"Faith is not believing that God can; it is knowing that God will."
When I was younger, I felt God's presence in my life very strongly. When I read the Bible or Bible stories I knew that the God of those stories would be there for me just as He was there for them. When I sang during praise and worship, I knew God heard me. I didn't question or doubt what He was going to do in my life, because I just KNEW He would provide. But, getting older that feeling didn't always follow me. My heart became hardened to the things around me; I grew bitter, angry, and I wanted to be the one in the control. I started believing the negative comments in my mind and not feeling good enough to accomplish those dreams that God had placed in my heart. I took everything out on those closest to me. I was very good at making myself miserable and so down for no reason at all.
Tonight, all of that changed. I'm sorry if this turns into one really large ramble blog, because no words will ever be able to fully express the love of God and what exactly happened in my heart at night number two of the renewal. The worship was soothing to my soul and the message was just what my heart needed to hear. The things of my past should not keep coming up and defining who I am right now in this moment. The worries that give me anxiety and make my heart ache are not worth it, because God knows my future. I released it all to God; I am forgiven for all of my mistakes, failures, and not defined by the words that people have spoken to me and about me. I am stronger than that...scratch that, my God is stronger than that and I will prevail. I am no longer a Jacob, I am an Israel. And tonight, it was about reminding myself that God will pull me through whatever trial or season I'm faced with. I don't need anyone else or anything else to fill that void in my heart. I need my Father.
The worries of my mind that I walked into the worship center with faded away. My heart that was heavy and burdened turned to instant peace, because I KNOW God has incredible plans. So incredible that the adjectives I'm using to describe Him are doing no justice. Each night that I go, I know I'm going to get a little more insight into my future and what God has planned for me. All of these things I've been curious and anxious about. Now is not the time to stop believing; it's time to fuel those doubts and fears into faith in the fact that God WILL provide. It might not be what I want to hear, and this time I'm well aware of that. But, I'm more than okay with it because this time I believe that God has something extremely beautiful waiting for me when the time is right. PATIENCE. It is worth the wait.
I went down in front for prayer tonight by the group leaders and it was wonderful. I was shaking and definitely felt the Lord standing right beside me. Closer than I've probably ever felt Him before. Then, I cried with my friends and prayed some more. As one of my friends was giving me a hug, she whispered, "God has some incredible things planned for your life," and in that moment I saw one of those things that I've been praying for for so long. And it's very comforting to know that I don't have to worry about any of it; It's out of my hands and into God's. He knows what He's doing and I trust Him this time....that's what's going to make all the difference. I'm still on such a high from tonight that I'm shaking and just feeling like I want to jump up and down. It's like this new excited energy; like falling in love for the first time and saying yes to Christ for the first time all rolled into one.
There's so much else I could say, but it won't do any good. Sometimes you just need to experience it firsthand and I pray that each of you who reads this will find God. No matter what you've done, what you're going through, or what you're afraid of...just give it over to God. I promise that your life will be so much better for it. It's never too late to turn your life around or to start over for Christ...He's all about new beginnings and do overs.
I hope and pray I will be able to go tomorrow night as well to continue this journey of freedom and confirmation from God, because I need Him now more than ever.
*"Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my soul, I live for you alone. Every breath that I take, every moment I'm awake...Lord, have your way in me."*