Here I am at the start of another year, another decade, and taking stock of all that God has done. This was written last spring, when I didn’t know what the rest of 2019 held. However, it all still holds up as truth, for my every day.
I am so uncomfortable with mystery, to not have an answer to the question of what’s next. I don’t know what to do with loose ends. Because the reality is that my story is not a Hallmark movie. There isn’t a neat tidy ending that all makes sense right now.
I don’t know the end. I don’t know how God is going to wrap up this tale of the last 6 months of my life. I don’t know what he is going to do with these loose ends…the parts that are still floating out there looking for a landing zone.
Honestly, I told Him that I don’t get it. Why would he lead me to this spot and not actually let there be the ending that made sense. I write this on a day when it doesn’t make sense. There are still unanswered questions and parts of mystery.
Today is not the end, though. It isn’t the final day, there isn’t a deadline to my story. I long for there to be a time when it all makes sense, the waiting is over and I get my answers to the questions that have been lingering.
I want to be able to have the answer for people when they ask about what’s next for me. I want to know the path that is up ahead. There is assurance in that. Assurance in the plan, the next step…but is that actually faith?
Faith comes not by seeing what is next but in trusting in the one that designed, planned for the next step. It feels cliche to say it, that God knows what’s next, and if I trust him, I don’t have to know.
When the waiting is prolonged, when the mystery feels like it lasts forever. When everything feels shaking and falling apart, when you are used to having the answers, to be the strong and steady person with a plan. When others look to you to have a plan, or when there is no one else in your life to have a plan, it’s just you, not knowing is scary. It is unsettling.
God leads us there, to that spot that makes us feel unsettled. We can’t get too comfortable in this world, too assured at what’s next, trusting in ourselves and our lives. That isn’t faith. Sometimes God leads us to the unknown, to trust in the One that is known. To increase our faith, to expand our trust in Him.
The irony of all this, is that I prayed that God would increase my trust in him. I prayed that he would help me trust him more. And now, here I am 6 months later, still in a spot where I have no choice but to trust in Him to work it out.
And so many days it sucks. The tears flow easily and the frustrated words are loud in my head and in my car when I am by myself.
But would I want it any other way. No.
Do I trust anyone else to point me in the direction I should go? No.
Sitting in the mystery, sitting in the unknown, is the space where God can meet us. Where we get to experience his comfort, joy, grace, and compassion in more ways that we could know.
I am becoming more aware of the little ways that God encourages me in the middle of a waiting season. I am becoming more aware of the ways that I run away and hide in my angst, and how much he still accepts me again and again. I see the places that community surrounds me and encourages me in the middle of a space that I didn’t expect to be.
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Let us not forget that He is the God that makes the waters tremble. Even when we feel like we are in the deep water, in the unknown, in the way through the sea, God is not surprised or shocked or afraid. He is God over the waters. He is in control, and we can trust him or flail around and exhaust ourselves fighting the sea.
So often, I fight it. I swim against the way that God wants me to or I am drowning in despair because I can’t do this on my own.
I so desperately and pridefully think I can do it on my own. How gracious and kind He is to humble me and remind me that I am not alone, and I actually can’t make my way through the sea on my own. He is with me.
Now 6 months later as I read these words, what I was experiencing then, I am so thankful. So thankful that God continues to bring me to the place to trust Him again and again. So thankful that I kept walking through the waters.
Friends, He, who makes the waters tremble and shake, is with you. Not because of anything you have done, but because He loves you.
He loves you so much, that he isn’t going to leave you in the waters, but help you through them. Maybe not an immediate rescue, but with a life jacket, a swim partner, or strong current. To bring you where he wants you to be.