Cry, Pray, Trust: for when you’re stuck in a season of waiting and need a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

Cry, Pray, Trust

Sometimes all you can do is cry, and pray, and wait. And trust that God is in control, even when it takes every ounce of faith inside you to catch even a glimpse of that.

 

*

 

I wish I could say I spend my New Year’s Eve in a glamorous way. I didn’t.

 

At 10 pm on Sunday night, my family went to bed, and I washed dishes alone, in my kitchen. I played a worship album two times over, and fell to my knees and cried all the tears I’d been holding in for a week. I prayer journaled and dedicated my year to Jesus, and tiptoed into my living room to watch the ball drop in the darkness of my house, holding a flute of formerly-sparkling cider.

 

3…2…1…and, it’s 2018. Everyone celebrate with your friends and lovers, but I’m still over here alone. I flicked on Netflix to numb my thoughts, and played that worship album again as I drifted off to sleep.

 

*

 

God is faithful. The words echo in my head, and as I think about one word that would define 2017, it’s that one – faithful.

 

Over and over, God spoke. Both in the loud and in the quiet, in rooms full of worshipers and in the solitude of my bedroom, He confirmed those three little words, time and time again – I. Am. Faithful.

 

Gracious, good, perfect God, remind me again what Your faithfulness looks like, won’t you? Because I’m stuck in a long, hard season of waiting right now, like I’m teetering on the edge of a cliff, and gravity hasn’t yet decided if I’m going to stay or if I’m going to fall. Oh, how I need you.

 

*

 

Monday morning wasn’t much better. I overslept by four hours – and started my day in sobs, overwhelmed by both emotion and exhaustion, working through uncertainty and stolen peace. What a way to start the new year…not.

 

And so on the first day of 2018, I cry. I pray. I wait. And a little Voice tells me to just trust. But it’s hard.

 

Because maybe I won’t get a beautiful happily ever after. Maybe the storms and darkness will come and overtake me, maybe all the plans I craft for myself will crumble to pieces. Maybe my degree won’t lead to anything – maybe I’ll fall in love with the wrong one – maybe all my waiting will turn me idle and I’ll slip slowly into cynicism – maybe God will stop speaking to me.

 

That’s the voice of fear; fear’s a liar.

 

And in 2018, and for the rest of my life, I do not want to listen to fear before I listen to my Savior. Fear is a liar, and fear leads us deeper into our selves, searching for answers and seeking comfort where there is none. But faith pushes us closer to Jesus.

 

Fear is, “My life will never turn out the way I want it to – there is no hope here.” Faith isn’t, “In the name of Jesus, I believe my life will turn out just as I want it to!” Faith is, “God, my life is Yours – and I trust that the plan You have for me is greater than any one I could orchestrate on my own.”

 

Greater doesn’t mean easier. Greater doesn’t mean safer. Greater doesn’t mean less painful or less difficult or less complicated.

 

But greater is better, because God is there. His presence overtakes the darkness, His love overwhelms our greatest fears that we’ll never be enough. His grace overshadows all our failure and gives us purpose where there once was none.

 

A life spent in the presence and will of God is so much better than a life spent trying to find one’s way alone, chasing a life we think we want, for a goal that won’t be worth it in the end.

 

*

 

Uncertainty still exists. I’m there now. Sometimes I cry when I’m alone, and my prayer journal has a lot of pleas of, “Lord, help me trust You.”

 

I don’t have it all figured out, but hope hasn’t left.

 

I was talking to a friend recently, about fear and hope and anticipating the future. And I said, “Roller coasters are exhilarating because you know you’ll live. Jumping off a building is terrifying because you know you’ll die. When you lose hope for a good ending, terror’s the instinct.”

 

Because we have the hope of a promised future, we have eternal life in Christ and the living Spirit of God inside us, fear has no place. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

 

He who promised is faithful.

 

Faithful.

 

And the more that we spend time in the Word of God, the more we center our minds and hearts on Him, the more we spend our energy worshiping rather than worrying, the more we’ll find that to be true. As we seek Him, and fill our minds with truth rather than the voices of fear, we will be able to be filled with a peace that passes understanding, a joy abundant, a hope assured.

