I’ve been thinking a lot about the Lord’s faithfulness. In the Christian bubble, it is common to hear phrases like “the Lord answers prayers” or “His plan is best.” But when you’re in the mire, trudging through a difficult season, these encouraging messages start to feel more like salt in the (many) wounds.
Those who know me best, know that the past year has been both pain splattered and tear stained. Last March, so many aspects of my life felt fragile. A relationship I thought was marriage focused had ended and the college I had chosen didn’t seem to fit. A period of depression covered me like a wave. I cried a lot. I prayed a lot. And I began to learn how to be open with God. Instead of hiding my anger and frustration, I told him how broken and battered I felt.
After choosing to leave school and come home, my world felt rocked. I still cried a lot. I still prayed with a vengeance. For months, I felt bitter at the loss of my relationship, and anger at the cards that I had been dealt.
What I couldn’t see, what I couldn’t even imagine, was the beautiful way God was leading me into His arms. Eventually the tears stopped rolling down my face. The autumn leaves began to fall, and I was a new student once again.
In the midst of my depression, I felt led to volunteer at a women’s ministry. I had no idea which one to choose, but when I stumbled upon the PRC website, I knew God was leading me in their direction. My first thought was: “Well if God wants me here, He’s going to have to make it work because I’m definitely too young to be accepted as a volunteer.” He probably chucked at that, because I received a phone call a few days after I submitted my application.
When I started volunteering at the Pregnancy Resource Center, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In my eyes, I was broken and hoped to find some sort of healing by pouring myself out to others. After being stuck in a selfish state of “why me?” for months, I craved service. The Lord led me to the center, and I found myself wide-eyed at the beauty of the ministry.
The center became the highlight of my week. When I was serving Jesus alongside the other women there, I felt His peace and His presence beckoning me closer to Him. I had been praying for community for months, and found it as I crossed the threshold at the center.
One day it dawned on me that I hadn’t thought about my relationship ending for months. Instead of feeling empty all the time, I felt full. I felt more on fire for the Lord than ever before. My season of singleness had strengthened my relationship with the Lord in countless ways.
And when I was hired on staff at the center, tears rushed down my face as I remembered asking God so many questions a year ago: “Why are you moving me back to Charlotte?” “Why is everything falling apart?” In that moment, it became evident that the Lord was answering all of my questions. Why Charlotte? For this. Why now? Because I have called you.
Tonight, as I was driving home from work, I was mediating on the way the Lord has been faithful to me throughout this season of growth. He took a difficult, heart breaking season of despair and used it for His glory and for my good.
Because He is so rich in mercy, he allowed me to stumble upon the PRC website, and fill out a volunteer application with a shaking hand. Because he is abounding in love, he gave me Christ-centered community and fellowship with my co-workers. Because he is wonderful, He allowed me to lose everything I thought I ever wanted, to gain what He knew I truly needed.
If you find yourself in a season of despair, my friend, hold onto the hope that the Lord is so faithful in the midst of our circumstances. It may feel like you’re alone, but the Lord has never left your side. When the clouds shift, and the sun comes out, you’ll be able to see His plan was mightier than you could ever imagine. Hold on tightly. Keep coming back to the cross. Jesus is the only constant we’ve got in this world.
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16