I didn’t want to make the title of this post super long, but I feel like a more accurate title would have been “A Journey of Faith… And an HONEST Look at the Emotional Roller Coaster of Ups and Downs Along the Way.”
Sometimes we can get so caught up in comparing ourselves to others and comparing our faith walk with what we perceive others’ to be. Let’s just make one thing clear right now. NO ONE goes through life in effortless obedience to God! NO ONE!!!
As a Christian, I know how I am supposed to respond to situations, and I know how I am supposed to think and act. As a human being, however, I also know how my human mind and body want to think and act.
In moments of weakness, the human side takes over. Things that I should not fear start to paralyze me. Things that I have no control over start to occupy my thoughts every moment of the day and enter my dreams at night.
I wrote a post called “The Trouble With Worry” not too long ago. If you read it, you may feel like I already have everything figured out and that I never get worried anymore. Well, that’s a big fat NOPE!!!
Here’s how the scenario usually plays out:
PHASE 1: I start out strong, believing God for whatever promise I feel that He has made to me at the time. I cling to that promise, tell others about it, and believe in it against all odds!
PHASE 2: My first set of challenges arrives. I look those challenges right in the face and see them as great opportunities for a testimony when God breaks through and fulfills His promise. What a wonderful way to show how powerful God is above any circumstance!
PHASE 3: Waiting. I don’t like this part. I try to hang on to the initial excitement and confidence that I felt when God first made His promise, but waiting takes a bad toll on me. I start to doubt. I start to question. “Did I really hear from God? Did He really say what I think He said? Maybe I misinterpreted what He meant.”
PHASE 4: I start making back up plans. “Well, let me just walk through a few different scenarios incase things don’t happen the way I originally thought they would.” “What will I do, and how might things play out in a different way if God’s promise is not fulfilled in my life?”
PHASE 5: I get so caught up in making back up plans, that they end up becoming my new plans instead of hanging on to God’s original promise. My back up plans consume every spare minute of my life, because making my own plans makes me feel like I am in control of what will happen (even though I know I’m really not!)
PHASE 6: One back up plan after another starts to hit a dead end. Doors are slammed closed in my face. I start to question what God is doing and why nothing seems to be working out.
PHASE 7: I remember God’s original promise. I realize that I have taken myself down a rabbit hole when all I really needed to do was wait on God, trust Him and pray that I stay on His path and not my own. I set aside some time to reconnect with God and realign my heart with his. My strength is renewed, and so is my faith. I remember and start to believe again.
I realize the reason those doors are slamming closed in my face is because I was never meant to pursue them in the first place! It is God’s mercy and grace that are protecting me from my own stupidity! How could I ever think that I could make a better plan than He could when He is the ALL-KNOWING CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE???!!! Who do I think I am???!
The point is that we need to keep ourselves connected to our one true source of strength and nourishment. (And, no, I’m not talking about the cupcakes and cookies that seem to disappear pretty quickly around here when I am eating my emotions!) I am talking, of course, about God!
I am now currently in PHASE 8: Believe in the original promise. If I’m being totally honest, though, I do still have a little bit of doubt. I don’t doubt for one second that God would fulfill His promises! The doubt lies in my ability to interpret them.
I would say that I have about 95% certainty that I heard God accurately for this particular promise, although during PHASE 1, I would have said either 100% or at least 99.99%. I have resolved myself to one thing, though. That is waiting on God. I have already done the parts that I could do in my own power. Now it’s time to just pray and wait. …and wait. …and wait! God’s ways (and His timing!) are ALWAYS better than our own and are well worth waiting for!!!
If you have questions or comments, or you would like to understand more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to chat with you!