Trust Without Borders

Trust Without Borders

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Last year, around this time, I was in my last semester of undergrad and thus still had to attend weekly chapels. I remember going to a worship chapel where we sang the song Oceans. As one of the top Christian songs in the past few years, this song was a favorite in chapel, on the radio and on everyone’s playlists. After a while though, the words lost their meaning. On that particular day, however, I realized afresh what the words meant.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior”

I knew what I was singing, but thought for a second at the weight of my words. Did I really just sing that I wanted God to take me to deeper waters? What would that look like? And was that even something I really wanted to be asking God?

This past year, God has brought me to and through some of those deeper waters. My 22nd year has been one of the hardest yet. The trials of a broken relationship and a wounded friendship took me deeper than my feet could ever wander. At times I didn’t know if I could emotionally, spiritually, and mentally survive. However, because I ran to His presence, the deeper communion I have experienced with God and this sense of unity with His Spirit makes it more than worth it. Through it all, the joy that I have is unexplainable. Even though I may still sometimes hurt, that hurt reminds me of how deep God has taken me. How he has allowed me to walk on the water, making me stronger, and let me experience the fullness of his presence.

While my heart may have been unsure when I uttered the prayer of that song, God heard the words of my lips and knew what it would take to make my faith stronger.

This summer, when I thought I had experienced the deepest of the depths, I had no idea that more was in store. While I am writing this now, I don’t know if I have seen the last of the depths. In fact, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that there are still deeper waters ahead.

In John 16:33, Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble…”

I can be confident that there are deeper waters to come. BUT Jesus is not finished when he says that. He ends the statement with:

“…But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Our faith can be made stronger in those deeper waters. We know that we can endure because we already know Jesus has overcome!

The trust and experience of deepened faith developed through trials is both painful and beautiful.

May we continue to be led by the Spirit, and our faith be made stronger.

Confessions

Confessions

I love the picture of humility and unity that was displayed at our staff meeting this past week: people coming together. Our leaders outwardly confessed, reconciled and forgave one another for bitterness in their hearts that may have been unbeknownst to the other party. It was amazing to see the love that was spread in these small confessions and brought healing to many! Really, forgiveness has more to do with the person doing the forgiving than the person forgiven.

I have realized that on social media, I have held bitterness in my heart and I have not been completely real or honest. The pictures I post are the life I want to portray to the world but not exactly the whole story. I post the good moments and am silent during the bad or pretend like it is all ok. Yes, I want to live by faith and not make it a habit to complain or gripe, but I also do not want others to think I do not struggle and am some inhuman perfect being. It is quite the opposite actually.

So this goes out to all of my readers, I am sorry for becoming bitter about the lives portrayed and the half stories I receive. But I also ask for forgiveness for perpetuating the very same thing that I do not like!

It’s hard to humble yourself and admit you’re wrong. Let me rephrase that. It is hard for me to humble myself and admit I am wrong. I want to be right! And if I am honest-I would like to think I am always right!

While I love the idea and picture of humility, and appreciate it in others, it is so much more difficult to actually make it happen in my own life. I want to be liked, or perceived in a certain way.

A while ago, in the midst of some difficult times, I was on the phone with a friend whom I had not spoken with in a while and she said, “it looks like your life is great right now!”

And I thought to myself, what is she seeing that makes my life so great, why would she say that?!

It wasn’t until I took a look at what I portrayed to the rest of the world when I realized just how bad it was. While sometimes I may want it to be good so I act like it is, sometimes it’s not and instead I am silent. I wonder who else out there, instead of faking like it’s ok, they are silent? The moment they find one ray of hope, they share it with the world and the world thinks life is perfect.

Forgive me for acting like I have it all together all the time.

Social media is a fragile and complicated thing. One can over share- complaints, TMI, or nonsense, but one can also portray themselves in the way they would like to be seen instead of who they are—flaws and all.

I’m working on it. I don’t have it all together or know exactly how to walk this thin tightrope of reality and truth mixed with respect and dignity. All I ask is that you join with me in not only speaking the truth, but in living it as well.

Prayer changes…

Prayer changes…

People… places…things… attitudes… ideas… you… ME!

 

The list goes on and on. Prayer is a powerful weapon and tool because it puts us in communication with the Most Powerful One!

 

Through my many 21 years (ha!) I’ve realized something (and am still realizing it): I can’t change people. As much as I try to persuade and manipulate (oh, so hard to admit at times)… It just won’t happen. However, I have found something that does work! PRAYER! I pray when someone is being unreasonable with me and I don’t want to lash back but know that God needs to be in the middle of it. I pray when I am the one being unreasonable and ask God to change my heart and desires to match up with His, so I can be loving and kind.

 

Prayer works miracles big and small! I often will say little prayers that may seem like nothing at the time but when I look back, I see just how much God has answered all of my seemingly petty prayers! Just the other day, I asked my friend about something that didn’t seem like a big deal but ended up being a big deal. After praying for several minutes as I went about my day-knowing that I was in the right, I decided to let it go because I knew that I wasn’t going to be the one changing her mind. Here’s the amazing little miracle: God changed her mind. She came to me in humility and love and told me it was ok and that she was sorry. She had been praying as well and followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to respond in love. I LOVE when God does this!

 

The same kind of thing has happened countless times with my boyfriend. We may have a disagreement or conflict about something (shocking I know) and I will submit it to the Lord because there is nothing I can do. In some way or another, his mind or mine was changed or attitude or perspective on whatever the issue may be and we were able to resolve the conflict with ease.

 

Now I know I’m using examples of others being changed, but what about me?! I’ve been changed through prayer! Whether it was through the prayers of my parents or my boyfriend or loving friends, I know that on more than one occasion I have had to recognize and admit my selfishness and ask for forgiveness.

 

So?! What does this have to do with those people who aren’t inclined to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?! He changes them too! At some point or another, we all were not inclined to the Holy Spirit but he softened our hearts anyway and drew us to our heavenly Father. Be faithful in prayer and lift it all up to the Lord because he hears you.

 

When do we pray?

Always

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

 

If we don’t have the words?
The Holy Spirit does!

Romans 8:26-27

26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

 

We have no excuse!

 

PS- I would love to hear how God has used prayer in your life to change a situation, a person, yourself, or anything else!