You Are Not Alone Part 2

Last week I was chatting with a friend and in the middle of the conversation she looked straight at me and said, “You wrote a blog post a while back called You Are Not Alone {HERE}. That post hit me right where I was at. After I read it I hid my face in the kitchen cabinets and cried and cried.”

As is often the case when people mention back posts, I couldn’t remember what the post was about or why I wrote it, so as we talked I made a mental note to go back and read it. About 24 hours later, I took a few minutes and read the post. AHHH…now I remember it. Right.

The post was written in January 2010, over two years ago. 2010 was literally one of the worst years EVER, by far the most difficult year of my Christian walk since being married. The third year of our marriage was the worst year of our marriage as a couple, but 2010 was my worst year Spiritually. I remember feeling like I was dying the entire year. It was horrible. Just before I wrote You Are Not Alone, I had something happen to me that was CRUSHING. Completely, 100% life killing. Sucked the strength right out of me. It was bad. And You Are Not Alone was the first blog post I wrote after that happened.

After my friend said it ministered so much to her, I went back and read that post and then skimmed through the posts written throughout 2010. WOW. There were so many posts that were deep, heart pouring posts. The kind where you KNOW God was speaking to me and I was communing back with Him. The kind where you KNOW I was walking with God and He was walking with me. The kind where you can FEEL His presence while reading them. But you know what hit me as the most amazing thing regarding these posts?

I had no idea how lucky I was.

I was walking through the fire and all along, even though I couldn’t see it, or feel it, God was walking right there with me. Holding my hand. Putting His arm around me. Hugging me close. I never really knew it. But I never gave up hope that He was there. Never. I kept seeking, I kept walking. I kept my head up high. I didn’t give up. I didn’t let anger and frustration overwhelm me. I kept on going.

You know the crazy thing? After I skimmed through those posts of 2010, I found myself almost wishing for that time again. I remember thinking, “I may not be perfect, and I may have failed, but I am going to chase HIM with everything I have inside. I refuse to give up.” And it worked! While I was treading water so desperately, sometimes dipping under and sputtering for breath, I kept my eyes on HIM. And the result was a year of beautiful communion with my Creator… a time of growth and strength. A time that I can look back on and remember HIS presence with me…ALL.THE.TIME.

The other day I was chatting with a very, very dear friend who is going through a very, very tough time. We talked about when you go through rough patches in life, you automatically think, “ok God, what did I do wrong to deserve this?” But I have been thinking the last couple weeks about this..and the more I think about it the more I am convinced: We don’t do anything wrong. Although there are times when God allows bad things to happen to put us back on a right path if we aren’t following him, I’m pretty sure that most of the time moments like these are God ordained so that we can KNOW His power. So that we can Commune with Him. So that we can draw closer to our Heavenly Father.

This morning I was reading through Daniel {again. One of my favorite books of the Bible} and right in the first chapter I saw this verse:

“…Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God.” Daniel 1:1-2

HUH?!?! You mean GOD handed over his kingdom to Nebuchadnezzar?! {yes, I am aware there is a whole back story here regarding Judah, but I am mainly thinking about Daniel and his friends here}

In the next passage of scripture we are introduced to Daniel and his friends and begin to follow their captivity. If we read the first scripture right, we understand that GOD handed Judah, which included these amazing young men, over to Nebuchadnezzar. How could that be? Why would God do that?? A little ways down we find this verse:

“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning…” Daniel 1:17

So…God DID allow these young men to be handed over to the enemy. BUT…He didn’t do it without giving them them tools. Tools they would need to survive and be SUCCESSFUL in this new kingdom. He did not leave them alone and useless. He moved them into this difficult season to show them that HE was near and that HE had a better plan for them.

If you continue to read through Daniel, you find many more encouraging stories of Daniel and his friends being protected and taken care of. Tested, yes. But always protected. And in the process their faith grew. Just like mine did in the year 2010. During that year, my faith grew leaps and bounds. No longer did I rely on my pastor, or my pastor’s wife or my friends to help me find the voice of God…

I found it for myself. 

I’m not sure what some of you are going through at this moment, but I can promise you this…God is with you. He knows where you are at. And He desires that you look to Him for your help…not yourself or anyone else, but HIM. He allows things to happen in our life, not to teach you a lesson, or make you suffer, or punish you, but He allows things to happen in our life so that we can become CLOSER to Him.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in the path of righteousness for his names’s sale. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell int he house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23

Much love to you dear friends. Thank you following along in this journey with me. I pray for you all. Big hugs. xoxo