 

It’s okay to cry – it’s okay to be broken. But it’s not okay to stay there. As we are overwhelmed with our problems, may we seek Jesus and be overwhelmed by grace instead. As our hearts crack and bleed and all we can do is cry, may we open out hearts to be filled with His joy, a joy that comes from nothing on this earth but Him.

 

As uncertainty hits, may we seek His peace – a peace that doesn’t make sense, when everything seems to be crumbling around us – a peace that’s unshakable through all the storms that come our way, because that peace is rooted in something so much greater.

 

*

 

We can never afford to let our doubts and fears steal the peace that Christ has promised.

 

In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

So sure, cry. Cry because life is hard and sometimes it seems so hard to catch a break. But pray too. Pray hard, pray honestly, pray earnestly. Because He hears. And He doesn’t just hear, He listens, and He answers, and He never leaves us on our own.

 

And trust in His faithfulness. God’s character is consistent; He does not change, and neither should our circumstances change our view of Him. Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” There are no exceptions to His goodness, no expiration date on His faithfulness, no disclaimer to His love.

 

To place our trust in this God is to forever have a hope secured. And though we cry, we pray too, and we trust the God who holds all of reality in His hands. We trust Him because He’s faithful.

 

1 Corinthians 1:9

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

We trust Him because He’s good.

 

Psalm 34:8

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

 

We trust Him because He gives us strength; we trust Him because He sustains us; we trust Him because He is good and worthy of our praise, our thanks, our everything.

 

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”

 

If you’re in this season of waiting – of the calendar changing but life staying the same – of pain and confusion and heartache – of hardship and uncertainty, and worry about the days ahead –

You’re not alone. I’m with you here, and so many others are too. But we’re not without hope, because we build our lives on the promises of God. Fear is the thief of peace – so as we go into this new year, may we put our hope in Christ alone, and let Him handle what we cannot.

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“Marriage was never meant to be about me. It’s always been a great allegory of the love between Christ and the Churchof which I am a part, and am invited to partake in the fullness of. Of which all of us are invited to partake in. See, it’s this cosmic love story, the most beautiful of them all — and one created, as all things are, to display the glory of God, time and time again.” Continue reading “On Why We Need to Stop Idolizing Relationships, Marriage, & Everything Else.”

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If you met me today, you’d be meeting a pretty normal girl. I like coffee, and cozy sweaters, and reading, and smiling, and driving, and Chick-fil-A.

 

And I really, really love Jesus.

 

If we had a conversation, we might talk about how I like your hair, where we’re each from, or what our day-to-day lives look like. I might ask you if you like coffee or tea better, what makes you feel alive, what your favorite ridiculous bad jokes are, or how I could be praying for you.

 

Sometimes I think we only let the world see one side of us, and today, I’m here to say that it’s okay to be a lot of things. It’s so important to be you, every ounce of the you that God designed you to be.

Continue reading “Real Life: grace, twinkle lights, depression, & me.”

where i’ve been, what i’ve learned, and the God who’s been constant through it all. // + my photography!

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It’s been too long.

 

Each time I’ve tried to sit down and write, I’ve either gotten distracted, become unmotivated, or overwhelmed, hence the silence on my part. And so instead, I’ve been gone, treating my blog as an intimidating monster to be slayed, not a haven to use to think and rest in, which I think has done me more harm than good.

 

Regardless, here I am, and thank you for sticking around to read – it means the world.

 

The past few months have been stretching for me. The end of my summer marked the end of a metaphorical season in my life, and whenever a season ends, in my experience, it’s like something’s come out of nowhere and struck me blind, leaving me dazed and confused about where to go next. Moving forward was the only option, and while I’m not sure if I’ve done it gracefully, it’s been a necessary and worthwhile journey.

 

And so, I took a trip with friends from all over North America. We traipsed around different states, drank a lot of coffee, and had extensive, passionate conversations until the sun came up. I came home with a renewed sense of what I want my life to look like, reality colliding with my visions, my passions, my dreams, and my desires.

