Real Hope for Real Hurt, pt.1: Where Is Your Faith?

Real Hope for Real Hurt, pt.1: Where Is Your Faith?

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” // Psalm 73:26

Hey guys! I hope you’ve been having a great start to 2020! It’s been a minute since I’ve released a blog, but I’m going to try and be back with new blogs every week again!

If you read any of the blogs I put out towards the end of last year, especially this one and this one, you know that I experienced a lot of hurt and disappointment in 2019. I didn’t realize this at the time, but the hurt and reality of all my disappointments had really taken it’s toll on me. I started to question God, and I just plain didn’t understand why nothing that I wanted or had been praying for was happening. I could feel my heart starting to harden, and I knew I was in trouble.

I saw all that to say this: out of my own experience, and the experiences of others around me, I know that hurt and pain and suffering is real. So many people wrestling with God–let alone His goodness–when times of trials come. But here’s the thing–sometimes the advice we get or the comfort others give (that is well intentioned, no doubt) isn’t what we need in those moments. What we need is REAL HOPE for REAL HURT. That’s what I want to talk about the next couple weeks.

We’re not talking about Romans 8:28–though that’s a great verse, and is certainly true.

We’re not talking about– “Everything happens for a reason”, though I believe that’s also true.

We’re not talking about– “It’ll happen, just have to wait”.

We’re talking about:

Who is God when my world falls apart and what can I hang my hope on to get through this? Because it doesn’t feel like anything is going to help me right now.

Who is God when my world falls apart and what can I hang my hope on to get through this? Because it doesn’t feel like anything is going to help me right now.

That’s where I was, and that is where so many of you are right now. So we’ll start here.

Recently I was reading Luke 8 in my Bible, and was reading the story of when the disciples were in a boat with Jesus and a really bad storm kicked up. These guys were in danger. The Bible goes so far as to say they were in “great danger”. Panicked, they rushed to Jesus, scared for their lives (literally), and they say, ““Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” (vs. 24).

So Jesus gets up and literally commands the winds and the waves to calm. And they do. When the storm subsided and all was calm, Jesus turned to His panicked disciples and says this: “Where is your faith?”

This hit me so hard when I read this. As almost Jesus Himself was saying these words directly to me. “Where is your faith?”

This got me thinking about where my faith actually was. I could say it was in God. But was it?

I think that’s where so many of us are right now. The winds are roaring and the waves are swamping our lives and we are drowning–just like the disciples. They knew where to turn, but I don’t know if they fully grasped Who they were turning to. If they had, would their reaction have been the same? Would panic have overtaken them? Or would they have remained calmly confident?

Honestly, I’m not sure. Fear is a human emotion, and if we were in a boat about to go under, I would surely be panicked. But in the midst of that panic, I have to wonder if there would there be an underlying peace because we knew Who is in our boat.

So I want to leave us with that question today. “Where is your faith?” Could it be that your faith is actually in yourself? Have you been putting everything all on your shoulders? Or maybe your faith is in someone else. Or something else. Honestly take a look at what you’re putting your faith in.

Next week, we’re going to talk about the components of the One we put our faith in. What makes Him trustworthy? Why can I choose to put my faith in Him? If you can’t wait for next week, you can always find me on social (IG and Twitter). Let’s talk about it. I want you to experience the real hope of Jesus. Because that’s where healing and real hope comes from.

Until Next Time,

Stephanie

@stephjayewriter

2019: What I Learned From My Year of “Almosts”

2019: What I Learned From My Year of “Almosts”

“Yet I will wait patiently … Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.” // Habakkuk 3:16b, 17-19

2019. Can you believe it’s the end of the year–*ahem*–decade already? I feel like I say this every year, but it’s worth saying again, this year flew! And while I had hopes and aspirations for this year, when I look back, it looked way–and I mean WAY–different than I thought it would.

And if I’m being honest, not in the bestest ways.

Until God gave me a different persective.

