What the Lord has been Teaching me Lately
Y’all. The Lord has been hard at work on my heart in these last few weeks and has been drawing me closer and closer to Him in a way I’ve never quite experienced before. There can be so much growth and redemption in the face of disappointment and I’m seeing firsthand how He never ever wastes a hurt. I’m so thankful for a God that draws near to me when I fail or mess up, rather than turning His back on me and telling me to do better next time. He is consistently pursuing my heart and showing me more and more of what it means to live more like Jesus every day. This might end up being a somewhat vulnerable post, but here we go. When we get a little outside our comfort zone and decide to be vulnerable, it gives other people the permission to be vulnerable too. And I think we all can use a little bit more truth and trasnparency in life. So let’s get to it shall we?
Patience is a BIG thing that I know God has been trying to instill in me recently. I talked about this a little bit in an instagram post last week, but wanted to dive into it some more. If you know me, you know my love for planning. My planner is my best friend and I have sticky note after sticky note up on my computer screen full of lists and assignments and ideas and to-do’s and things on my schedule for the week. It seems like the planning never stops; there is always something ahead in the future to prepare for or plan out the details of. And while I don’t think this is always necessarily a bad thing, I know it can get a little out of control for me at times. And when my plans fail and the way I anticipated things going doesn’t quite work out, oh BOY does it overwhelm me and make me upset. But the Lord is showing me that He always has perfect timing. He wants to do bigger things in our lives than we could ever plan for or design. He never fails to have our best interest at heart and I am slowly but surely learning to be so thankful for the times that He wrecks my plans, because I know that only means there is something better He has in store that’s coming. While it can be reaaaally hard to trust that He has a greater plan in the moments of our disappointment, it is always going to be so worth it to let Him do His thing. One of my best friends, Jordan, said it best the other day when I was talking to her about this. As we were talking about being upset after something we planned for and dreamed about didn’t work out she said to me, “It’s almost hard not to get excited when you’re going through a tough season, because you know God is about to do something so much bigger and better in your life following that”. I had never thought about it like this before, and while I’m in somewhat of a tough season right now, I know that the Lord is faithful and will show up in my life in a bigger way than ever before. Her words have stuck with me and have made me look for God more and more even in places and situations where I doubt He is. Continuing to lean into Him and know His heart more during this season has already been such a blessing and I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time. I’ve been so impatient waiting to see how He is going to bring good out of this season of disappointment, but God is showing me the power of patience and trusting in Him and the joy that can bring. While being patient isn’t my favorite thing to do and definitely not easy for me, it is clear that He is going to use this to make me better in the long run. Psalm 37:7 states, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him”. I don’t know what God is doing next in my life, but I’m focusing on intentionally being still, trusting and waiting on Him knowing that His plans for me are greater than I can imagine.
Another big thing I’ve been learning in this season of life is to turn to Jesus in the face of disappointment. Nothing of this world will ever be able to comfort or console me the way that the Lord can when I’m hurting. And while God absolutely gives us tools in this life to relieve stress and bring us joy (don’t get me wrong I love a good workout at 9rounds or heart to heart over coffee with a good friend), there is nothing that compares to time spent with Him. And the more time I’m spending with God, the more I’m learning about Him and His desire to continue to grow in relationship with me. He wants us to trust Him with our hearts, and He wants to be the one we turn to when we are upset and disappointed. I saw something on Pinterest that said “Let it be Jesus who sustains me here.” It made me think of the poem “Footprints in the Sand”, about how when we can’t see the Lord at work in our life, it’s not because He isn’t walking with us but because He is carrying us through. Jesus wants us to lean into Him and rely on Him to get through a tough time or difficult season. Who better to turn to than the one who knows us completely yet still loves us more than we could ever imagine?
I’m trying not to make this blog post like a long drawn out novel but the Lord has just been continuously teaching me things and revealing more and more of Himself to me, I can’t help but want to share!! One thing I’ve been doing recently that has been so encouraging is writing some of my favorite Bible verses on sticky notes and putting them all around different places in my room. They are stuck onto my desk, next to my bathroom mirror, on my dresser drawers, and so on. Every time I go to one of these spaces I read them and am reminded of how sweet the Lord’s love is and it’s also helping me be better at memorizing scripture. I totally recommend this lil decorating idea to add a little joy and encouragement into your daily routine and surroundings.
Finally, another big thing God has been teaching me is how uniquely special He made each and every person’s gifts and talents, and that when we give those to Him and let Him work through us, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. I am someone who struggles a lot with comparison (blog post on this to come in the future…) and always feel as if I’ll never be able to measure up to those around me. Thoughts like, “I don’t have it all together like they do, so how can I actually make a difference?” and “I’m not as smart or pretty or talented, so why would God use me?” constantly swirl through my head and make me doubt my calling. But God made me ME for a reason, just like He did every other person I compare myself to. We were all born with such unique spiritual gifts and talents, and the Lord wants us to use them. If we continue to sit back and wait around until we have it all together and perfected, how will we ever impact others? God wants to use us here and now, and believe me, with Him on your side, there is nothing you can’t do. Even if that starts with a small step. I don’t know who needed to hear that today but I do know that each and every person reading this is capable and gifted and uniquely talented and worthy, even if you don’t see it or believe it yet. Ask God to reveal to you just what it is He’s given you a gift for. On our own it’s easy to feel limited and held back, but we serve a God of absolutely zero limitations and I’m not sure what could be more comforting than that. He made us each so unique and able to accomplish amazing things for His kingdom. I’ve been leaning into this more and more recently, asking the Lord to show me just what it is He has in store for me, and I can already see Him placing some big dreams in my heart. Without Him, these dreams look scary and daunting and impossible. But with the Lord leading the way, I know He’s got me and will be right there next to me as I chase after them. Today in church while I was in line for coffee, a man next to me struck up a conversation. He said, “Can I give you some advice from an old man? Identify what your goals and dreams are, stay focused on them, and don’t let anything hold you back from accomplishing those things”. This advice stuck with me and made me think through what exactly those goals and dreams I have are. And beyond that, which of those goals are for the Kingdom and which are simply earthly desires of mine? I’ve been praying a lot for the Lord to reveal to me what He wants me to chase after and pursue. Let them see more of you Jesus, less of me.
WOW. That was a big long ramble of a blog post but holds a lot of truth and stuff that I’ve been learning in this season of life lately. I don’t know who needed it, but it’s there and it’s real and it’s my heart right now. Lot’s of vulnerability happening today people. It’s my hope and prayer that this left y’all feeling encouraged and so so so loved. And if you take away nothing else, hold tight to this truth: You are loved deeper than you can imagine and the Lord wants so badly to be in relationship with you. When you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. Here’s to a beautiful, grace-filled week my friends.