This past Monday, I attended a gathering at my church called “The Swap.” The Swap is essentially a monthly gathering of women who swap meaningful items (books, etc.) and advice/stories with one another. The Swap was ultimately created for connection with other women in the church.
Now I will be honest, I consider myself to be an introvert. Sometimes social interaction is too much for me, especially after work. But I decided to go to the gathering because as a Christian, I don’t believe we should do life alone (Hebrews 10:24-25)!
So after all of my internal dialog and anxiety, I am extremely happy that I attended this event. What I enjoyed most about The Swap was the interaction with other women. We were able to sit together at tables, worship, play a game and listen to other women share their stories. During this time of sharing, I realized that all of us have gone through or are going through tough situations…I’m not the only one in the world struggling! Some women have had very difficult experiences that they’ve had to work through. They may have even doubted God at one point or was confused by His silence or seemingly, His inaction. Knowing that other women are navigating through life’s disappointments gave me hope; their stories gave me the courage I needed to continue enduring. Their vulnerability was beautifully refreshing; we don’t have to put on a facade and act like things have always been perfect. Their gentleness really gave the gathering a sense of peace and calm…exactly what I needed after a long day of work!
We ended our time with worship and the exchanging of books. I brought a book called Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman; this book really changed how I viewed an authentic relationship with Christ. I was also able to pick out a book that someone else brought in called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. I’ve heard great things about this book!
Looking back on this experience, I feel that God wanted me there. He wanted me to interact with other women, hear their stories and just be in His presence. Sometimes stepping out of that comfort zone can be more helpful than we thought.
Over the past few years, I’ve been learning something about trusting God. It seems like each day has been a test for me in trusting God! When I graduated from college and entered the real world, the test began. Being a working adult, not seeing my life pan out the way I thought it would, realizing that the world is truly cut-throat, and also realizing that I am not a special snowflake with the world in my hands was completely devastating to me. Sometimes I wonder if these notions were conceived during elementary, middle, and high school. But whenever it happened, it definitely wasn’t the right way to look at the adult life. Now that I’m married and fully in adulthood, I see that it’s really hard.
I don’t think there will ever be a day where I am not trusting God. I’m learning how to trust Him with my career, my marriage, and my finances. And what I’ve come to realize is that He is trustworthy! He has not let me down yet. Even when things don’t turn out the way I want them to, I know that it is ultimately for the best and that He can see the future…I can’t! Therefore, if God shuts down an opportunity for me, then maybe it really wasn’t the opportunity I thought it would be.
And I can say the same thing for you. Sometimes we find ourselves in not-so-desirable circumstances and we want to do anything we can to get out of it. We start putting the weight on our own shoulders thinking that we have to get in control of this situation. And many times, we forget about God. That weight is way too heavy for us to carry on our own. We need to trust God in every situation and run to Him first when we’re struggling. Personally, I try to run away from the problem with hopes that the grass is greener on the other side. Each time that I run God brings me right back. He wants me to stay where I am right now so that I can learn how to truly depend on Him. And wow, am I learning!
Do you find yourself in a similar situation but God is constantly bringing you back to what you’ve been running from? If so, stop running. Stop worrying and being anxious. Start learning in your circumstances. God knows exactly what is best for you!