When I started to reflect on 2019, I wondered how I would remember this year. When I thought about it, one thing came to mind.

This was my year of “almosts”.

I ALMOST made the move across the country I had been hoping and praying for. But didn’t.

I ALMOST went on vacation to California. Until that got canceled.

I ALMOST instead went on vacation to North Carolina. Until our car didn’t want to cooperate.

I ALMOST accepted an offer of publication on my book. Until I realized it wasn’t the right publisher for me.

I ALMOST met a guy and started a relationship I so longed to be in. Until I got my heart broken before it even started due to circumstances out of my control.

Do you seem the theme here? When I looked back on 2019, this is what I saw. I saw a year of false starts, false hopes, and unfuliflled dreams.

I saw “ALMOST”.

If you’re like most people, almost isn’t good enough. It falls just short of expectation. No one ever achieved or celebrated anything that ALMOST happened. Because simply put, it just didn’t.

I didn’t move across the country. I didn’t go on any vacations–anywhere. I didn’t publish my book. I didn’t get to date that guy.

It seemed like in 2019 … I didn’t almost do … anything.

This isn’t going to be some blog about how we should shift our perspective. That we should cheeringly looking at what DID happen, and what DID make 2019 awesome. I’m not going there at all.

Where I am going is this: Even when dreams are left unfulfilled and the heart aches more than it can bear, God is still faithful. God is still in control. And God has better.

What’s interesting is my word for 2019 was “faithful”. The idea that because God is faithful to me, I will be faithful to Him. And because of His faithfulness, He can be trusted. So, while I ALMOST did a lot this year, here’s one thing I know for sure: God was faithful through it all. And I learned a heck of a lot through it.

I didn’t move across the country because God’s timing wasn’t right.

I didn’t go on vacation, because God was protecting me.

I didn’t get my book published because there’s a better home for it out there I can’t see yet.

I didn’t date that guy because simply put:

GOD. HAS. BETTER.

That was the lesson I learned this year. It’s funny because 2018 was all about pursuing God’s best. 2019 was all about trusting and seeking His better. What hard about “better” is that we often get so blinded by the here and now, that we can’t see what could possible BE better than what’s in front of us. And because of that, we question God when things don’t go the way we want them to. We kick and scream when He takes things away from us because we can’t see what’s just around the bend. But I have learned time and time again that God always has better. A L W A Y S.

I love the book of Habakkuk (some of y’all are trying to figure out where that is, so lemme help you — Old Testament, almost to the New 🙂 ). I’m not sure if I’ve ever read the whole book (all 3 chapters!), until recently, but I always knew of it’s concluding verses. But when I read the whole book of Habakkuk recently, it amazed me. Simply amazed me.

The book starts out by Habakkuk complaining to God, frustrated that He is not seeking justice against those who have wronged Israel. He doesn’t understand why God is allowing Israel to be pursued and destroyed by these foreign countries. It opens like this in Habakkuk 1:2-3:

“How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but You do not listen?
Or cry out to You, “Violence!”
    but You do not save?
Why do You make me look at injustice?
    Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?”

You hear the frustration in Habakkuk’s voice while He cries out to God? That’s real. That’s relatable. The book then continues, recording God’s response in 1:5:

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.”

This conversation between Habakkuk and God spills into chapter two. But this time, God’s response silences Habakkuk’s frustration. In 2:3, God says this:

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay. “

That’s a word for someone today — your time will come. It may linger … but WAIT for it. It WILL come. It may not be in our timing, but it’ll be in God’s perfect timing. By the end of the book, we see a different Habakkuk. In the closing chapter, we see Habakkuk trusting in God’s timing, trusting He is powerful and will indeed do what He’s said, and concluding that he will wait for God patiently. The concluding verses show us that God has become Habakkuk’s strength, and therefore can endure–not only anything including famine and hardship–but do it joyfully. We read this in Habakkuk 3:17-19:

“Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.”

