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.




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.

aj 2


On Why We Need to Stop Idolizing Relationships, Marriage, & Everything Else.


“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.”

On Coming out of Depression & Experiencing the Faithfulness of God

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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”

On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul

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In the midst of your pain, in the midst of your darkness, in the midst of the terrifying paths in front of us that we call the future – you’re so radically and beautifully loved. May we never lose sight of that.




I sit peacefully on the porch, one leg curled under me, guitar resting on the other. I feel the cool breeze of the evening in my hair, the summer mosquitoes swarming around my feet, and I unwind as my fingers dance up and down the familiar strings.


And in the stillness, the quiet, the only solitude I’ve had all day, one thing comes to my mind – Worship Him. The Savior. Continue reading “On Why I Worship, Who I Live For, and the Savior Who Rescued My Soul”

What We’re Getting Wrong About Holiness

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Holiness is not and can never be ankle-length skirts, purity rings, or immersion in Christian media to try to fight against the world. Holiness is so much more than that, and we’ve taught ourselves to settle for the symbols instead of the real thing.


I think it’s time we change that.

Continue reading “What We’re Getting Wrong About Holiness”

Finding Passion, Purpose, and Life in a World of Wasted Time & Empty Dreams

Finding Passion, Purpose, and Life in a World of Wasted Time & Empty Dreams

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.


As the school year draws to a close, and my final year of high school at that, there have been a lot of frantic nights, staying up late to get all the preparations in order, waking up early to the thoughts of, “What am I doing all of this for?”


I hit an almost-crisis point a few months back, struggling with the idea of staying in the English field forever, in favor of something exciting, something lifesaving, something so much more fulfilling than tapping away at a keyboard for hours on end, day after day.


But in all the busyness, the planning, the last-minute studying, I stopped writing.


And my soul felt drier than it had in a long, long time.


Continue reading “Finding Passion, Purpose, and Life in a World of Wasted Time & Empty Dreams”

Easter Weekend: on how art echoes purpose & hope in a desperate world

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It’s Easter weekend – but you already knew that.


In past years blogging, I’ve made a big deal about this holiday – my favorite holiday, that is – and written posts, and tweets, and I’ve jumped up and down over what Easter means to me.


This year’s a little different.


Not because I’m not excited, no. I’m thrilled. But Easter means something a little different to me this year, something a little deeper, something I hold a little tighter to my heart than in years past.


This day means everything to me, and it’s difficult to find the words to describe it well. Continue reading “Easter Weekend: on how art echoes purpose & hope in a desperate world”

Embracing Seventeen

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I turned seventeen this past Sunday – on April second, two-thousand seventeen.


If you don’t know me personally, you may not have known my age until now.


And it’s not as if it’s a secret – I simply decided a while ago that I didn’t want people to judge me or my writing on my age alone, or have to try and explain when I mention school that I’m a college student, even though I’m supposed to be a high school student, and kind of still am for a few more months.


(See? Complicated.)


But something hit me really hard last week. I was talking to some college friends, and coming to the realization that the average age of the majority of my friends is around twenty years old.


And it’s funny – because I joke about it all the time, the fact that I forget that I’m not twenty, myself.


But it’s more than just a joke.


After spending almost an entire week discussing everything under the sun with a dear friend, a friend that’s my own age, I realized how important it was that I don’t forget that I’m only seventeen.


I’ll only ever be seventeen once.

Continue reading “Embracing Seventeen”