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Did You Forget? - How to Fuel Faith Rather Than Fear

Recently, I had my Miley Stewart summer moment. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you need to watch The Hannah Montana Movie. Trust me. Even you, boys. That film just does something to you.


Anyway. A Miley Stewart summer, in my opinion, refers to the return to your nostalgic roots. It's a chance to go back home - to the place that shaped and molded you. It's the return to one's true self - who you were before you ran away to chase your dreams and allowed life experiences to harden your heart. And typically, it's a shift from the bustling new city you moved to, back to the quiet country that raised you - a metaphor for the distractions that hinder your focus.

finding faith in the country

Isn't it ironic that I had my moment when I returned to New York from North Carolina?


Well, if you really know my hometown, then I guess it isn't all that ironic. Because I'm not from the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. I'm from a pretty rural jungle filled with cows and horses, where farmers' dreams are made of.


So, there I was. Back home, on a morning stroll along backroads I had so often driven, trained for soccer preseason on, and walked, sharing some of my favorite conversations with some of my favorite people.


This time as I walked them alone, letting Molly Rue sniff the freshly mowed grass, my eyes filled with tears remembering the aching prayers these roads heard on repeat, just a few years ago.


But before that memory came, earlier that morning, I had begun my walk in frustration. The looming disappointment and yearning for whatever God has next for me was thick around me. Distractions of issues at work, nerves surrounding current life changes, and the ache of unmet desires swirled in my mind on a seemingly endless loop. But as Chandler Moore echoed the chorus of "Make A Way" in my Airpods, I stopped.


My eyes scanned the familiar roads under my worn sneakers, suddenly remembering the ways that God had made. Here I was, walking in answered prayers, formed from tears that hit this same pavement just a couple of years ago, and yet, I had forgotten.


I forgot that I had once prayed to be where I am right now.
finding faith on the backroads

I forgot how lost and confused I had felt two years ago, and how I would listen to countless sermons and podcasts to encourage me - most of which were from the very church I dreamed of getting to go to one day. And here I am today, working for that same church - a dream I never thought possible, in a position I never imagined God would put me in.


Isn't it funny? How God will be weaving the details of your life together, and you have no clue what He's doing, but when you look back, you see His faithfulness so clearly? You catch a glimpse of His goodness and His provision in your past, which in turn, propels you with hope into your future. You're reminded that the same God that made a way before is the same God who can do it again.


The moment I stopped and remembered running miles and miles along these roads with those sermons blasting in my ears, and an unknown future ahead of me, I smiled and shook my head. I was so anxious during those years. I was so scared and confused and had no idea where God was taking me. Kind of like I am right now.


But I'm not scared anymore. Because when I choose to remember how God came through before, and how He made a way with intentionality, weaving every intricate and personal detail together, it preaches a secure hope to my worry, reminding it of Who is in control. I had no idea where God was taking me. But that excites me now. Because I had no idea how amazing it was going to be.


Can you find that moment in your life right now? What answered prayer are you standing in that you never thought possible? What part of your life did God bless you with that looks different than what you had originally asked for?


It takes intentionality to find these things. Everyone has them. Even if they're super small, they're there. Maybe you finally have your own apartment but you forget to thank God anymore because now you're praying for a house. Maybe you were given an opportunity to use a gift God gave you, but you stopped thanking God because right now, it's on a smaller scale than you thought.


At one point, some of these moments and circumstances that you're living in were part of your prayers. Maybe not in specificity, but they were nestled somewhere in your heart - a longing that you cried out for. But how easily we forget when we don't take time to remember, and rehearse gratitude.

finding faith in the past

I don't know what worry you're facing today, or what situation you feel like you've been stuck in, waiting for God's future provision, but I do know that simply praying about it without taking time to also remember, and give thanks for, God's past faithfulness, won't give you the peace and hope you need to move forward in faith.


I read a few of my old journals lately, and I laughed, shaking my head at the worries I wrote on the lines. Sure, they were real then, and I'm not discounting anyone's fears. I know it's hard when you're in the thick of them, facing the unknown. But when I look back, I can clearly see that God was always faithful. Every moment and every situation was part of His greater plan. No matter what my worry was, He always made a way.


And I would've saved myself a lot of panic attacks, bad attitudes, and sleepless nights if I had just reminded myself of God's character a little more in that season.


He's faithful. He provides. He sees the end from the beginning. He is already at work for the good of His purpose. And He is never, ever going to leave us hanging.


When I'm so focused on what I lack, I neglect the very provision that God has blessed me with.


When I fail to remind myself that God is greater than any situation I can currently see, I fuel the fear that paralyzes me rather than the faith that can propel me forward.


But when I focus on gratitude, intentionally remembering, and thanking God for, His faithfulness, I am training my soul to stifle its worry. I'm creating space for my focus to shift from what I feel is missing to what I could be missing in this very moment.


Even when we can't see a way, He already has one made.


Every answered prayer is an opportunity to give God glory. It's a position God has put you in for a purpose. Don't miss it because you never stopped to see it.

 

JOURNAL IT:

  • What is one thing you're worried about or waiting on God to answer? Bring that to him authentically.

  • And then: What is an answered prayer you're standing in right now? Thank God for it today, and let it be a reminder that He was faithful before, and He'll be faithful again.

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