I’ve lived a pretty cushy life.
My Christian walk has been, for the most part, a breeze. Bits and pieces of sadness and fear along the way, but mostly? The path has been smooth and easy. Sunshine and wildflowers, naps, a waterfall of Diet Coke… just kidding. I’m trying to give those up.
But you get it. I’m used to doors opening for us. Not closing. I’d grown accustomed to shrugging with a smile as I trusted God’s plan, knowing that I was really okay with whichever way He steered us.
I liked it that way… easy. But if there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that light, surface-level faith really isn’t faith at all.
This year has been different. Hard in a way I never expected and would never choose to repeat. It’s been a year where I’ve begged God to hurry us through our circumstances, or take us a different way around them, or maybe for Him to just pick us up and plop us on the other side, where things are pretty and easy again.
But He didn’t do any of that.
I’m starting to think that we maybe like the idea of following Jesus better than the actually following Jesus. And I know it took Him having to carry us through something really hard to understand what actually following Him really means… and that it really is so much better than the what I thought it’d be.
When I started this blog, I thought I would be a minister’s wife forever. But now I’m not, and here’s the part I’ve been hesitant to admit in public: I’m a little relieved. Or, a lot relieved. I realize how that sounds… but I don’t think I’ll feel this way forever. It’s not something I want to elaborate on just yet.
Does that mean I hope we never return to church ministry? No. If He calls us back I’ll embrace it like everything else He’s called us to. But I am thankful for the break. God is directing us towards a different form of ministry and it’s good. Very good.
He is good.
Sometimes God leads you down roads that don’t make sense. But He doesn’t leave you there…. there’s always a purpose. He allows hard things to make you better, to build your faith, to make you realize that no matter what you’re always better off with Him.
This detour has been anything but fun, but it was necessary. And while God didn’t have to show us why He allowed it, He did anyway, and it’s confirmed in our hearts that He indeed has a better plan for us. A plan that we’re getting to see come together in ways that can only be explained by God… a bunch of little miracles (and a few big ones) that only He could do.
If the road you’re traveling is making you desperate for an exit… can I encourage you to hang on a bit longer?
What I’ve found is that when you put your hope in God and are brave, things come together. God redeems and restores your dreams in His time. Sometimes our timelines are off, and if we rush through the hard to get to the good, we miss the lesson and our roots are shallow, leaving us unable to withstand the winds and the rain.
Sturdy roots are the best kind… it’s there we dig deep and find our big dreams again. And then you’ll find it’s much easier to leave those dreams in the hands of a more-than-capable God.
Instead of consuming yourself with what you wish was different, focus on the good. Thank God for the gifts He gives you every single day… there’s always something (I’ve been known to thank Him for coffee or my favorite boots, a quiet hour to read, how happy our sweet puppy always is to see me, a text from a friend, you get the idea. Think outside the normal -but still a big deal- stuff and get creative!).
When you get busy being grateful, the worry and hurt and confusion kind of fade away. Your circumstances eventually will change, and you’ll be better and stronger. And even if you never know why God allowed that hard thing to happen, you’ll be able to look back on it and see that His goodness was more than enough.