I had my heart absolutely crushed to smithereens on Wednesday. It’s amazing how a simple phone call can rock your world a little bit – and I know it sounds like I’m just being a dramatic girl. Maybe I am. But when you have your heart invested in something, when you’re nothing short of “all-in” but then that ‘something’ falls through – it’s devastating.
Over the past 6-12 month I have felt such an enormous tug on my heart. I felt certain that what I was feeling was God trying to lead me in a different direction. I am so in love with music and so invested in it, but at the same time, I am head over heels in love with helping others, leading them to Christ, being a light in the darkness of another person’s world – missions work. It has been there in the current around me – as I spend day in and day out studying classical music and pursuing what I thought was my dream – a full time orchestra or playing gig – it has been swirling just beneath the surface. And finally, I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
I am not one to be impulsive – but when an opportunity for missions work presented itself recently I took the plunge without a second thought. I felt a strong pull, a tug on my heart, my mind, and my feet to forge a path into unknown territory and see how God would use that path to alter, evolve, and grow my heart. I became (overly) invested in what could be and how I thought things would be. I gave my heart away to the plans I wanted for myself.
And then things crashed and burned.
For good reason. There was nothing unjust or unfair about the way things played out – I totally understand the numbers game, the money, the time, etc. There’s no one to blame or accuse or point fingers at – no one did anything wrong. But when I found out that I could no longer go on the missions trip I had been day dreaming about my heart felt like it had been shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. I felt so disappointed, broken, and…confused.
“God I thought you were leading me here. I thought you were telling me to do this?!”
Why am I now facing this dead end? I passed up summer music opportunities to make this trip happen and now the trip isn’t even happening?! More than that, I had romanticized and conjured dreams about this trip in my head and made it into this big, huge, thing in my heart and it felt like it had been yanked out from under me with absolutely no warning whatsoever – talk about feeling blindsided.
It felt like a hopeless end. I haven’t cried as much as I did after that phone call in probably a year. I called up my mom and dad and was barely able to get the words out from the hyperventilating in my lungs and the tears that were clogging my eyes. ‘Why God, why? I thought I had this right? I thought I was finally following my real dreams and pursuing the right thing?’
I felt angry, disappointed, let down, blindsided, hurt, and so many other things. It was like a boyfriend-girlfriend break up, except it hurt even worse in the moment.
As I slowly opened up and shared my pain about the situation with others, I had the wonderful opportunity of feeling SO MUCH LOVE. I can’t tell you how loved I felt. The pain was (is) real, but the love I felt moved mountains in my heart. The wisdom of the words from people older than me and the comfort they provided me was humbling.
And despite the pain and the disappointment (which still has not completely dissolved) I finally began to see and except that maybe my plans weren’t the same as God’s plans for me. Unfortunately there’s no better way to say it than: it just sucks!! It is awful to feel like your heart has been broken and to feel so abandoned by dreams you concocted for yourself.
But it’s comforting to know that I am loved regardless. It’s comforting to accept the things in life that I don’t know – and may never know. As I slowly adjust to the idea that my summer won’t look how I dreamed and imagined it would look, I am also realizing that it will probably end up looking even better. Even if that view only comes in hind sight.
You see, God has the ability to see the ENTIRE picture laid out before us when we are only allotted a small portion of the view. We may think we see things a certain way, but that’s because we see our life horizontally. God has the vertical, horizontal, diagonal, upside down, right side up view of our entire existence. What feels like and looks like a dead end to me, could be just a fork in the road or a sharp turn, or a closed door – but if I trust in God and put my expectations in HIS plans and HIS purpose for my summer (and my life) then I will know which direction to take when I meet the fork in the road, or how to make the sharp turn I may be facing, or where to go to find an open door instead of struggling mercilessly with the one that is closed and locked up.
Faith is facing the facts without being disheartened by them because we KNOW that God is greater than any problem or obstacle we may face.
Faith is facing the reality surrounding us without being discouraged by it.
Faith is trusting God’s hold on us more than we trust our hold on Him.
Faith is accepting that our circumstances or the situations we face may be out of our control but they are NEVER out of God’s control.
Faith is CHOOSING to focus on what God CAN do rather than focusing on what we can’t do.
Faith is asking God to occupy EVERY corner our lives and accepting that it may not look, feel, or be the way we want it to be or think that it should be.
Faith is believing that we fight FROM victory, not FOR victory…and living our lives as witnesses that the battle has already been won.
And so I’m realizing that I am head over heels in love with Jesus Christ. I know what I believe, I know the truths in the bible, I know my heart – although He knows it even better. I know that my vision is limited and that I don’t have the ability to see the trajectory of my life and His plans for me. I know that there is so much out there that I don’t, and can’t possibly ever, know and I am coming to terms with that. Faith, for me, looks like accepting disappointment and allowing God to put my heart back together because I KNOW that He has something magnificent planned for me. My life is not futile or pointless, and that include my summer. God has something big planned for me – something I can’t even see or know yet.
I am choosing to have faith in knowing that God will place me exactly where I need to be, whenever I need to be there.
“Every storm is a school. Every trial is a teacher. Every experience is an education. Every difficulty is for your development.” -Rick Warren
2 Corinthians 4:17
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”