I spent a year faithfully pursuing God’s will and wholeheartedly trusting in what I thought was His plan, for this? For it to be the middle of April and now everything comes crashing down? I feel like He led me through hoops and challenges to get me to stand in the perfect spot, just to pull the rug out from under me and send me crashing to the floor.
I was so so certain that this is what God was calling me to. Now I’m confused about everything. If I was wrong about that, what else have I been wrong about?
Those quotes are just a snippet of a text (more like a book) that I sent to one of my sweet friends that served in Guatemala with me.
Have you ever had one of those times when you questioned your entire identity? That’s how I was feeling on a random Monday in April. A 3-minute phone call that rejected me for a trip for this summer caused me to doubt everything I knew about who I was created to be.
This trip began to be placed in my heart in February of 2015. In November, I started filling out the application. After about 5 months of challenges, waiting, and interviews, it all ended in a matter of minutes.
It was never part of “my plan” to apply for this trip. I felt God leading me toward it, and I tried to be obedient to His plan. Every time I started to doubt if it was actually going to happen, I chose to trust in His plan and rest in His faithfulness. With less than a month of school left and the application still in progress, I had no plan B.
I think that’s why this experience shook me up the way it did. When I look out at all the suffering in the world and even right around me, I know that a summer trip is not at all important. What I was feeling was an immense amount of confusion- What was the point of leading me to this trip if I was not going to be accepted?
I prayed many times to close the door if this was not His will. There were so many times over that year that He directed me back toward that trip. It is clear that He wanted me to apply for it, but once again, I ask why? I just couldn’t see any fruit that would come from this experience.
That confusion caused me to doubt everything- Maybe I’m not called to missions. Maybe the whole thing was just in my head. Maybe I just selfishly wanted to go on this trip and convinced myself that this is what God is telling me to do. Maybe I am just completely misunderstanding everything that God is telling me to do.
Those questions went on and on until I was questioning my entire identity and purpose as a daughter of Christ. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been able to answer my questions in the past 6 weeks, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Instead, I am trying to accept that the Lord gives and takes away, and He is good through it all. There are numerous Bible verses that assure me that His ways are greater than our ways, that He only gives good gifts, that He will do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, that He has a plan, etc.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
So I can’t tell you why He led me to a closed door. Maybe it was so that I could share this experience with you and admit that even though I’m struggling, I’m trying to trust Him even more than before.
The last blog I wrote was at the very beginning of this year. I described how my word for this year is “rest.” I knew by January 5th that this year would look very different from last year when my word was “growth.” I was highly enjoying an emphasis on rest until I applied it to this summer.
I spent last summer studying abroad in Spain, and I spent all summer two years ago serving in Guatemala. I am not the kind of girl that wants to sit around all summer. I started to hate my word for this year. I began to equate “rest” with “boring” and “purposeless.”
However, I know well the importance of rest. I know how vital it is for us to step away from our busyness and sit at the Lord’s feet. I know the power that can come from listening in prayer.
So for this girl that loves lists and adventures and always having something to do, maybe being forced to rest will challenge me to grow more than any trip every could.
Even in my confusion, I am choosing to pursue Christ anyway. I want to challenge you to do the same. Be honest with your questions and struggles, both with God and with those around you. Fellowship with believers is grounded in authenticity, accountability, and encouragement. If you have something that you also want to get off your chest, I would love to hear from you.