It’s been a whirlwind of a year, to say the least. The first half mimicked a slow tick ascent of a rollercoaster climbing to the top, followed by an immediate drop straight down, to what felt like my doom. I rang 2009 in at my friend’s wedding in upstate New York. It was my first time ever seeing snow and the closest I’ve ever come to losing my toes to frost bite. March I got engaged and turned 25. June didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped. September I answered the call to missions in Haiti, turned out to be a wrong number… or I hung up prematurely, the verdict is still out. Thanksgiving I told all my family I was moving to Haiti, Christmas I told them “just kidding”. I quit my job, twice… neither time panned out, thankfully. Instead I got some much need time off. Which brings us to present day, are you as exhausted reading it as I was living it?
Spiritually I ended the year defeated. I desperately desired to hear from God. I begged and pleaded for my neon sign directing my path and lighting the way. No luck. So, I did what any (un)reasonable Christian would do, I pouted and hid in a corner. I walked away, not from my belief in God, but from desiring His presence and seeking His guidance. God didn’t answer me… so I stopped asking. This season in the valley was cold and quiet and lonely. But I am so thankful for a God who speaks to me in the desert (Hosea 2:14). I do not deserve it, and despite it all, He continues to draw me near (James 4:8).
I don’t really have direction. I can’t say I’ve made total sense of the latter part of my year, but I do know that the pain I’ve walked through will not be in vain. I refuse to let it be. Christ is the solid rock on which I stand. I exist to glorify Him, desire a relationship with Him and learn more about His character everyday.
My 2009 lacked the necessary faith to get through the year unscathed. This year, I will resolve to grow my faith. I will learn to actually trust God with all and not just say that I do.
Over the last few months, I had really beat myself up over not having enough faith to make the move to Haiti. I mourned (rightfully so) over the missed opportunities to see God move and impact lives in ways beyond anything I have ever seen. And though, it would seem a noble lashing… it was really an effective plan in keeping me down. I finally came to a place where I saw my unbelief (or lack of faith) as a sin. First glance, this might seem like a further discouragement, but in reality it released me. I understand that Christ died for my sins. However, I normally default to believe His blood covered my yucky past, my sometimes exaggeration of the truth, or my lack of financial stewardship. But it hadn’t occurred to me that Christ has already (and will continue to) forgive me daily for my lack of faith. Most importantly I am never to dwell in that wretched place of despair and discouragement. I must remember, I can always ask for MORE faith. (Luke 17:5 and Mark 9:24)
I’ve been spending some time in the gospel of John. Not too far into chapter one, I found myself paying extra attention to everyone’s measure of faith. I read about how John the Baptist pointed to the glory of Christ every chance he got. I saw Andrew’s faith in Jesus and his eagerness to share it with his brother (Simon Peter). This trickle effect led to the very man that Christ would raise up as the foundation of the early church. And when Nathaneal heard and believed what Jesus said, Jesus invited him to see and witness “greater things than that”!!
Simply put, God can (and I like to think enjoys) turning my teeny splashes into tidal waves…