I Surrender.

cropped-dec91377-2c66-4c7f-9819-ff1d3f3d1ce3.jpg

Story time!

2017 takes the cake for the most change I have ever experienced in such a short amount of time. Around February/March the Lord told me to quit my job. A career I had studied for and worked hard at for 3 years. I had no fall back plan, nothing. Just like Abraham, he told me to get up and move. It was one of the most incredible testaments to my personal faith I have ever experienced. During this time God was also preparing me to serve at camp Sonshine – Nebraska, U.S.A, Where my life changed dramatically in the most indescribable way.

I have been seeking God about what my next big move is going to be since I quit my job 9 months ago. I found the first few months of my waiting season amazing. I was able to do things that I always desired to do but after every high comes a low. I came home from my trip from America and felt instantly lost, direction-less and purpose-less from the moment I landed back in Australia. My waiting season became quite tough and the dark days much outweighed the light ones.

Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

The Lord gave me very, very clear instructions of what he wanted me to do when I got home. He wanted me to rest. But me being me, I allowed my anxiety to get the better of me and I started to plan out what I thought would be best for my life and what would be best for the future. We all know that works… NOT! I burnt myself out to the point of being physically sick. So, began doctors appointments and further tests to find out what was going on with my body. God literally didn’t give me an option of being able to do anything, he forced me to rest.

You would think that would have been a pretty clear indication for me to stop, wouldn’t you? After putting my health at risk I still tried to continue to do things in my own strength.

I hit an extremely low point the other week. I had an anxiety attack and I just went through a stage of pushing everyone away. I preferred to be alone. In my ‘alone’ I was constantly reminded of a conversation I had with my beautiful friend Sarah. She was in a season of transition and she said: “Beth, I am trusting God with everything, I am completely giving my life to him and I have never felt better.” I finally waved my flag and I surrendered. I surrendered.

Lessons Learnt!

I have always been pretty blessed in the sense of not having to spend long periods of time waiting for an answer from God. Everything has always been a fairly quick process. So when I came up against something new like this I instantly thought taking matters into my own hands would speed the process up.

  • Don’t rush a head of God’s plan! It tells us in Jeremiah 29:11…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Before we were even born God numbered our days and planned out our lives. He knows what’s going to happen today, tomorrow and 5 years from now. All we need to do is trust him through it. When we rush ahead of the wonder he has for us we can miss it and make a mess in the process.

  • Count your blessings in the waiting! 

Ephesians 3:20 – God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! (MSG)

It was coming to the end of camp when this verse popped up for the first time. That was over 3 months ago now. I have received this verse at least once a week since then. God kept telling me he was going to do something amazing and I was getting so excited and looking so far into the future that I missed was he was doing in the process.

I was so fixated on the outcome of my wait that I didn’t even pay full attention to the fact that he had already begun doing anything beyond my wildest dreams. I was missing all these beautiful blessings he had already poured out on me. I have realised the things he does in the wait is preparation for what he has next. Don’t miss it like I did.

*Everything thing has purpose and plays a part in his divine plan for you, regardless if you understand or you can see it or not.  

  • Stop doing it on your own! 

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (NIV)

I can’t even count how many times the bible talks about the strength of the Lord. Our God is good and he is faithful. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He freely, graciously and willingly gives us his strength. So, why do we constantly try to do things on our own? I spent months doing it on my own, fully aware of what I was doing yet still continued to do it. I can’t explain the complete freedom I am experiencing right now. All because I am allowing God to do what he intended. Since doing this I have also received incredible blessings and the Lord has placed new dreams and desires in my heart because I am at a place of understanding now.

This season has bought SO much growth already, its unbelievable.

  • What does God want you to do for him in the mean time? 

Because I spent so long focusing on what the end result of my wait was I completely forgot to be asking God what I can do for him in the meantime. The in-between stage is where all the growth and preparation happens. I should have been spending more of my time completely open to God’s will for my life and by doing that sooner I could have been used by him in amazing ways.

Closing thoughts!

If you are currently in a waiting season I want you to know you are not alone.

1 Peter 5:9 – Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Take this opportunity to rest in the Lord and his incredible promises for your life. I understand the daily struggle of waiting. As humans we can be really impatient and feel defeated because we think we know what is best for our lives but we don’t, God does. He has a perfect plan for you and he is going to take you to places you’ve never been before. All you need to do is trust the prosess! He’s got you!

Beth xx

Advertisements

Nebraska.

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for the last 10 days. I’ve been trying my very hardest to describe exactly how I’m feeling. I’ve sat in front of my laptop screen that many times and I haven’t been able to write. All the emotions are right there but nothing flowed like it normally would. I couldn’t understand why.

Last night I became very overwhelmed with all the emotions I was feeling and had been feeling over the last 12 days of being in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. I came to realise that I wasn’t able to express myself because I wasn’t sorting through all the things I was feeling. I started speaking to my mum, my roommate and one of my new best friends from America about what was going through my brain. I realised I feel torn. I feel torn because I knew that I would absolutely fall in love with Nebraska, I knew it but I didn’t know I would be blessed enough to experience the feelings I am feeling right now. I didn’t know that I was going to make friends with some of the most incredible human beings I’ve ever met, Ones that are kind and genuine, ones that lift you up everyday, constantly make you laugh and give you cuddles whenever you need it, friends that I now consider my family and I’ve know them for less than 2 weeks. I din’t know that I was going to be blessed to live in a host home with the most beautiful family! I didn’t know that Nebraska would be so damn beautiful, the city, the landscape, THE SUNSETS, the corn fields, the s’mores! I didn’t know that I was going to be blessed enough to work in a place where you instantly feel the presence of Jesus as soon as you drive into the driveway. I didn’t know how much I would feel like I belong at camp Sonshine. I didn’t know that my relationship with Jesus was going to go to the heights that it has because it’s just me and him on this crazy, incredible journey. I didn’t know that my heart was going to be filled with gratitude when I hear what my campers learnt through the day, when they pray to God or that they are just as thankful for me as I am for them. I feel torn because I feel like this is home and that in its self is conflicting because how can I feel more comfortable here than I do when I’m back in Australia? I feel stuck because I just don’t want to leave and I don’t know what’s next.

I was having some quiet time with the Lord just praying and seeking for answers.

He answered instantly with three things…

  1. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
  2. Isaiah 43:19 – See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
  3. Genesis 12:1 – “Leave your native country, your relatives and your fathers family, and go to the land that I will show you”.

I’m forever on a journey of trusting the Lord, having patience and having faith. I know that he knows what’s best for me and he knows exactly how my future is going to play out.

I’m embracing this season of Nebraska with all of my heart because I am experiencing more than just happiness being here, I’m experiencing pure joy.

Try and imagine your favourite everything – The things that instantly make your heart bubble up with joy and bring you complete peace. Now times that by 10 and that’s about half of the happiness I’m experiencing.

I am so thankful for this journey so far and I am beyond excited to see what the next 9 weeks will bring if this is what I’ve gotten out of the first 12 days of being here.

By Bethany Calverley.