hunter green wallpaper. Glass cherub figurines adorned every vacant shelf and surface.
Can you see it?
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
Have you ever tried to put a baby to sleep and then leave the room? Whether you’re a mom, an older sibling or child care provider, you can probably relate to the following:
- Child falls asleep peacefully in your arms after rocking, singing, feeding, bouncing, etc.
- Child is transitioned to crib.
- Child immediately wakes up after realizing you have abandoned them in their slumber
- Begin steps 1-3 again until child falls asleep.
I’m always there
I have two children; both horrible sleepers unless they are snuggled up next to me. The ironic part of the whole, agonizing process of putting them to sleep is that I never really leave them. I’m always there, hovering, watching, checking their breathing, making sure they’re not too warm or not too cold. Even when I’m in another room, I’m obsessively checking the baby monitor, listening to every subtle sound. The child doesn’t understand that. They think they are completely alone because they don’t see us or feel our warm bodies. They don’t understand that their bodies need rest, sweet slumber and that we are doing what is best for them.
Focus on the Provider
So much like our relationship with God. There we are, crying and carrying on, complaining that we want our Father. We yell that we can’t hear Him. We yell that we want out of our situation or that we know our own needs.
If we were just quiet for a moment, we might actually sense His presence. We might understand that He never leaves or forsakes us. We may feel His breath in the breeze or hear a quiet whisper in our hearts. Instead of focusing on our problems, we might focus on the Provider, understanding He knows what is best, and knows our needs even before we do.
Read also: where is your God now
Have you been brought to a place in your life that feels like a mountain and you know you just don’t have the courage to climb it?
What season of life are you in? Perhaps you are anxiously waiting for your High School graduation date, so that you can set off for the first time on your own. Or maybe you have completed your four years on your own and are graduating college and anticipating that first career job offer. Those of you who have surpassed all the excitement of moving out on your own and starting college and have been working your career job now for 20 years, your seasons are more than likely quite different.
He gave it all
A few weeks ago we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus and we thought about the sacrifice He brought for all of us. Jesus was crucified and took all our sin, shame and guilt on His shoulders. He took the punishment so that we could be set free. He gave it all so that we could be free.
The story of Joshua, the walls of Jericho, the spies and the unshakable Rahab is one of my favorites in scripture. I have heard it told and read it a million times. If you are not familiar with it, please take time to read it (Joshua 6: 1-27).
Have you ever felt like you were on a roller coaster ride full of disappointments? I have and still do, and trust me it is anything but fun. Now don’t get me wrong, I love roller coasters but the roller coaster of disappointment is not the same thing as the amusement park roller coaster.
The roller coasters at the fair and amusement parks are filled with laughter, joy, and sometimes nausea depending on how well you handle speed and heights. But the roller coaster of disappointment is filled with anger, frustration, and sadness, which eventually can turn into depression.
Disappointments are a part of life
As a kid, my biggest disappointments were based on not getting the toy that I wanted or not being able to go to the park because it was raining outside. But now my disappointments are based on expectations that I had of certain people, or having a plan and not being able to fulfill it because things didn’t work out, financial, relationships, etc… The older that I get and the more that I experience, I feel the more disappointments I face.
I can’t tell you how many of these disappointments have come from liking guys…A LOT! And it doesn’t help that I have never really had an official boyfriend or have ever been on a date. But it’s true and I know there are a lot of times where you may want to get angry at God and yell out WHY ME!?! Well, that’s exactly how I have felt, even writing this right now I feel like doing that. But as much as it sucks, disappointments are a part of life. Now I’m not writing this to make anyone mad or frustrated but I want to share my journey on how I have been dealing with disappointments and how to get off that long ride of disappointments.
How to deal with disappointments
Before I get into these tips, I will be honest and say something that I have always told myself and others when facing a problem or a disappointment: distract yourself with something you enjoy. And although it is ok to do that sometimes, I have to remember that distracting myself might help for a second but it doesn’t last. And I can’t continue to distract myself with something every time I get disappointed by something or someone, because if I used a distraction for every time I was disappointed then I wouldn’t be able to face reality. I learned that talking to God and leaning on Him is the best thing I can do when facing disappointments. Which brings us to the first tip…
- Going to God– Now when I face a disappointment, one of the first things I do is talk to God. In the past year I have been really spiritually growing, I mean I have been saved since I was six years old but spiritually I was not where I am today. But I also have to be careful when I go to God when facing a disappointment, especially when it’s something that I really wanted because sometimes we can talk to God as if He is a genie and He is definitely not that. I use to do that all the time in middle and high school. I would only really talk to Him when I really wanted something and when I didn’t get what I asked for I became upset. But now when I talk to Him I make sure I thank Him for everything He has done for me so far and everything He is going to do for me, even though I do not know what that is. I talk to Him about my disappointments and how I feel even though He already knows, it still helps to get that off my chest.
- Make time for worship– Something that has really helped me is when I sat down and made time for God. Now I’m not saying have an entire church service, even though if you want to GO FOR IT! But take the time to read the word, get your worship playlist out, and pray. That is exactly what I do. I also have this great devotional journal that my mom got for me and it is awesome. I promise most of the time I open up the lesson, it immediately speaks to me. But making time for worship can bring this sense of peace and comfort. And it is also a great intimate time with God.
- Surrounding yourself with positive people– This tip has been very important in my life. I wouldn’t say I had bad friends in middle and high school. But spiritually they were not where they needed to be in order for me to follow. All of the positive people in my life are all on a high spiritual level. That helps more than you know because God speaks through those who listens and follows Him. And a lot of stuff that has been spoken to me has really helped. These people also will not criticize or judge you. But they will listen and encourage you.
- Realizing that God’s plan is bigger than yours– I know it can be hard to understand when things don’t turn out the way you plan. But I have had a bunch of life lessons to know that when you trust in God and you let Him do what He wants to do, His plan is way better than ours. Just writing that sentence gets me excited, because in the past year I have had some downs but not too far away were the ups.
Bigger than I thought
One of my favorite worship songs right now is “Bigger than I Thought”, sung by the Passion Worship Band. The whole song is amazing, from the beginning to the end but the chorus is when I really get emotional every time. So I will end with this beautiful chorus to the song,
“Bigger Than I Thought” So I throw all my cares before you, My doubts and fears don’t scare you You’re bigger than I thought you were, you’re bigger than I thought. So I’ll stop all negotiations, With the God of all creations You’re bigger than I thought you were you, you’re bigger than I thought you werePassion Worship Band
Read also: When your mind takes its own way
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”Proverbs 31: 25
The future can be exciting as well as very intimidating. Whether it is looking into starting a new job, moving to another country, or trying to meet your goals in a certain time frame, it can make you feel small but simultaneously encouraging you to press through in order to reach your goal.
Strong and Courageous
Esther was a woman clothed in strength and dignity. She was the one chosen by God to save the Israelites from an ethnic cleansing that was about to take place. She was strong, courageous, and there was nothing that was going to stop her from standing against the edict of the king, even though she was well aware that she could have been killed in the process. You see, in those days, no man or woman were allowed step into the presence of the king without an invitation. However, even so, in all boldness she entered in and pleaded for her people, just like God instructed her to do. And guess what, she survived because the Lord was with her.
Uncertainty and Fear
The uncertainty of what could go wrong brings on fear that can either motivate us or paralyze us. Esther was uncertain of what was going to happen to her. Nevertheless, she did not allow fear to paralyze her. On the contrary, she allowed it to motivate her to step forward in all boldness. I can’t imagine how terrified Esther must have been the moment she appeared uninvited before the king. However, one thing I am certain of is that she knew God was with her and therefore confidently walked in such way to fulfill her purpose.
The future will always be exciting and intimidating, but
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord will fulfill His promises to Her”Luke 1:45
So whether you have the next five years of your life planned out or not, trust Him. His plan for your life is perfect and the good work he has started in you he shall complete. Your life is in His hand!
Read also: ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING?
Would you say that you have transparent relationships?
Transparent – easy to see through, understand, or recognize; without concealment; open; frank; candid
Transparency is letting your guard completely down, humbling yourself and getting honest with others, yourself and most importantly, God.