As I walk into chapter 26, trust is on my mind. I’ve heard/sang Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus many times, but last week “o for grace to trust Him more” really stood out to me. As a Christian called Grace, I’ve had people sing ‘grace songs’ to me many times, but I’ve never substituted the noun for the proper noun. This week I did. As I sang that line, I realised that I, Grace, needed to trust Him more.
“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10)
Trust the Process
I started a new job this birthday year and the process of getting from A to B was a wonderful testimony which I have duly memorialised as per the Applied section in A Memorial Stone. I’ve also talked about it briefly in this newsletter. Whilst I received exactly what I prayed for, one of the things that stood out to me was how much I doubted. I’ll be honest in saying that the rejections and a particularly horrendous interview (literally the worst of my life) had me questioning whether or not I should have asked for something different. Could God really answer this prayer? Maybe I wasn’t ready for promotion. Maybe I’m going for the wrong roles. I abandoned my original prayer request in favour of finding just about anything. Any trust I had that God could answer my prayer went out of the window because I just couldn’t see how.
It’s easy to trust the process when you trust God.
I didn’t expect the process to be easy, but the friction I was encountering made me reconsider my original plans. In spite of this, God was truly faithful even when my faith was lacking. He really didn’t have to answer point by point each of the prayer requests I noted down about the next job… but He did. And I am forever grateful. The overall journey to getting my current role was important because it taught me that I need to trust the process. Yes, He answered on (my) time, but what if He hadn’t?
God’s time is the right time.
I started this calendar year by reading a prayer book called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson which encouraged me to pray bigger, bolder prayers. If the job testimony is a microcosm of what I may have to go through to see the fulfilment of those requests, I hope I’m ready. As someone whose life revolves around schedules and personal deadlines, it can be hard trusting the process when it makes more sense to pivot or quit. But what if God just wants me to be patient about what I originally prayed for? In chapter 26 and beyond, I want to lean into God’s direction rather than being a victim of my own impatience.
As I was doing my annual review of that journal entry (see A Memorial Stone for context), the extract below stuck out to me:
“Father, teach me what it means to lay my burdens on you. You see I’ve been doing things in my own strength for so long that I don’t even know how to trust you. To be honest I didn’t even know/realise I was trusting in my own abilities. My spiritual life needs work, but I’m ready to work. Lord, what does it mean to bear fruit? Because I would like my life to bear fruit. I would like to be a living sacrifice and testimony. Lord, help me to be strong because I don’t know how long it will take for me to find out what your will is for my life. Therefore, I ask that you give me patience, endurance, and wisdom. Help me to wrestle like Jacob did; he really wanted his blessing, and I really want to know what your plans are for my life. Thank you for loving me and thank you for having a plan even if I don’t know what it is yet.”
It’s so strange reading that 4 years later and thinking about how lost I felt at that point in time, but how much more clarity I have now. I’m still working on the living sacrifice thing and clearly I still have a long way to go with trusting Him. However, I’m so thankful that 18 months later He showed me what His will is and I’ve been working towards that ever since. It’s funny to think that if I’d known then what I know now I probably wouldn’t have been as distraught as I was that morning. I’m not entirely sure why I thought my life was over at 22, but it speaks to how painful failure can be. This week I came across the quote below in an old devotion journal and I vividly remember writing it in July 2018.
“If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this: you, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.” – Lisa Bevere
Although I’d forgotten about that quote, it ties in nicely with Joel 2:25 which I have on my wall as a reminder that God restores. Trusting is hard, but He’s been faithful in giving me lots of reasons to trust Him. I wonder what else I’ll look back on and wonder why I spent so much time worrying when I could have spent that time trusting. In chapter 26 and beyond, I want to know what it feels like to truly let go and let God.
- Cultivate a connection – You can’t trust someone you don’t have a relationship with. Why not try the free devotional or free devotion planner on the Resources page to help you on your journey?
- Be honest about your doubts – doubting God doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ Christian. However, there’s nothing to be gained by brushing your doubts under the carpet. In Words Left Unspoken I talk about the importance of being real with God. Choose to be open with Him. I’m happy to pray with you or talk to you – head to the Contact page to send a prayer request or schedule a call.
- Memorialise – I’ve linked my first ever birthday post several times for a reason. In case you don’t have time to read it, here’s the conclusion:
Your faith lives and dies by your recollections of your encounters with God. If you fail to prolong the memories (through tangible memorials), you make it easier to doubt God in the future. Those memorials play a big part in ensuring that your thoughts are saturated with reminders of God’s goodness.