Hope In The Storm

July 4, 2016

Life doesn’t always make sense. There have been many times in my 25 years of life that I’ve felt as if I just got punched in the stomach and left hunched over trying to breathe. In the midst of my hunched-over state, I am left confused, broken hearted, angry, lost- A LOT of emotions to process here people and I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Because my intention with this blog is to be open and raw, I want you to know that I feel these emotions often. Just because I have a close relationship with Jesus, doesn’t mean the storms stop coming. In fact, it may feel they come more frequently. God and I wrestle a lot 🙂 And it wasn’t until recently that God truly opened my eyes to all the times I stop and wonder “why.”

Before I go any further, let me bring you into what I go through during these times of heartache. It’s in these moments I find myself crying out to Jesus, “Help me… fix this… show up!” Sometimes He does, but other times there’s crickets… complete silence. When this happens, it can be extremely frustrating and it can feel as if God has forgotten you. When I try to pray and don’t hear Him right away, I am left with even more confusion and heartache and I become distracted by the noise of the world. The devil starts to creep in and tell me that God doesn’t want to answer my prayers. He loves her better, and He would rather answer her cries. The girl that gets the cute devoted husband, fun loving family and sweet job that I see through social media. She must be a better Christian than I am. She has it all together and God gave her the perfect life! When I do this, when I subject myself to comparing my life to others, I end up in a place that God is trying to keep me from. I land in a place with more confusion, more frustration but most importantly, stuck. Stuck in the storm. And that is exaclty where the devil wants me.

Recently, I listened to a song “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott. (If you haven’t heard it, PLEASE LISTEN. It is AMAZING). This song had me on my knees, hands in the air, smiling at Jesus. My heart felt so much peace. Isn’t it amazing how a song can do that?! Anyway… let me tell you, before the smiling, came the tears. At this time, my heart was in the midsts of a storm where I couldn’t see an end. I was feeling insecure, lost,  and not good enough. I cried out to God, asking Him why. “Why does it seem You are answering her prayers and not mine!?  Why does my dad have cancer?! Why does my cousin’s baby boy have to be diagnosed  with with such a rare disease? He is just a CHILD, Lord! Why is life so hard?! Difficult?! Frustrating?! Why is my broken heart a part of Your plan!? I was wrestling hard with Him in this moment but then something amazing happened. Listen to me my dear friends, God is ALWAYS right there, hearing you and loving on you. He meets you in your broken heart- ugly- cry prayers. This is the part when my hands went up in the air, smiling and feeling the peace of our sweet, sweet Father. In the midst of my broken heart, He showed up. No, the heavens didn’t open and no, trumpets did not sound. Instead, it was very subtle and gentle but yet it was perfect. The Lord answered my “why.” And in this sweet and gentle moment, I gave myself a break. I let my walls down and sighed a deep sigh of relief. He doesn’t expect or want me to have it together all of the time, especially when life is hard. Because life will always throw curve balls our way and it’s in those desperate moments where we humble ourselves to know we cannot do this life without Him. In these moments I choose to see hope and grace instead of bitterness and frustration. God is GOOD. My “whys” aren’t all answered in these moments of desperation but yet my heart comes to a place of complete contentment and that is because He is GOOD. Through the storms, our Lord is Good.

He was good when my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma and He is good now. He was good when Jaxen was diagnosed with a rare cancer and He is good now. He was good when I was screaming at Him, questioning His promises, and He is good now. God wants to move in my life and just because He hasn’t answered some of my prayers doesn’t mean He won’t. But He cannot move in me and my life if I am stuck. The enemy is good at what he does! He knows our hearts and our desires and he will do everything in his power to attack and bring us to a place of doubt, confusion, comparison. He wants us stuck in the midst of our storms. Thankfully, for both you and me, God’s spirit lives within us (1 Corinthians 3:16). This means we have the same Spirit that raised Lazarus from the dead and the same Spirit that fed 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee. Take a minute to let that sink in!

Here is the reality: We live in a broken world my sweet friends. A world where we may not always get the answers to our whys. A world that is full of storms and darkness. However, isn’t it comforting to know that God is never broken. He knows ALL and His plans are for us ALL. That day I fell to my knees, was a day I will never forget. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have tough days and I will continue to have tough days. But in those tough days, I will choose to remember God is good in the midst of my pain and His promises will always hold true. I will choose to rest in knowing that in the midst of my pain, He knows it and He sees it and He is holding me through it. And when the situation seems impossible, I will always pray more words than I speak because He sees me, He hears me, and His plans are for me.

With Grace and Love,

Kristen

 

 

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