Last night as I flipped through my journal, I noticed something. This year has been really hard. It seems like it's been one thing after another since January. Every journal entry was full of angst or restlessness or desperation. In between there were lots of prayers, and sometimes peace. Then something else would hit hard, and I'd be writing to release the emotions again.
Then in my devotional this morning, I read something that stopped me in my tracks. "Have you ever prayed to be more like Christ? Have you ever asked for the fruits of the spirit- love, patience, gentleness...? If so, are you surprised that you're surrounded by storms and difficulties?" God uses these hardships to develop and strengthen our faith. I've asked many times to be more like Jesus. To love like Him, think and act like Him. So it shouldn't surprise me that I've been surrounded by problems and pain. In His mercy, God is shaping me and refining me, in order to answer my prayer- that I would be more like Christ.
I'm not sure if it's working or not. In fact at the moment, I feel confused and weak and messy. The constant strain of financial pressure means that I now have to look for a job, we're trying to decide on degree programs, career paths, ministry options, relationship tensions, and more. If being needy means staying on my knees, I told God long ago to let me have it. I probably should've just asked for a million dollars.
But He's more interested in shaping my character than giving me a comfortable existence. And whenever I start to whine about where I am in life, I muster up my faith and declare again, "I choose to trust You, God." Lately, I've been repeating that phrase over and over again. That's what faith is, anyway. Believing in something without seeing any evidence of it. I'm believing that He will hold my hand and walk me through this, one step at a time. And that's all I need right now. The peace of knowing I'm not alone in this. I choose to believe.