So, what is my point in all this? Though 2019 seemed to be a year of disappointments, a year of “almosts”, a year of getting my hopes up to get them let down–God walked me through something similar to what He did Habakkuk thousands of years ago. He’s showed me that He hasn’t forgotten. He is still working. He is still faithful. And He is up to something better.

So while my year may have been a year of “almosts” and false starts, this is how I will remember 2019:

The year God taught me He has better.

And I hope that if you had a disappointing year, or if disappointments meet you in the future, you can remember Habakkuk. That you can trust God, even when the promise lingers. You can wait patiently because you know He’s always working to fulfill His purpose in you. And You can rejoice always in God your Savior because He is enough for you.

Until next time,

Stephanie Jaye ❤

@stephjayewriter

God’s Love Helps Us Finish Well

God’s Love Helps Us Finish Well

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” // 2 Timothy 4:7

It seems as of late, more and more people are failing to finish well. Paul, imprisoned and close to death, wrote the words above to Timothy, his young prodigy, with full confidence. He, in essence, was saying, “I’ve done all I’ve been called to do, I’ve reached the finish line, and I’ve kept my faith.” And I think at the end of the day, when we’re close to death, we’re going to want to echo these words in regards to our own life.

So many people start out strong in their faith, but how come so many people fail to finish well? God has given us everything we need in order to do just that. 1 Corinthians 1:8 tells us, “He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I think the disconnect comes in when we fail to remember God’s love for us, His promise to strengthen us, and our selfish desires overtake our vision and desire to finish strong.

I think the disconnect comes in when we fail to remember God’s love for us, His promise to strengthen us, and our selfish desires overtake our vision and desire to finish strong. There are many reasons we as Christians get sidetracked as we travel through life, but the one I want to talk about today is how God’s love can keep us on the path of righteousness and cheer us on to finish life strong when it’s all said and done.

Sometimes, we fail to actually remember God loves us. I mean, we all know He loves us. We all recognize that Jesus died for us, that the Holy Spirit is within us, and we hear that God loves us. But I think we sometimes forget that God actually, for real loves us. He sings over us (Zech. 3:17). He provides for us (Matt. 6:25-34, Phil. 4:19). He considers us His child (1 John 3:1). When we start living every day like we actually believe God loves us, that love is going to capture our hearts and set our souls on fire. We’re going to want to stay close to Jesus, be obedient to what He says, and finish strong where He’s called us to.

Our relationship with God isn’t about doing more. Our relationship with God is a love-relationship. Love is always the motivating factor, in both God and ourselves.

Our relationship with God isn’t about doing more. Our relationship with God is a love-relationship. Love is always the motivating factor, in both God and ourselves. It was in love that God created you. It was in love that He sent Jesus to die for your redemption (John 3:16). It was in love that He called you and set you apart for Himself (Eph. 1:4-6, Ps. 4:3). And it’s in love that He calls you to whatever His purpose is in life (Eph. 2:10). It’s also in love that we read God’s Word, because we want to know Him better (Ps. 119:17). It’s in love that we do what He says, because we want to honor Him (John 14:15). It’s in love that tells others about the good news we have in Jesus (Matt. 28:19-20, 2 Peter 3:9). Everything we do or don’t do in our relationship with God should be because He loves us and we love Him.

If you’re feeling tempted to give up today, maybe you need a moment to remember and reflect on God’s great love for you. When worldly desires start encroaching on the corners of your heart, run back to your Savior. Remember the cross. And remember His love. Remembering His love will always get you back on the right track.

Because with a world that’s watching so close, it’s not enough to run your race now and flunk out later.

Because with a world that’s watching so close, it’s not enough to run your race now and flunk out later. We have to live intentionally now – loving others, serving God, and sharing the good news. But we also have to finish intentionally, knowing we’ve done everything God has called us to do and bring as many people with us into His Kingdom as we can.

