Part two of a testimony on grace + trust
If you’re just tuning in, catch up on part 1 of the story here.
Hot tears pricked my eyes as I struggled to regain composure. The job that we were so passionately counting on for my husband looked like it may not come through the way we were expecting, and I felt abandoned. I began to speak honestly to God, asking Him why- why this, why now, why did you lead us here, why haven’t you provided yet, asking him how- how will you provide, how will this come about, how will we pay our bills, how will we find a job that is a fit for our new schedule, and asking him when- when will you show us your face again, when will we know, when will we be okay, when will we have answers? Last month I wrote about our testimony over the past 8 months, and the incredible peace that the Lord has provided during this time of unsettled unknowns. And while I meant and still do mean with 100% sincerity every word, I wanted to write a follow up post about the humanness of it all.
The past week or two I have been fighting against dark anxiety. I am on a roller coaster of emotions- one day the feeling of intense peace settles upon me, and the next deep fear creeps up. I can’t seem to find a steady ground to stand, and I asked my husband the other day if that made me a hypocrite. How can I claim to trust God when my emotions seem broken? He gently looked over and told me that of course I am not a hypocrite, that this simply means that I am human.
This is a season of exponential growth for me- I’m talking almost every day that I am learning a new lesson. But if I had to put into words the most monumental shift I have experienced is the decision TO trust vs. the feeling OF trust.
Character virtues are easy when times are comfortable. It’s not tempting to lie when there is nothing to lie about. Why steal when you have everything you want at your fingertips? In the same token, trust comes naturally when you clearly see where God’s plan is leading. But when the nice, neat, straight line starts to run amuck, and anxiety slyly worms its way in, the feelings of trust can vanish quickly, and we are left with a choice.
Just because the feeling is not there does not mean that God is no longer good. Just because the feeling is not there does not mean that God has abandoned you. Just because the feeling is not there does not mean He is not faithful.
In You and Me Forever, Lisa Chan talks about a bumper sticker she once saw that read, “don’t believe everything you think”. She goes on to say “you may think you are weak. You may think there is no hope. You may think you should always feel like obeying God, but you should believe everything you think…if it’s one thing I positively know, it’s that feelings cannot be trusted. Not for one second. Too often, feelings are based on perceptions, self-preservations, fear, and emotion.”
Emotions are running rampant these last few months, and I find myself battling them often. And I’ve learned how important it is to give myself grace. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Trust is a choice more than it is a feeling. And with all my heart I trust that the Spirit will lead and guide us, that Jesus will be glorified, and that the Lord has good plans for us, plans to give us a hope and a future. So I will keep on fighting my fickle feelings and enjoy the process of being refined. Our spirits are being tested and tried, and I am confident that my God is purifying our hearts. I trust in this righteousness that Jesus has cloaked us with, regardless of my thoughts of feelings.
And so, although our journey may feel a bit steep right now, with one step after another, we will race on. And we will revel in the beauty of the uncomfortable unknowns and heavy moments that create in us a new spirit and mold us into Christ’s image. It is a time to soak up the grace that we are given, and to combat the lies we are attacked with. Obedience is a choice, not a feeling. And what a sweet relief that is to be given the freedom of not being tied down by our emotions.