Have you ever read those verses in James that talk about being joyful in hard times because in the end they will make you stronger and build character. Well I have, and I always thought that if that was the case then I didn't really want any more character. But something has been stirring in my heart the past couple of weeks and I'm learning something.
All of my life, I have been a worrier. From the little things to the life changing moments, I have allowed worry and fear to play a role in every aspect of my life. And sadly, I allowed fear to cloud my perception of God and how He sees me. The past months I have been going through some very hard times. Call it fear, call it depression, call it a lack of trust. Whatever you call it, it has been taking me apart and invading my life. And through it, there have been times when I have felt like God has deserted me. I've begged God to take it away and time and again He's asked me to trust Him. And I start to cry and say,"God I'll trust You, if You make me feel better. I'll trust You, if you make Yourself more clear to me. I'll trust You, if you come stand in front of me and talk to me in person." But I've been learning that that is not trust. Trusting means believing even if the lies and fear feel so very real. Trusting means knowing that God is right there beside me, even if it feels like He is miles away. Trusting means not always knowing it or feeling it, but believing regardless.
God has asked me to trust Him on a couple of things and when I haven't, I've begun to spiral down into fear. Through these months, I've asked why this is happening to me. And finally, something has been occurring to me. I could have gone on the way I always have been. Allowing little fears and worries to have control. I could have gone on knowing God and loving Him but always having a slight fear that He was mad or that I just didn't measure up, and I would have survived. But you know what, God didn't create us--you and me--to just merely survive. He created us to thrive in Him. To know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves us and delights in us.
And I truly believe, that If I can learn the lesson of trust and deeply root it in my heart, that I will get through this time and that things will be forever different. Maybe, just maybe God is using this time in my life to shake me up and teach me something beyond my wildest dreams. I'm tired of settling and I'm tired of fear. And as I've been going through these hard times the words of James are slowly becoming more clear to me. God is for me, and God is going to bring me through stronger than ever. And you know what, whatever your story is, He's got big plans for you too. Trust in Him.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." ~Richard Bach