February 12, 2017

Endurance

Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. 

For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Nw the just shall live by faith, But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in Him. Hebrews 10: 35-37

Life’s a waiting process.

A couple whose pregnant waits nine months for their child to be born. They wait to see them grow up and become an adult some day. As they wait, they wait on many other things in between. They wait on their child’s first birthday, they wait on their first word to be spoken, is it “mom or dad?” they wait on their babysitter to show up and take care of their child while they go out for dinner, and wait on their food to arrive at their table. They wait on their waiter to hand them the bill, they wait on their car to heat up before heading home. They wait until their gas tank is almost on empty so that they can refill, and wait again. There are so many other aspects of life that require us to wait, but do you see how much we wait without realizing we’re waiting?

When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to begin high-school, start my first part-time job, go off to college and move out of my parent’s house, fall in love and meet my husband, get married, have kids, find a good job. But as I grew up and started to accomplish some of these things that I couldn’t wait for, I began to realize how much I wanted to go back to being a child. Back to elementary school, where everyone was a familiar face and we all got along with each other, back when the only”stressor” I had was how I was going to do my hair the next day or if I was going to be the the bravest amongst my classmates to wear shorts to school the minute it turned Spring. As a child, I had such an incredible imagination and creativity with what I did that there was no way my future would turn out to be miserable. No matter what I had gone through as a child didn’t phase me, because I had faith in my future being absolutely wonderful.

Then someday, somehow, my life began to shatter. I slowly began to break, piece by piece until finally I came to the conclusion that I was no longer a faith-filled little girl, I was a broken-hearted, faithless young woman who needed her faith to be restored. As I laid in my bathtub, contemplating each and every wrong turn I had made in my life that turned me away from God, I asked Him “God, why me?” He said to me that night, “Sara, I’m with you always, it’s you who turned away from faith in Me” I knew something was wrong, that I needed to get my faith back, but on a much more deeper level because the faith I had as a child didn’t stick with me throughout my teenage years, I had lost it through many different tribulations and adversities that I slowly withered away from the Lord Himself.

So I said to my parent’s, we need to go to church again. And this time, I was serious about church. My goal wasn’t to have the same church-life as I did as a child because clearly that didn’t have very much of an impact of my life. All it did really was turn me away from who I thought God was: judgemental, demanding, and always wanting me to be perfect in every area of life.

But here’s the thing, that’t not the God who saved me from what I thought was right for my life. That’s not the God who says in His word “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” no matter how many times I’ve taken the wrong turn in life. Yes, I may have spent years trying to be someone I’m not, years trying to live up to the world’s standards of success, beauty, happiness, and so on. Yes, I have made some really silly decisions because they didn’t involve God’s input, which ultimately resulted in me doing something totally different than what He had planned. But guess what? He still made it work.

He took something so broken, so completely and utterly destructive (eating disorder) and turned it into a beautiful opportunity to draw near to Him and ask for forgiveness. He literally saved me from physical and spiritual death. If that’s not a reason to shout and praise His name, I don’t know what is! On top of that, he provided me with the right people, the right resources, the right directions to get me where I am right now.

In January 2015, I started college at Conestoga taking a health science course that would lead into practical nursing. Mid-way through the first semester, I  didn’t think I had good enough marks, so I wanted to drop out and start working to make some money and go back to school in September and try again. Was this God’s plan for me? Well, probably not, considering He says in His word that we should finish what we start to do, but I just didn’t have faith that I could finish with good marks.

So, I started again in September and ran into the exact same issue. Only this time, I didn’t drop out, I had a little more endurance to keep going with the program and finish it. When it came time to applying for the nursing program, I didn’t think I would get accepted because my grades weren’t the greatest and it was a highly competitive program.

After colleges had made their decisions to accept their applicants, I was not one of the people accepted into Conestoga. I told myself “Well, I get I wasn’t made t be a nurse” and began researching other careers that might suit my personality. Then one day, I ran into my friend who I met back in January 2015 at Conestoga, who told me to apply to her school for nursing in a city that’s about 3 hours away from my hometown. I didn’t think I would have a chance at getting in because it was way past the deadline, but I gave it a shot. A few weeks later, I received an email saying I had been accepted and the tears flowing down my face was proof of how much God loves me, no matter how many times I’ve messed up or taken the wrong turn.

Since the beginning of my faith journey, I’ve been recognizing how faithful our God is, especially when we just live by faith. Faith is for things hoped for that are not seen, and I can attest to having faith in things I couldn’t see at the time but knew that if I would just wait for it, God would bring it to pass. God would work it out for my good, and He does! I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned on my Christian journey is that, many times I hope for things that really wouldn’t benefit me as much as what God hopes for in my life. I always think I want something, but when I go to God about it first and ask Him what He wants for me, it’s often something totally different. I wanted to go to Conestoga college to complete my nursing program, but God had something different in mind. And so far, I can say yes Lord, I trust that You’ve placed me here for all the right reasons.

 

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