Have you ever experienced a season of life that has left you feeling weak and vulnerable? What you expected to be doing with your time appears to be shifting due to unforeseen or unplanned changes in circumstances. What do you do when you have more questions than answers?
For those of you who don’t know, I left Wales and returned back to my hometown at the beginning of this year. As you can imagine, my life has been filled with one change after another. While I anticipated some changes and adjustments, in the past few months I’ve experienced more than a fair share of life interruptions.
Realistically, each of these interruptions could be “manageable” if they were isolated from the others. However, this season has left me feeling like a beginner surfer attempting to navigate various growing waves. One moment, I’m gliding on top of a wave with a sense of pure joy and accomplishment—I’ve actually learned something! The next moment, instead of “going with the flow” I have gone against the current, proceeded to tumble head over heels into a wave, and now I’m being dragged along by its force.
As one challenge has piled on to the now growing list of others, I have brought ALL of my thoughts, questions, fears, tears, and frustrations to God.
Unfortunately, instead of answers to any of these questions, I feel like He has presented me with questions of His own.
“Do you trust me?” and “Do you truly believe that I love you?”
Needless to say, as I pondered my answers God showed me just how much I was struggling. Although I “knew” the right answer in my head, the reality was my emotions and subsequent actions were not lining up.
Recently, however, God has persistently repeated Psalm 46:10 to me.
Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted among the peoples.Psalm 46:10
Those are great words from the Lord. However, since returning home, I have struggled to sit still because of the following:
- I don’t like being still because that means sitting with my thoughts and feelings (which, if I’m not careful, can be overwhelming at times) and I am forced to depend on others for basic needs.
- There is a constant message from our Western culture that says “you are only worth what you produce.” So, there is a lie that I have struggled to combat: I won’t be loved because I’m not producing worth.
Do you see how the two questions God asked me match the two struggles I have faced in sitting still?
Do you trust me?
Do you trust that I am big enough to handle all of your thoughts? And feelings? And basic needs? Even if or when they feel overwhelming to you, do you believe that I am bigger than every obstacle you are facing?
Do you truly believe that I love you?
Do you know that I love you because you are my daughter? Do you know that because of the completed work of Jesus, there is nothing that you could possibly do that would change how valuable you are to me? Do you believe that I care enough about you to provide for what you need, when you need it, if you ask?”
As I’ve continued to ponder all of these things, the Holy Spirit brought another passage to my mind.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul was given a vision from the Lord. To keep him from being proud the Lord gave Paul a “thorn in the flesh.” Paul shares that he prayed three times for it to go away and instead of removing it God said the following:
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.2 Corinthian 12:7-10
So, if you feel weak, or vulnerable, and you have more questions than answers, let me encourage you (or remind you). God is loving, and trustworthy (Exodus 34:6-7). He is enough. His power works best when you surrender control (2 Corinthians 12:9) and trust that He has a plan for your good and for His glory (Romans 8:28).
To be clear, my circumstances have not changed at all.
I still have a variety of questions. However, over the past few weeks I have been filled with more peace simply because God has reminded me of His character. He has reminded me that He is not just the God who has filled scripture with evidence of His goodness and grace, but He is MY God. He has recounted to me story after story of His faithfulness in the past, He has given me grace to see His faithfulness in the present, and this has encouraged me to trust that He can be faithful again in the future.