So today, let’s remember our relationship with God is all ran off of love, and let’s run – and finish – this race well. And if we do, someday we might just change the world ❤

Until Next Time,

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@stephanie_jacqu

His Sovereignty Over Our Surrender

His Sovereignty Over Our Surrender

“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant.” // Psalm 25:9-10

I think one of the biggest reasons we as human beings get into trouble is because we’re trying to take hold of our own lives. As humans, and especially as Christ-followers, we’re not made to do this. We know that from the very beginning of time, God created us for a relationship with Him. He was going to be our Father, our Provider, our Protector. And while we sinned and went astray, His design and heart for our lives never changed.

We know that from the very beginning of time, God created us for a relationship with Him. He was going to be our Father, our Provider, our Protector. And while we sinned and went astray, His design and heart for our lives never changed.

If you’ve been around the church for any amount of time, you’ve heard the word surrender. In fact, when you got saved, you probably heard someone tell you about surrendering your life to God. It’s funny how we can trust our eternity to God by accepting Jesus as our Savior, as sufficient payment for our sins, but yet we have a hard time trusting-or surrendering-our every day lives to Him. Yet that’s exactly how we’re supposed to live.

If you joined me a couple weeks ago, I talked about the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in life. Today’s post kind of goes along with that same theme. But I’m convinced the only way to God’s best in life is to trust Him and follow Him every step of the way. And the only way we can do that is by surrendering to Him.

The thing is, surrender is scary. I think a lot of Christians are afraid to surrender their lives to God because they fear God is going to make them do something horrible.

The thing is, surrender is scary. I think a lot of Christians are afraid to surrender their lives to God because they fear God is going to make them do something horrible. Like marry the weirdest guy on your street, or make you pursue a job you’re going to absolutely hate. But guys, that’s not how God works. He may call us to places we’d never expect, situations that might even scare us at the moment, but when we lay down our pride, our expectations, and our desires, that allows God to give us His very best.

Think of it this way: He made you. He made you with certain passions, certain interests, and certain gifts. He knows the best way for you to use what He has equipped you with.

Think of it this way: He made you. He made you with certain passions, certain interests, and certain gifts. He knows the best way for you to use what He has equipped you with. He knows the kind of guy you’ll like, because He made you to like someone like that. He knows the kind of job that’ll light you up inside and bring Him glory because He put that fire inside of you when He was knitting you together so beautifully in your mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13-16). He knows the ministry you’re going to love doing because that’s what He equipped you to do.

When we surrender to God–going where He leads, doing what He’s made us to do–not only will we find joy, peace, and relationship with Him, but He’s going to get all the glory from us, and ultimately from others impacted by your obedience. If we as followers of Jesus would just let go and trust the very One who created us, we’d find ourselves right where He wants us. And no plan of our own is better than that.

If we as followers of Jesus would just let go and trust the very One who created us, we’d find ourselves right where He wants us. And no plan of our own is better than that.

I love Psalm 25:9-10. It reads, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant.” Did you see that? All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful. Guys, that’s who God is. Those are His intentions. Every. Single. Time. Loving and faithful.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful. Guys, that’s who God is. Those are His intentions. Every. Single. Time. Loving and faithful.

So when you find yourself scared of surrender, remind yourself of this verse. This God who made you, who sent His one and only Son to die for you, is sovereign over everything. All His ways are loving and faithful. And because He can’t change, that simple truth never will.

When we let go and let God take control, someday we might just change the world ❤

Until Next Time,

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@stephjayewriter

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Matthew 16:24

P.S.!! Next Sunday I’m starting a new series for the month of February on GOD’S LOVE. See you next week!

Set Apart to Stand Out

Set Apart to Stand Out

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” // Philippians 2:14-16

I was reading a devotional book the other day when I came across a quote that really struck me. This is what it said:

“There is no point to a life in Christ if we lose the one thing that makes us different from the world. God wants you to display a life that shows how wonderful salvation is.”

