Have you ever felt like it will only take one small moment, one small change in tone or circumstances to just send you into a fit of tears?
Not gonna lie, this has been me the past few months. Over and over I have sought to place myself in ideally stimulating or under-stimulating situations. Any more, and I would lose it. I just knew it.
Small rewind: I have multiple friends who come up with a "word" they use to characterize their years. Whether it's a character trait they want to develop or a habit they need to solidify, they spend the year striving toward making that word a reality in their lives. Maybe you have done something similar.
This particular practice has never been one I sought out. On New Year's Eve 2020, however, I sat alone with God to finish my Tithe Project (read more about that here) before joining the evening's celebrations, and I sensed Him leading me toward a word: Steadfast.
Oh boy, have I needed that word over and over again. Not only do I need to be steadfast in my faith in the midst of my ever-changing life situation, but I need to lean into my steadfast God when He changes everything around me over and over. He also laid on my heart a few of the lyrics to Hillsong Worship's song, "New Wine." I heard this prayer rising within me:
"Make me a vessel. Make me an offering. Make me whatever you want me to be."
Be careful what you pray for! God certainly took me up on that offer.
In the past six months, I have moved across the country twice. Some people look at my husband and I and think we are lunatics. Others look at us and see obedience. We're probably both.
You can imagine the stress and character challenges and uncertainties surrounding Caleb and I all throughout this year. Finally the other night, I turned to him, and tears began to stream.
I am sick of saying goodbye to relationships I build.
I am sad so many of my favorite people are far from me.
I am frustrated by church politics.
I am tired of having to navigate around the expectations everyone else has of me when I know God wants something different.
I am over my humanity stepping in and doubting trust in my God after He repeatedly proves Himself faithful.
I am excited for our new adventure, but I am worn by the uncertainties and movement we have had this year.
I am overwhelmed.
Truly, my chest feels much lighter simply having admitted that to you. I know I cannot be the only one who feels this way about life right now. Whether you are moving, changing jobs, facing a test of obedience, up to *here* with a coworker, or worried about the continuing pandemic, I'm sure at some level there is something overwhelming going on.
I admit, this is not my typical post, but my crying heart reaches out to yours. For the both of us, rather than teaching, I simply wanted to list here some promises from our steadfast God. Rest in the truth of His promises and the everlasting evidence of His character. And at the end, listen to the song currently filling my heart and mind day after day.
"But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded." 2 Chronicles 15:7 ESV
"When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshipped and gave thanks to the LORD saying, 'For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.'" 2 Chronicles 7:3 ESV
"For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing." Deuteronomy 10:17-18 ESV
"For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do." Hebrews 6:10 ESV
"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order. of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,' even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you." Psalm 139:7-12 ESV