Recently life has thrown some challenges at me and my family. Some of the challenges could be enough to shake someone’s faith. Some of the things are big and life changing. There are a few things I learned along that way or that I have been reminded of; as I deal with and process the events that have been happening.
First, that God is still good and sovereign no matter what life puts in my path. And He walks right beside me as I walk through the trials of life. These trials in life did not surprise Him. He knew they were coming. I am grateful that this is a foundation in my life because without this life would be much harder than it already is. “The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.” – Psalms 145:9
Second, the peace of God is worth more than the most expensive item on earth! If you don’t have peace it robs you of the amazing things that God has in store for you and your life. I am grateful that I have His peace as I journey through life. “For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” – Isaiah 54:10
Third, my strength come from the Creator of all things. There are times I feel weak and do not feel strong enough to go through the battles of life. I have realized my strength comes from Him and not from myself. On my own I will never be strong enough. I will always be weak on my own without Him. This is a relief knowing that I do not have to strong and that I can go to my Father for the strength I lack. “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. – Psalm 29:11”
Fourth, my emotions and life circumstances will not dictate on whether I have joy and peace. Sure I will have days where emotions will be strong and life circumstances will be hard. Because I am human! But they can not take my joy and peace away. I will have joy even in the moments that I would rather have a pity party for myself. “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.” – Psalms 5:11
Life is full of lessons and reminders. And there is a joy and peace when it does not makes sense to have it when you are walking the journey with your Creator. What lessons or reminders has God given you when life is crazy and tough?
Sometimes we are asked to up something we love by God so that He can deepen our relationship with him while blessing others. This was me in the last couple months. In March, God asked me to give my camera to a missionary who is teaching photography classes in India. He also asked me to give my car away in the same day.
Giving my car away was not as big of a deal as my camera. This was the only camera I had and if you know me, you know that being able to create beautiful images is one of my passions in life. If I am being honest, I felt like in some ways I was giving my child away. It was not something I came to terms with right away. It was not easy but I know it was what I was supposed to do.
Around this same time, He asked me to start my photography business. In the human mind, it does not make sense to give your primary piece of equipment that you need for a photography business. But in God’s mind it made sense because He saw the whole picture. And saw pieces to this story that I did not see in my limited mind. But I had faith that He would provide for me. Because I knew He would not ask me to do something if He wasn’t going to provide for me.
Because of me giving my car, the couple that I gave my car to, they gave their car to another family that did not have a vehicle. Over the last couple months, I have saving money and I eventually saved enough money to purchase the same camera I had given away. In the meantime, God provided cameras I could borrow. Two weeks ago, I purchased another camera. The day after I bought the camera, a friend got in touch with me and I was told they are going to send me a check that is going to pay for the camera that I bought!! This friend then explained that my faith inspired her to have faith for things they want or need. Giving creates an infectious spirit and the reaction like dominoes.
When we do what God asks us to do, know that He is going to bless you and that He will provide. And sometimes the way He provides is not the way we think it is going to happen or is not in our timing. And we must be open to that. If we trust and obey God with what He asks us, He will do what He promises us that He is going to do. And He will do it in His time not in our time.
I do not share this story to show how great I am because reality it was not an easy journey and I did not completely trust Him at times. I do not have it all together nor will I ever. And I did have doubts along the way. And there were moments that I was like “God, you asked me to give my camera away and to start a photography business at the same. And here we are X amount of time later and I still do not have a camera.” But in these moments, I remembered that He is true to His promises and that He has and will continue to provide for me. Looking back, I would not change much about this whole part of my story. Because my faith and trust in Him deepened in my waiting period. Also because of my obedience and faith other people were impacted.
So, next time God asks you to do something that does not make sense, go for it. He will follow through on His promises and He will provide in ways that you do not think He will. And in the process, our relationship with Him will deepen. When He does provide, be ready to be amazed because He is a great Father and He delights in providing for His children.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
It seems I have been hearing this word again and again in the last couple weeks. It is to the point now that I am wondering what God is trying to tell me. Many times when God is trying to tell or teach us something that word or phrase or concept keeps being brought into your life in many different ways.
About two weeks ago my Pastor, showed a video and there was a sentence that stuck out to me. “God made me for a purpose and when I delight in Him it’s brought to the surface!” Made for Something Great by James Grocho. In the Old Testament delight was used these two ways: Two of the most common Hebrew terms for delight are hepes [,pej], “to bend towards, to be inclined towards [an object or person], ” and rasa [h’x’r], “to delight or take pleasure in.” In the New Testament delight was used in this way: The Greek word most commonly used for “delight” is eudokeo [eujdokevw], usually used when God’s purpose, resolve, and choice are in view. When we bend towards or are inclined towards God, it is in those moments that He reveals to us what purpose He created us for.
This past weekend, I went on a retreat with about 36 other young adults who love Jesus and have a love for snow and community. The theme for this weekend was drawing near to our Creator. Someone shared Joseph‘s story for devotions one night. Joseph was sold by his own brothers into slavery. He was betrayed by his master’s wife and was put into prison. While he was in prison, he interpreted dreams for his fellow prison mates. Because of this Joseph was taken out of prison by Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Joseph then was given a position in authority by the King to make sure that Egypt had enough of food for the 7 years of famine. Because of the famine, his brothers came for food in Egypt and Joseph had the opportunity to forgive his brothers for selling him into slavery. And this person at the retreat pointed out that Joseph had to go through what he went through to be brought into the purpose that God created him for.
As I thought about how this last phrase and what Joseph had to go through be in God’s purpose. It made me realize if it wasn’t for what I had not gone through as a child, I would not be where I am today. There was a chain of events that followed me through my childhood and into adulthood that brought me where I am today. Today I believe I am in my purpose that God created me for. In college I realized my purpose in my life is to provide hope to people who are sometimes in their darkest times. And this hope starts with the unconditional love of our Father and Jesus.
Sometimes we have to go through tough times in life to bring us to our purpose and the reason we were created for. So instead of being focused on asking God why bad things or tough things happen in our life, draw near to our Creator and look for the beauty that can come from ashes. And in the days you can not see this beauty or your purpose because life is overwhelming. Look to your Father and ask Him to provide a glimmer of hope that you can hold onto.
Part of having a blog of this nature, is being transparent and vulnerable with others. I do not talk about my struggles in this area of my life very often let alone for all the world to see. But I know this is something that God wants me to share with you all.
In the last month, I have been feeling a restlessness about my singleness. Most days I am happy single, love where I am at in life and would not want it any other way. But this restlessness kept coming back off and on this last month. This was more than usual. New Years eve this year it all came to a head for me. I was feeling lonely and just sick of being single(I watched a Hallmark movie which didn’t help my feelings). Tired of doing life alone as a single woman. Instead of continuing to ruminate in it, I decided to have a heart to heart with God that night before I feel asleep. I laid in my bed with my journal and just poured my heart out to God. I wrote about the feelings that I was having for about the last month or so. And just gave it to Him and let Him love on me. Did this change my singleness? No. And yes I am sure I am still going to struggle with this from time to time. But by the end of writing several pages, I felt loved by my Father and not lonely.
Whether this part of my life will ever change, I am okay with this because I know who God says who I am! And He has an amazing journey planned for me. I also know that I would rather be in God’s will and be single than being out of His will and be married or in a relationship. And no circumstance or feelings I am experiencing will change that. This is a beautiful fact. This New Years eve I have learned to embrace my feelings but in that then give it to God rather than ruminate on it. I also relearned no circumstance or feeling is going to change who God says I am.