Janelle Anthony Breckell

This made me stop and think for a moment. In today’s culture, it’s so easy to blend in. We think by “blending in” that we’ll somehow win others to Christ. They’ll think Christianity is “cool” because we do what they do. But if we think about it, what message is that portraying to the outside world? It sounds to me like that’s saying, “If you decided to follow Jesus, that’s cool. You can even keep doing what you’re doing right now.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fine that Christians laugh, have fun, and do cool things. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when we as Christians try to blend in instead of being set apart.

Can we meet the world where they are by having fun, doing “cool” things, without actually being apart of them? I think the answer is yes.

The thing of it is, that’s a hard yes. It’s hard to get close to culture without getting sucked into it. It’s hard to stand our ground against temptation and the lure of the world, especially when we’re trying to engage it. But as Christians, it’s imperative that we go and meet the culture where they’re at without getting sucked into exactly what they’re doing.

The Bible talks about us walking a different path in life. Ephesians 4:1 tells us, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” This is a strong exhortation from the Apostle Paul. He’s pleading with the church at Ephesus to live a life worthy of the calling they’ve received. When we came to know Jesus as our Savior, our old self was done away with. We were given a new name. A new identity. We were brought into a new family (2 Cor 5:17, Galatians 4:3-7).

You probably have some resemblance to your family, your loves ones. Maybe you have your mom’s hair, or your dad’s eyes. But what about to your Heavenly Father? Is your heart reflecting His? When people see you, are they seeing your resemblance to Him? Are you standing out, shining bright in this dark generation? Are others questioning why your life is soaked with joy and your peace unshakable?

This is the kind of life we are called to as followers of Jesus. If we look like everyone else, talk like everyone else, and live like everyone else, how is anyone supposed to see Jesus in us? How are people supposed to experience the life changing power of Jesus if they’re not seeing it in us?

In short, what is the purpose of following Jesus if we’re doing life the same way as the person who’s not?

In short, what is the purpose of following Jesus if we’re doing life the same way as the person who’s not?

I’m convicted to hide God’s word in my heart, to invite Him in every day, and by the power of His Holy Spirit to live a life that’s different, one that’s shining on the brightest and darkest of days. It’s not an easy life by any means. But Jesus didn’t call us to an easy life … He Himself didn’t live an easy life. He served when He could’ve been served. He gave when He could’ve received. He sacrificed His life when He could’ve just stayed in heaven, seated on His throne, and worshiped day and night for all eternity. But instead, He came to rescue us. To rescue us out of our life of sin and darkness, that we may have an eternity filled with Him. That’s why our life should look different. That’s why we want people to know Jesus. Because He’s not only changed our life, but the course of human history!

As you wade into this week, pray about where God might want your light to shine a little brighter this week. Maybe at school? Maybe at work? Maybe to your unsaved family members? How can you be salt and light and bring the hope and power of Jesus to other’s this week?

When we recognize we’re set apart by God to stand out for Him, someday we might just change the world. ❤

Until Next Time,

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@stephanie_jacqu

P.S.!! This week’s blog was inspired by the devotional Whatever Is Lovely by BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC & 100 Things God Loves About You: Simple Reminders For When You Need Them Most by Zondervan. Please check these wonderful books out!

The Hardest Lesson I’ve Had To Learn

The Hardest Lesson I’ve Had To Learn

“How abundant are the good things that You have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You.” // Psalm 31:19

Hey guys! Happy Sunday! I hope 2019 is treating you well!

So, I love documenting lessons I learn on my Christian walk. In fact, I even have journal of them. I even wrote a blog about the 17 things I learned in 2017. But today I want to share with you by far the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn. One that for the longest time I just couldn’t seem to get. One that I heard about over and over, yet I never quite understood how I was supposed to walk it out in my own life. The lesson, essentially, of letting go and letting God, and taking life one day at a time.

