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.
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.
“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.
“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.
35 Replies to “Cry, Pray, Trust: for when you’re stuck in a season of waiting and need a reminder of God’s faithfulness.”
This was just what I needed this morning. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart, Amanda. God bless. ❤
I’m so encouraged to hear that, Faith. ❤️ Thank YOU!
Thank you for this post, Amanda, and for sharing your heart and encouraging others with truth when you’re going through so much yourself. I’m in a long season of waiting as well, and it’s hard – but as you said, God is faithful! He always has been, and he will be again – and he is with us.
I’m so sorry to hear you’re here in the waiting too — it’s never fun! But God is SO faithful. ❤ You're so right! Thank you for the encouragement!
I’m so glad we got to share those five minutes transitioning from 2017 to 2017, even if it was just a few texts. Love you. ❤
"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…"
Yes, just yes. It's been a hard two weeks of 2018 for me as well, because God has been asking me to let go and just TRUST him, even when my heart aches, even when it doesn't seem greater, because it looks scary and painful. But HE IS FAITHFUL. Forever and always. He has proven himself faithful, through his word and in my own life. And so I know by experience that I can trust him. Thank you for sharing these words.
*2017 to 2018, haha.
I’m so glad we could share our New Year’s Eve too! 😉 Man, I’m so with you there. It’s so hard sometimes, and I really get it. You’re so, so right. Thank you for your kind words! ❤
Amanda thank you for another hopeful piece.
It is hard sometimes to believe and have faith that God is near. Life can be so hard and confusing. You are so young. You have decisions and choices to make which may determine the direction your whole life will take. It can be scary but you are grounded with Gods love and he is faithful – just as you remind us.
Thank you for your encouragement! ❤ I think no matter where we are, however old or young, we're always given the choice to trust Him. Even though it's never easy, He's always good!
Thank you so much for sharing this, Amanda. I was just searching the Scriptures to calm some worries I’ve been having, and then I stumbled upon this post. Reaffirming that God is always there and has a plan, and nothing in the world can change that. 💕
Oh wow, that’s so wonderful, Kayla! ❤ I love when God confirms His truth like that.
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Wow, I read this and all the horrid moments of New Year 2017 came rushing to my mind… all the vulnerability, tears, and sleepless nights. All the brokenness I’ve tried to blot out of my mind in 2018. I got through that through prayer and singing. Trust me, I’m not a singer. But when all you can do is sing praise to God, does a bad voice really matter? No ma’am!
I may have just begun following you and I really don’t know you (aside from the virtual pages of this blog), but I can assure you that I am praying for you!
Here was my survival guide to the beginning of last year:
1) Singing praises
This song in particular:
2) This book:
I know God uses different things in everyone’s lives. But I pray these two things bring you encouragement and point you to Christ again and again.
This is such a beautiful blog post. Thank you, thank you for sharing! It’s a message many of us desperately need to hear. ❤
That song and book are wonderful! I haven’t yet finished The Broken Way, but both Ann Voskamp’s writing and pretty much every song by Hillsong are just fantastic. 🙌🏼 Thank you for your encouragement, and your prayers, and welcome to Scattered Journal Pages! I’m so sorry you had to go through so much in 2017 — and though it’s so hard, you’re not alone, and God won’t ever leave you, or any of us!
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Wow Amanda! Thanks for sharing your heart and your encouragement, your so words are wise and genuine. You have a great gift to encourage and help others with your writing, keep it up. 🙂 For the glory of God,
Thank you so much, Zachary! I appreciate that so much.
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Thank you for this post. Its so encouraging
Thank YOU for reading! I’m so glad it could be an encouragement.
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This is really encouraging Amanda ❤ Thanks for sharing. And John 16:33 was our family's verse for 2016. I still love that so much. On New Years Eve, we had dear friends from out of state staying at our house. In the past we've always celebrating, normally by praying and singing in the new year. But for some reason this year no one seemed really into it. In fact completely contrary to my normal personality, earlier in the evening I spent alone in my room just trying to find peace. As I searched for a clock to check the time, I found a phone and looked down at it right as it turned to midnight. I was alone in the hallway even with a house full of friends. I realized something this year. The emphasis put on the exact moment a year starts new is overrated. I am all for starting fresh, but because of the stereotypes set in place, I think we all start to either become super discouraged and change nothing at all, or expect miraculous change first thing. I think it's important for us to remember that in Christ's strength, we can start new anytime. we can start new at 7:00pm on a thursday night in November, we can start fresh on tuesday morning when we've slept in for 3 hours and late for work, any place and anytime we can stop and pray and praise Jesus. I really loved that it was on a Sunday this year, for we were able to go to church that morning and get edified. Our pastor had such encouraging outlook on where we should put on our focus, and actually making an effort to strengthen and grow in our spiritual lives. He asked each of us "do you want to be the same place spiritually you are now this time next year?" I think everyone's answer is no. Anyway He asked our whole church individually at midnight, out loud or in private to say "I'm moving forward Lord"
This year my new year was whacko. It felt so different, but the best part for me was standing in the hallway alone and a few minutes later whispering a promise to keep moving forward- even in my baby slow steps. I suggest a study on Philippians 3:12-17 so encouraging ❤
I love this comment, Faith. Starting fresh right where we are — it’s such a simple, yet beautiful thing we can do. I think there’s a lot of us out there in the world that feel lonely, and we really have to fight to be filled with the peace and joy of Christ sometimes. But growth is so sweet, because it starts small, right where we are, with the desire to be used of God right here and now. ❤ Thank you for your thoughts!
