“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10 (NIV)
I’ve spoken so many times about how I didn’t fully trust God for way too long. I asked Him over a decade ago to please teach me how to trust Him, but to please be gentle during the process. Because I didn’t trust Him fully, it was really scary for me to ask Him to teach me that lesson.
Over the past ten years, He’s taught me I had nothing to fear. God has answered that prayer in so many wonderful ways. However, I’ve found that usually in order to learn the important lessons in life about faith, trust, patience, self control – I have to have lots of practice so I can grow in these areas which is really what God wants for each of us. When we’re mature and growing into Jesus’ likeness, then God can start to really use us for the purpose and plans He created within us to begin with.
Seven years ago I was a wife and mother of three, still grieving our unborn fourth that was born too soon, staying busy juggling work from home along with everything else. Pretty typical. I knew that my purpose in life wasn’t to type for medical transcription forever; yet, I didn’t know what purpose God had planned for me. So I told Him one spring morning that I was ready. He could have full control of my life and I would obey. I had faith that He would do something great in our family’s life and I was ready to get started…
God heard that honest prayer from my heart and not a few weeks later started a journey of faith that has been anything but calm and quiet. He started by whispering to me to “finish my book” which led me to a writer’s conference the following fall. The conference resulted in my starting a blog which led to writing and self-publishing books. Once that was firmly established, I lost my medical transcription job due to it being dissolved. God used the experience and connections I had from writing to work for two separate companies… and I don’t believe His journey of faith for me is finished yet. He has been whispering to me some other avenues that He has invited me to walk down… and I am far enough along in the faith journey to believe that He will supply the experience and knowledge I need in the right time.
Has it been easy to trust Him when I was told in 30 days I would lose my job without any income to replace it? Did I mourn a little when I was set on traditionally publishing fiction books and God instead led me in the direction of self publishing nonfiction instead?
However, I have seen His hand in all of this, every single detail. He allowed me to work for a medical transcription company for ten years to practice my grammar and editing skills (not to mention learn how to type fast) skills I needed to be hired by the two companies I worked for after I lost my job. In addition, while I wanted to write fiction and be traditionally published, having to learn the field of self publishing and learning to love writing about my life and the ways God is working in it has opened up other doors and opportunities for me as I continue down the path God has placed me on. I believe that in His time, God will give me back fiction writing but not until He’s ready and I’ve fulfilled the other areas God has called me to.
However, to see the good in the last six years, I had to give up control of my dreams and desires. I had to choose faith. I had to trust God’s plans were the best for our family and our lives. And they are! While they haven’t been easy, they have definitely been the best.
You want to know the icing on the cake? He’s not done. While we have had good throughout the journey, I know that He’s not finished yet and there is more “good” to come. Why do I know that? Because I believe God has more in store because we’ve been faithful with the assignments He has given us so far.
So, what I would say to that person on Facebook who felt hopeless and as though she was not one of the few selected persons to have good come from evil is this. It starts with choosing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It starts with trusting Him enough to give Him complete control over her life and letting Him lead without getting in the way. It has to do with finding the promises in the Bible where God speaks about provision and healing and peace and believing those words are meant for all of God’s children. It’s all about choosing to see from the perspective of faith. Is it easy? Not always. But it’s the best choice.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018