I tell people I’m a dreamer by nature, and I am. I’m a writer. A writer, by definition, is by nature a conscious dreamer (Okay. Maybe not in Websters, but I’ve heard it defined like that). I also have the gift of faith (I wrote an article about that on 412teens.org if you’re interested in learning more about that). Put these two things together and in my heart and soul I think I could run a marathon around the world in 7 days if I wanted to. The problem I’ve found with this is that when things don’t go the way I think they will, or don’t go the way I expect them in faith to go, then I get a little … frustrated. I’ve been in a particular situation for the past few years that has tested me for a while, and it seemed to be coming to a head in late 2018. For the past few years, I’ve wanted to relocate. To move from the state I was born and raised in to another part of the country. The state I want to move to has differed throughout the last couple years, as well as the reason of wanting to relocate in the first place, but the desire has always remained the same. I. Want. To. Move. I Want. To. GO.

I have prayed about this very thing almost every day for two and a half years.

Two.

And.

A.

Half.

Years.

Every year I think, “This is the year it’s going to happen. This is it!” And so I get all excited (for one reason or another), only to be left disappointed when the time passes, the decision to stay has been made. I recently experienced a situation where I thought I knew what God’s will FINALLY was. Crystal clear. The answer to my constant prayer, my heart’s deepest desire. Only to find out that … again … it might be delayed and possibly not play out like I expected or wanted.

So, here’s the thing. The past few years, my mom has told me over and over again that I just need to wait. That God would reveal His will when it’s time.

This frustrated me beyond comprehension. I thought we should be seeking, exploring, researching, GOING. It wasn’t until recently that I finally realized what she meant this whole time.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, I want to give you some encouragement today. If you’ve heard about surrendering to God, but you’re not sure what that looks like or how you’re supposed to live with the future in mind while keeping your eyes fixed on today, here’s what I’ve learned about all this:

When you keep your eyes on God with the intent to follow Him, and you trust that He’ll come through just in time, you can let go of trying to control everything and learn to follow.

When you keep your eyes on God with the intent to follow Him, and you trust that He’ll come through just in time, you can let go of trying to control everything and learn to follow.

Listen. God knows His plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). They’re even good plans. But when we try to control the circumstance, complain in the waiting, and get frustrated when things don’t go our way, we’re just prolonging the waiting process. That’s not how God wants us to spend our time in the waiting valley.

Instead, He wants us to trust Him enough to let go of our heart’s desires and focus on Him. Then He can move in our hearts and life.

Even if the thing you’re praying about is God’s will, or a Godly thing, it can quickly turn into an idol. When you care more about getting that thing than you do about what God wants, it’s no longer something God is going to be pleased with because it’s taken the places in your heart that He wholly wants.

There’s nothing wrong with having hopes and dreams for the future. But it’s vital that we don’t get so lost in them that we become consumed by them, wanting them more than God’s will … or God Himself.

There’s nothing wrong with having hopes and dreams for the future. But it’s vital that we don’t get so lost in them that we become consumed by them, wanting them more than God’s will … or God Himself.

If you’re in this season today, my encouragement is to get in the Bible, worship God throughout your day, and pray for His will to be made known to you. Try and focus on today. It’s okay to allow yourself to focus on today. Because God is still working in your future so that you don’t have to. So that you can relax and trust Him. We’re reminded in Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” We might try to figure out the next year, two years, even the next decade. But God establishes steps. One at a time.

Fam, this is hard stuff. It makes me uncomfortable just typing these words sometimes. But, it’s part of the faith journey God has us all on. The more we trust Him, the less we’ll feel the need to manipulate and control. Whatever you’re waiting for will be so much better if you let God work it all out, anyways. And whatever you’re waiting for will be well worth that wait. I promise.

Whatever you’re waiting for will be so much better if you let God work it all out, anyways. And whatever you’re waiting for will be well worth that wait. I promise.