Amen sister. “It’s okay to be broken but it’s not okay to stay there.” <<What hugely encouraging words. I definitely needed to read this today.
He is faithful!
Happy 2018 ❤
Thanks for your encouragement, Ashley. ❤ He really is faithful!
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Thank you for sharing, Amanda!!! What you said is so true, and it is something I need to hear many times. I am so glad god gives us sisters in Christ that can encourage one another in complete realness!
Thank you for your kind comment, Claire! ❤
I just want to say an AMEN as well! This should be a good reminder for all of us. Even us guys have deep emotions and need to cry sometimes. I like to remind myself this with Psalm 6:6 where king David says that he drenches his bed with tears. I think it’s a shame that society tells us guys that we have to be unwaveringly stoic. Because of that though, I think it takes a stronger and more brave man to be open to showing his emotions.
As for me, I’ve been waiting for over 24 years for a special promise from God and even longer for some other simple requests. It’s difficult to watch as your hopes, dreams, and desires all get swept away with the winds of time. Yet, I’m reminded that nothing is impossible for God and that His time isn’t like ours and our part is to trust Him and to not make the mistake of trying on our own to make things happen. Oh, but how many times have I had to pray like the father in Mark 9:23-25 “I believe, please Jesus help me in my unbelief!”. I believe that He can, I believe that He is the God of the impossible but, it’s hard to believe sometimes that He will do these things for me after decades of waiting. If I stop and step outside of that pain for a moment I am reminded that it’s all part of God’s stretching, growing, and purifying my faith.
In the end when He answers, it’s like eating something salty or bitter before eating something sweet. That bitter or salty taste only makes the sweet seem even more sweet than normal in the end.
I totally understand what it’s like to be caught in the waiting. There’s no denying its difficulty — and it’s so hard to wait well. But you’re so right. When we wait on God’s timing, for what He has planned, it’s so worth it, even when it feels like we’re stumbling around in the darkness for a while. He’s good, and He’s faithful! Thanks for commenting, Jonathan!
This is so encouraging! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks so much, Hanne!
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You are such an encouragement, Amanda. ❤
You’re so sweet, Grace Anne. ❤
Every time I come to your blog, I find something that God uses to speak to me. Sometimes I wonder if you’re living my life. 🙂 What you write just relates so well to whatever I’m going through that I know it’s not a coincidence. God uses your posts to speak to me, and I just want you to know that I am grateful you allow Him to speak through you and that you write as you do. You speak such poignant hope and light in the midst of despair, and it is a great encouragement to those in the pits. 💛Keep doing what you do, and keep letting him speak through you and use you. I will continue to read your posts, and I thank you for writing with such honesty and godliness in this world. 💛
WOW, your comment just made my whole day, Stars. ❤ Thank you for your encouraging words — I pray that my words will continue to be used to bring hope and joy to those who need it (myself included!). Thank you for reading, and God bless!
Ah, I enjoy reading your posts, sweet friend. ❤ I've been dealing with some of this stuff, and coming out of it and into a place of joy and hope! I'm still waiting on things and still dealing with various trials or struggles, but I'm also learning to find beautiful intimacy with God! I've been writing about some of it on my Lady Grace blog. 🙂
Anyway, I tagged you for The Liester Award, in case you do things like that. http://shantellemary.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-liebster-award-x-2.html
Hope you're doing okay! Dwell in the Lord's abiding love for you!
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (1 John 4)
I took a long break from my blog entirely, but I hope you know that even if it takes me months, I still want to respond to all these wonderful comments. Thank you for your constant support and encouragement, and I hope you’re resting in Jesus and doing well, Shantelle! Keep your eyes fixed on Him! ❤
Ah, I enjoy reading your posts, sweet friend. ❤ I've been dealing with some of this, and coming out of it, into a place of joy and hope! I still am waiting for certain things and have different trials/struggles/questions, but I'm learning to grow in a beautiful intimacy with God! He is SO good and SO faithful.
Anyway, I wanted to let you know I tagged you for The Liebster Award, in case you do things like that. http://shantellemary.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-liebster-award-x-2.html
Hope you're doing okay! Dwell in the Lord's abiding love for you! 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (1 John 4)