Does anyone like FaceBook memories? Today I was reminded of a few significant events over the past 9 years, and 11 months. And today, I’m remembering God is God. He is good, and He is faithful.
But 9 years and 11 months, that is how long I have been in my 30’s. The day I turned 30, I thought I was going to be sad, but I actually wasn’t. I was relieved that my 20’s were over.
I walked into my 30’s with hope, not that my 30’s would be easy, but with expectancy of what they would hold.
As I turned from 29 to 30, I was engaged, and planning our wedding/life together. I was working in a “mom and pop” retail store, and living in the same house we live in now. My faith was growing, and I was getting more and more involved with different ministries at my church.
The future looked bright, and full of hope. But the hope wouldn’t be found in what was expected. Quite the opposite. And I want to share with you some of what this decade held because if I could describe it in one short sentence it would be this:
God was faithful.
When I look forward to the future, I usually look forward to the good that will come. I usually don’t… let me rephrase that… I never look forward with the anticipation of disasters, loss, grief, and just flat-out “crazy” situations. Yet the future can hold some of those (or a lot).
The future of my 30’s held a bit of all of that, and more.
When I began my 30’s I remember telling God over and over that I would do anything He had for me. And every time I told Him that, I meant it. I am not sure I realized at the time how difficult faith can be. Most of the times when I told God that, I said it expecting everything to be rainbows and butterflies. Easy almost. But I have definitely learned what Paul says in Romans that hope that is seen is not hope at all.
And in looking at my Facebook memories the past couple days, I am reminded of 2 specific and significant events in our life. The day I miscarried a baby that I didn’t know I was carrying, and the day we were preparing for a category 5 hurricane named Maria was going to crash our 5-year anniversary vacation.
I was confident in 3 things in those events. God was faithful, and He was going to use this to show He was good. And that He works all things together for our good because we love Him but even more so, He loved us first.
What I Learned In My 30’s
As I end my 30’s, we are in our 9th year of marriage, with the dog we got because I wasn’t ready for a baby, our firstborn Charlie who is 7, and my baby Olivia… who is not a baby, she will be 5 in November. God has surely given so much this decade. That would include this blog that is about 7 years old now, and a passion in my heart that I couldn’t just do nothing with.
I also end with a lot of crazy stories, because life has had its challenges. Like the fore mentioned hurricane. And that is where I want to focus because that storm was the biggest turning point for me, especially for my faith.
So what did I learn the past 9 years and 11 months? What do I want to remember?
Remember that He can, even if He doesn’t.
We live in a day and age when so much of what we are surrounded by offers us comfort. Simple things we take for granted, that we think we need. Everyday conveniences.
When we heard the hurricane had strengthened to a category 5, we tried to get off the island. Usually, an everyday convenience is being able to book a flight, and sometimes in only a matter of minutes! But this time we tried pretty hard to no avail. We knew God could have gotten us off the island before the storm. And it would have been a good story… But He didn’t.
It is kind of like the Israelites trying to get out of Egypt right? He could have gotten them out the second that Moses came to tell them that God had heard their cry, and they were soon to be free.
He didn’t do that, and it wasn’t because He wasn’t going to do it. But things actually got worse for them way before it got better.
And a lot of times God will allow us to walk through difficult circumstances, not because He doesn’t love us, but He knows that growing our faith through hard circumstances is more important than keeping us protected from them.
God’s power is also shown more in our weakness and when we can’t claim any less than God’s hand in our lives.
Remember that the battle is not ours.
“The battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
I am going to be honest here and say that the battle is just too big to be ours. In a way, we are kind of caught in the middle of it. God and Satan battling for our hearts.
But please remember this:
God and Satan are not on the same playing field. We may live on the earth that Satan roams like a lion, but God created the ground that we walk on. That means God is in control.
Satan is a fallen angel, God is the LORD. And Satan’s desire is for us to rebel against God, and to have the worship that only belongs to God. His goal is to steal, kill, and destroy.
God’s heart is for us to know His Son, so we can have abundant and eternal life.
The events before, during, and after the storm, were situations that were way bigger than ourselves.
In the few days that followed, with no communication, no television or internet to see how bad things were, we only knew what we could see in front of us, and what was told to us by the few people that we came across (some of it true, and some of it wasn’t). The battle was completely out of our control, the storm was too large.
We could only “be still on know He was God.”, and trust He was in control.
Remember that our story is for His glory.
I actually don’t like having good stories to tell. I really don’t. In a way, they can make me roll my eyes and think “what else can happen?”. Because good stories, are usually filled with craziness. They are the “you’re not going to believe this….” stories.
And I feel like I just have too many of those. I mean, have you read my blog?
However, the ending of the story has always been “But God.” We have always looked back and seen His hand of protection, grace, guidance, and love. He has taken care of all of the largest of details, and tiniest of details. He has always been more than we could have ever asked or imagined. And I know He always will.