 

And since then, I’ve had so many more conversations across the miles with those friends who mean so much to me, and I’ve discovered even more about myself, about God, about the people with whom I share my life, and who I want to be. Continue reading “where i’ve been, what i’ve learned, and the God who’s been constant through it all. // + my photography!”

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I’ve been writing this post in my head and heart for too long.

 

It’s the byproduct of so many late night wrestlings, so many journal entries and tweets and long-winded conversations with the people closest to me.

 

It’s those texts we send our friends about waiting for the next thing to happen – about anticipating the answers to our big questions, about finally finding that thing after waiting so long, hoping so desperately.

 

It’s the prayer we pray of God, just show me where to go and I’ll go, what to do and I’ll do it, who to be and I’ll be that person.

 

I’ve been there so many times, and honestly, I’m often still in that boat. Most of my daily prayers close with something along the lines of, “Lead me, Lord, to where you want me to be, who You want me to meet, to the future You have planned for me.”

 

And over the years, as I’ve grown as both a young adult and a Christian, I’ve often been so focused on that next thing, that I haven’t embraced the space where God has put me.

 

See, something that I’m ever-realizing is this: God doesn’t need us to be anything extraordinary in order to be used by Him; He uses us right where we are to fulfill His purposes that are so much bigger and more beautiful than just ourselves.

 

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Continue reading “When God Chooses to Work in the Ordinary & Call Us to Where We Already Are”

On Coming out of Depression & Experiencing the Faithfulness of God

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i.

 

Oh wow He’s faithful.

 

There’s something so ethereal about knowing when God is speaking.

 

Oftentimes, before I leave my house to go be with other Christians, I pray a few things. One, that I’d have some sort of meaningful conversation, two, that God would speak, and if I remember, then three, that I’d be filled with the Spirit and used by Him.

 

And the funny thing is, once I arrive, when I kick off my shoes and put down my phone and start hugging people, I completely forget that I ever even prayed it. And every single time that I come home so filled, I’m overcome with awe at how He worked.

 

I’m stunned by the conversations that left me glowing with joy, how I heard God in worship songs and in listening to my friends preach, tangibly experiencing God’s love and presence in everyday interactions.

 

I heard His voice again this weekend, and it left me breathless.

 

For three days, I’d been praying hard that God would lead me to trust Him. And He has. Oh, how He has.

Continue reading “On Coming out of Depression & Experiencing the Faithfulness of God”

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What No One is Saying About the Joy of Loving Jesus

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And finally, after struggling for so long to piece together my view of the world with my view of God, I came to a realization that left me breathless, head spinning, but for the first time in my life finally understanding.

 

Why can’t we can’t afford to put anyone other than Jesus as the first in our minds, as the reason we do everything we do? Because only He satisfies.

 

Only He can satisfy the longing for peace in my heart, only He can fulfill my ache for something more in this life. Only He can give me the joy, the hope, and love that my soul craves so desperately.

Continue reading “What No One is Saying About the Joy of Loving Jesus”

What Millennials Need in the Church More Than Anything (& why we need to stop conning them into attendance)

What Millennials Need in the Church More Than Anything (& why we need to stop conning them into attendance)

Before we start, I’m going to be straight with you — I’m a millennial.

 

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Yes, I do spend most of my days working and studying and on social media on my computer, and I won’t deny it. I live in the generation of technology, specialty coffee, and cultural progression, and here I am, getting swept up in it all.

 

I don’t think that’s a bad thing. This is the world I’m living in and I can’t do anything about that — and yet there’s something weighing on me, something that’s been bothering me about the American Church for quite some time now.

 

As the church, we don’t quite know what to do with millennials, and so we shuffle around, trying to cater to what seems to be what they want, yet we overlook the spiritual needs of all involved.

 

I’m talking about The American Trendy Church.

Continue reading “What Millennials Need in the Church More Than Anything (& why we need to stop conning them into attendance)”