And maybe one day I’ll be writing to you from a new state. A new place. Maybe it’ll be the place I want to be, maybe it’ll be a state that was never on my radar. But either way, I know that it’ll be the place God wants me to be. Because I’m choosing to trust Him instead of myself. And in letting go, I know I’ll find walk into the best God has for me. And that, this year and every year to come, I want more than anything.

When we trust God and let Him lead, chances are, someday we might just change the world ❤

Until Next Time,

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“There is a favorite story I like to tell myself. It’s the one about how my life should turn out. But in the end I’ve discovered – I would have never been brave enough to write it as messy and marvelous as God. So, I’m choosing to take His hand and simply live it.” -Lisa Terkeurst


P.S.! I wrote this blog back in December 2018, and as I get ready to post it for all of you to read in January of 2019, I can honestly say God has really done some hard work on my heart, and it feels so much better taking things one step at a time, no matter how hard it was to get started. Something that’s a constant help to me is praying, “Give me today” when I feel anxiousness about the future starting to come on. God answers this prayer every time. And He will for you too.

When It’s Always Everybody Else

When It’s Always Everybody Else

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” – John 5:7

We live in a day and age where feelings of discouragement, loneliness, and jealously can be triggered in a moments time. I know I get like this sometimes. Especially lately. This blog post finds me in a (very long) season of waiting. One where prayer after prayer isn’t answered yet … one where I see the answer to my prayer literally happening to everyone around me … but not me. And because of this, I’ve had small moments of self-pity, as we all sometimes do. And in one of those moments, I remember saying, “Why does it always happen to everyone else, but never me?”

Though my words were spoken out of emotion, and I trust that in God’s timing, He will answer my prayer, these words are very real feelings for many of us. Whether these words are uttered over something like a job promotion, or a financial breakthrough, or maybe because healing that hasn’t come yet, we have all felt like this at one time or another.

We find in John 5 the story of a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. 38 years! Can you imagine this? I’m not even 38 years old, let alone being able to imagine being paralyzed for this long. In this man’s day, there was a legend- a superstition really- that an angel would come and stir up the waters at the Pool of Bethesda, and when that happened, the first person inside the water would be healed. It was around this pool that the paralyzed man, along with many others who were blind and disabled, would gather and wait for their opportunity to be healed.

Jesus met this man one day at the Pool of Bethesda-which literally translates, “House of Mercy”. And when Jesus saw the man there and learned of his condition, Jesus asked the man in verse 6, “Do you want to get well?” To that, the man replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Does this sound like you? Every time you want something, or are praying desperately for something, you feel like you get trampled on or beat to the prize. Like when you are desperately praying for a new job, and your co-worker gets a promotion. And when the next promotion comes up, another co-worker gets it. After a while, it all gets frustrating. And while all this time this paralyzed man was waiting by the Pool to get healed by a superstition he believed, Jesus stepped in during year 38 of the man being paralyzed, and He offered healing. This man didn’t need a Pool, he needed Jesus.

I believe this is the lesson we as Christians need to learn today. Are we still going to want and pray for that promotion? Absolutely. Are we still going to plead with God for healing? You bet. But when we’re left waiting-maybe for 38 minutes or maybe for 38 years-that’s where Jesus wants to step in and meet you. It’s in that waiting where He is standing with arms wide open saying, “Come on in. Let me be enough for you.”

It’s hard when opportunities and time pass us by- believe me…I’m in the valley of waiting with you. But it’s not until we find that we want Jesus more than we want anything else that we’ll ever truly be satisfied. And I’ve found that in this waiting process, waiting for God’s best is better than any quick fix or substitute we could ever really want. Let’s keep steadfast in prayer, our heart’s seeking His truth, and let’s offer praise for all He’s already given us. If we trust in Him, wait on His timing, and find our hope and strength in Him, He will provide us with everything we need in time. And until that, He’ll provide us with Himself. And that is worth more than anything anybody else has.

Until next time,

❤ Stephanie

@stephanie_jacqu

P.S…Check out this song by Alisa Turner. This song as been such a blessing and battle cry in this season of waiting: