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When I asked SB to write me a guest post she shot back an email about rambling and the question "Are you sure?" This girl. THIS GIRL. Before we met a friend told me I'd love her heart and, can I be honest? This girl's heart is solid treasure (and she's rolling her eyes reading that right now, but I swear it's true). The past few months of my life have coasted by on her encouragement and ceaseless text-messages. Ceaseless, I tell ya! She blogs rarely, but when she does it's good y'all.
My bags were packed and in the car, my room and board magically paid for, all that was left was me and the open road.
I was about to head back to Kansas City to finish up my internship and potentially join the staff at the International House of Prayer. It was there that I finally felt connected, like I found myself and what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I believed so strongly that the plans ahead of me were God-given and not just something I conjured up myself. My future was an eight hour car ride away and I couldn’t wait to get there!
It was the night before I was supposed to leave, just a few hours away from lift off… when my dad called me into his room, “Sarah, I don’t think you should go.” He says, “I can’t put my finger on it and I don’t have a good reason for you, but all I know is that I don’t think you’re suppose to go back to Kansas City!”
“Ummm... what?” was obviously my initial response.
That was the moment my newfound journey of trust began. It was the moment I received my first REAL dose of God’s leadership. But it was mostly the moment I became angry and pretty pissed at life as a whole. I wasn’t upset with my dad and what he said, I love and trust him and his authority completely, but I was offended that God would give me desires for something and then reroute my life in such an unexpected way.
I thought I had figured it out - my next step and my next few years were going to be given to God, to the house of prayer… I mean, why would God thwart a plan that really had Him in the equation? It’s not like I decided to go to a desk job and waste my days away punching in at a 7 to 5 corporate job (funny story, that’s my life, today). I was going to be doing “the stuff” ya know? The ministry stuff. the stuff that God likes and talks about.
So why did my plans change so drastically when it finally felt like things were falling into place?!
I wish I knew… I wish I could tell you a story of God’s audible voice giving me some sort of explanation, but I can’t.
Why did my direction change so quickly, so rapidly and without my consent?
I stopped asking why after two months of confusion (and sulking). I stopped asking why when God told me this:
“You will be empowered to love Me and have joy again to the measure that you trust and agree with My wisdom and leadership in your life. And you will be stagnant and miserable to the measure that you doubt My goodness and are offended with Me and how I lead.”
Those harsh, yet tender words lit quite a fire under me.
It was no longer “why” questions and more sulking and confusion. It was a (hard) daily choice from that moment forward to posture my heart, every day, to trust that God truly is who He says He is. That He is kind, and the good shepherd of my heart, leading my life in a way that only He can. Looking back, I now see the kind hand of God, the hand that took mine in His and showed me a better way. A way that I didn’t see coming, a way that I feared I would be lost in, but was actually greatly found and discovered.
He kindly opened up doors of understanding and brought about friendships and opportunities that I would never have wanted to miss out on. Four years later, after that unexpected talk in my parents’ bedroom, I can see the faithfulness of God more clearly now, than ever before. I learned how valuable and beneficial it is to allow God to lead me, even if I didn’t understand every turn and bump in the road. I was comforted knowing that He knew exactly where He was taking me and He knew exactly what my heart needed to get me there.
Maybe life has dealt you a crappy hand, leaving you offended with God and His leadership in your life.
Maybe, like me, you thought you had things all figured out, to only have life take an unexpected turn with little to no warning. Chances are, if you’re alive and breathing, you’ve fit into those categories before or you’re still there today asking yourself “why?”
But what if the question isn’t necessarily, “why am I experiencing this pain?” but rather, “how has my heart responded since its arrival?”
I can’t answer your “why” questions, just as much as you can’t answer mine, but more importantly, I can’t make you trust that God is good and His leadership, whether you agree with it or not, is perfect in refining and benefitting your heart.
The choice to trust that God knows what He’s doing is entirely ours. It’s hard and it’s painful and it’s scary, but the good news is that He has already done leaps and bounds more than you and I have ever done to prove how trustworthy we are to another. He proved that He is deserving of our unwavering trust, and He proved it on a cross. What better hand to guide our lives?
If you remember anything you just read, I pray you remember this: God is not unjust and heartless, up in the sky crushing dreams, just to crush them and turning lives upside down just because He can. The truth is, He is lovingly calculated and precise with every single movement. Knowing us fully and completely, He leads our lives and hearts with wisdom we can confidently rest in.
He is near.