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.
Looking back at the past three years, I truly learned what it meant to trust in His faithfulness. But it was such a struggle, full of tears and desperate late-night journal entries, long periods of lonely isolation and a ridiculous amount of coffee to try and get through the stress.
Those months and years weren’t easy.
My life was flipped upside down, I was thrown into roles that terrified me, and my days and weeks were marked with uncertainty and feeling like God was there, yet silent. I saw God as existing somewhere far away, not present with me in every room and every situation on every day of my life.
The days were dark and cloudy, and everything felt so cold. My hands, my feet, my life. I wondered if ever I’d feel peace again, if ever I’d find my place in the world, or even friends to truly get me.
And finally, after so many months of crying out to God with the loudness of my soul, the distressed and frantic pleas of a terrified teenage girl, the light flooded into the darkness. Joy returned; all the waiting and pain made sense. I finally started to heal from losing a piece of my life I could never get back, and I found purpose, hope, and authentic delight in Christ.
He breathed life and light into my weary soul. He showed me that His grace was sufficient for me, Amanda Joy Beguerie, in my fear, and weakness, and inadequacy. He gave me purpose and hope and healing – and He gave me joy again.
That was well over a year ago now, and if you paid attention to my blog during that time, you probably saw evidence of that soul-wearied girl holding onto hope by a thread in posts like this one on trusting God when it’s hard, and relating to the Psalms, or this one on weakness and finding rest in Jesus. And when doubts started to creep in again, I spilled my heart and wrote about when we can’t feel God’s presence.
And looking back now, I see how He worked so prevalently in my life, I see how it all clicked together, and now, I’m so grateful for the season of depression that taught me to rely on Him.
At some point, about eight months after huge transitions hit me hard, life got easier. Things didn’t seem so uncertain anymore, and I wasn’t afraid of the future as much. I was excited about settling into my life again, excited about college and my new friends and how people were encouraging me in my writing more and more.
I wasn’t paralyzed by fear any longer, and either God’s voice got louder, or I just learned to lean in and listen more closely.
And this summer, I’ve seen God work and overwhelm me with His goodness and His leading. It’s been an incredible time of my life, and He’s blessed me with a beautiful community, amazing people who speak life over me, and a renewed love for Jesus.
And yet – it’s easy to listen to the voices in my head that say things like “Amanda, you believe God led you here, but what if He didn’t? When the summer ends, who will you be? Not this same summer girl, full of light and life and carefree joy. Everything is going to change.”
For three days I wrestled with that voice. It started to hit me that it seems everything will change – many of my friends are going away to college, and as much as I’m in college too, I’m not really leaving. It hit me that once the summer ends, ‘real life’ begins again. It hit me that I’ll be parting with a lot of friends, old and new, and it’s bittersweet.
And in the midst of the unease – I decided to listen for God again. And Thursday morning, I sat on my bedroom floor with my laptop and decided I needed to be honest with myself, and honest with God, too.
I decided I couldn’t handle the uncertainty of the future alone anymore.
And I did what I do when I’m wrestling and praying with every inch of my being –I wrote. The words were awkward and messy, but they were honest, and at the end of it all, I heard one thing so clearly: Daughter, trust me. I’ve never failed you, and I never will. Have I not always been faithful?
Friday night rolls around, and I’m getting ready to worship God with my friends, and I pray my prayer for meaningful conversation and for God to speak.
And oh, He answered. Over and over that night, through songs sung and words spoken and conversations had, He said to me, I am faithful, dear girl, and in your struggling, don’t forget that I am here with you. I won’t ever lead you to something that I won’t also lead you through.
I am worthy of your trust, Amanda.
And I left so in awe, so filled with the joy and hope of the Spirit inside of me. I felt His presence – and realized I have no reason to fear what’s next.
I’m learning, day by day, to view my future with curiosity and wonder, not worry.
Instead of wondering what I should craft my five-year plan to be, I wonder where God will lead me tomorrow, who He’ll lead me to speak to in the coming weeks. I’m curious about who He’ll put in my path to inspire me in my walk with Him, and I’m so excited to follow where He leads. Because He does lead, but we must be listening and looking.
Trusting God is about the adventure, not about reaching a level of finally having everything figured out. When I ask God, “What next?” without worrying about “where will this take me, and is this consistent with my vision for the future?” I’m free to take one step at a time, knowing that He’s led me this far and He won’t leave me now.
Relying on His strength is what brings me to the next right thing. Trusting Him is what gives me a reason to say yes to the crazy-amazing things He puts in front of me.
When I look back on my days of depression and uncertainty, I smile. I can see how God worked in my life and how he softened my heart to trust Him, how He awakened my senses to look for His faithfulness in my everyday life.
And as I look ahead now, I still don’t know where I’m going, not exactly. But oh, how faithful He is. How loving He is that He’ll never leave, and how powerful He is to lead us to exactly where we’re supposed to be.
Friend – I don’t know what you’re going through right now.
I don’t know what goes on in your head when the lights are out, or the emotions you feel when the world turns to gray. I don’t know what’s happening in your life, the desperation you may feel, the darkness you’re in the middle of, the screaming lies in your head that Satan feeds you to keep you paralyzed.
But I can promise you that there is a God that exists, who knows about your fears before you do, about your future before you can even begin to imagine it, and desires that you would rely on Him in the midst of this. He loves you more than any other person ever can or will, and sent His Son to die to atone for sin and defeat the Devil who seeks to destroy every shred of hope God provides us in this life.
We aren’t alone in this – and YOU are not alone. You’re not the exception to His promises.
When we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13, 1 Corinthians 1:9). And when we cannot see, it’s alright, because it is our faith that allows us to keep walking forward, not our sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). God never forgets or forsakes us when we trust Him (Psalm 9:10).
It’s never promised to us that it’ll be easy – so in the difficulty, may we not wallow in our fear, but look to our loving, powerful God, to celebrate His goodness and faithfulness.
For He is God, and so, so worthy of our trust.
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.