I logged onto my blog site for the first time in a long time. In fact, my last post to this platform was seven months ago. And oh how life has changed.
I finished my Academy year in Freedom Church, was hired on staff as the Central Event Coordinator, overseeing worship and production areas around our locations across the world. I traveled back to the States to get a work visa I believed would afford me 3 years in the UK. And then I met a man who changed my life forever.
A dream come true, I moved back to live in the UK starting my new job and a new long-distance relationship. I released a record with Freedom, enjoyed an English Christmas holiday with my boyfriend who spent all his money to come see me, and ironically found my life in a very strange place.
I was torn.
My plans began to change right before my eyes. I dreamed of moving to the Netherlands after my season working in the UK was over. I planned to live a life alone, to be honest. I was resigning myself to independently traveling the world and then God decided to give me a partner.
The past 6 months have been the most joy-filled and amazing. And oddly enough, simultaneously the most difficult and depressing. I was sailing along nicely, and just as the Uncharted record and season seemed to prophesy, I didn’t know where I was or where I was going, but I knew God was in it.
However, that truth didn’t always stick. I struggled with my faith. I nearly capsized the little lifeboat I traveled in. I lost vision, unable to see through the fog and wind and rain. In fact, for a few months, all I could do was cower in the belly of the ship. I was terrified of being on the wrong path, even though some deep sense within me told me that I wasn’t. I let the lies overcome me. I resigned myself to a numb paralysis.
What I discovered in that time was that nothing around me made me happy. I suppose because I was relying on the things around me to make me happy. Since our record’s release, I’ve written one song. One. My creativity trickled out through writing scripts and articles for my second job. For a couple of days a week, I could breathe. So why did the other days feel so heavy? Music couldn’t soothe me. Friends couldn’t soothe me. Even my own incredible boyfriend couldn’t. I was in the pressure cooker, desperately wanting out.
What was God doing in that time? Truth be told, I have no idea. Part of it is a chipping away at my shape, discovering my true self. Some of it is a battleground test. But I suppose all of it is preparation for whatever awaits me on this journey.
In February, Dylan asked me to marry him. Even amid the uncertainty of everything in life, he was one place I felt secure. He was one person who brought me a sense of peace because he continually shows me the light and love of Jesus. I said yes. And thinking this would break me free from the gloom that seemed to entangle me, I was happy for a moment. But the pressure soon returned. I was lost in questions, from myself and those around me.
But one morning two weekends ago, I resolved to believe something new. All of the events of the past six months make little to no sense, but did I believe God was in it, weaving the beautiful tapestry he has for my life in and through these moments? Of course I did. Could everyone see it around me? Some of them could. But was I going to believe and trust God despite the uncertainty or worry about the opinions of others? I decided to choose God and submit to his plan regardless of whether I understood it or not.
So I’m leaving a place I thought I would stay forever to marry my best friend and adventure companion for life.
Oswald Chambers wrote:
To be so much in contact with God that you never need to ask Him to show you His will, is to be nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith. When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight, you are God’s will, and all your common-sense decisions are His will for you unless He checks…
That’s something amazing that I’ve learned about this life and faith thing. God often serves us with choices, because He has given us free will. It’s not necessarily one over another. It may be both. Or it is one now and one later. Or it is both later. As I’ve wrestled with God over big issues and small, I know that He is present in my life through each one of them. Sometimes you just have to rise up and make a decision and not flounder in the doubt that comes with not trusting God and His Holy Spirit inside of you.
Wisdom is precious. Get wisdom. Have faith too. Balance both. Don’t do something because it seems like the most difficult thing, and also “don’t not” do something because it seems like the most difficult thing. Choosing Dylan over this life I wanted to live was difficult. But as much as I knew God was calling me (and very well may still be calling me) to it, I know God is calling me to be Dylan’s partner now. Both are great, though both are not happening how I planned. And you know what, that’s okay.
Because even though I walked through the valley of what seemed to be the shadow of death, God was with me. And even now, as I found freedom this week (read more in my blog to come), God is with me. And because His past provision proves His future faithfulness, I know God will be with me. I am bound to make mistakes. But I think that makes me want to listen and be closer to God even more so I won’t.
Wherever you were, wherever you are and wherever you’re going, know that God is going before you when you set Him first to do so.
God’s message to His anointed, whom he took by the hand to give the task of taming nations…He gave him free rein, no restrictions: “I’ll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the roads…Confirmation that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel who calls you by your name.” [Isaiah 45:1-3 MSG]