Peace through difficulty.

I would be lying if I were to say that this past year and change hasn’t been difficult at times. My area of difficulty isn’t even related to the pandemic. It seems as though the timing of the pandemic with things in my professional and personal life had a collision of timing that I could have never planned for. And here I am, almost a year since the beginning of the pandemic shutdowns still unsure of so much. I am sure I am not alone in this.

For me, the shutdowns actually brought a pause in my life that I didn’t realize I desperately needed. I quit my job in the summer because I felt I needed to. Maybe someday I will talk more about that experience. But for now, I will leave you with this: I felt the need to move onward from that job. To be in a place of value, to have a voice, to have a purpose. Though I don’t regret that job, for over six months, I stayed after a terrible experience took place. I was spiritually drained and grieved with what happened. I was professionally stunted. And I was physical and mentally exhausted from fighting for myself.

I needed rest. I needed a break. So I quit. I quit without having direction or answers to where to go next. I felt certain that God opened the means for me to leave that job and that timing. And in the process pay off great debt. Granted, I also thought God was opening the door to another job…one that ended up not choosing me after almost a year of taking me through their process. At first, disappointment weighed heavy. Very heavy. There was a heavy burden and even sadness of not doing what I felt God called me to do. And I was frustrated at God for closing doors on me. I was still saddened by my last job experience. And aching to have better one begin.

But then there is a Peace that comes when we lay down the desires that we have. The frustrations that we have. The anger or the bitterness. The doubt, uncertainty and fear of the unknown. There is a peace that comes when we trust God to actually lead us. You see…during my months of job applications, background processes, interviews, rejections, and now waiting, I have had time to rest. I have had time to breathe. I have had time to work on things in my life. For the better part of last year and my job search, I had also been in physical therapy for injuries that could have been made worse if I were working. I was able to recover and rest and get my body back on a track of wellness. I was able to launch side jobs that brought a little extra income to help around the holidays. And I was even able to spending time training my new dog.

But more than anything, I was able to spend time with God and see that his plans go far deeper and greater than anything I could have tried to plan for myself. I may not understand everything that has happened in this season. I may not like everything that happened. I may not understand why certain things took place. But what I can tell you friend is that God is so abundantly faithful. He is good even when its hard to see. He is steadfast. God aches to be the lead of our lives. We can do everything in our ability to make things in life happen. We can do everything right. And life can still go so wrong. But if we trust God and lean in to him, we can have a peace that transcends anything we face. We can have peace and a confidence that God who has already done so much can do so much more. But we need to humble ourselves- and I mean actually humble ourselves- placing all trust in him. It means repenting of our sin. It means letting him renew our strength when we are weak, and broken, sad, and lost. It means believing that God- who created this world- created you too and has far greater plans for us than anything we can try to forge ourselves. If I have learned anything this past year, God’s story for our lives is far better than anything we could write for ourselves. Dare to trust him with everything you’ve got.

And you will see him move.

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