Have you ever wanted something so badly that your heart actually ached for it? Have you ever wanted something so desperately that it was all you could think about? Has it ever grown into such a big deal to you that you allowed it to alter your day-to-day life? Maybe not in big, obvious ways, but ways that you would see if you were looking hard enough.
If you answered yes to any of those questions, I have something to say to you.
Whether it’s a desire God has put in our hearts, a dream we wish would become a reality, an opportunity we want to be given to us, or anything else under the sun, I think we’ve all dealt with this at some point in our lives. Perhaps it’s something you’re even going through right now – I know I am.
In this season of my life (and some previous seasons too), I’ve got (had) my heart set on this one thing; this one dream of mine that I’ve had ever since I was a little girl. Something that basically manages to control a lot of the things that I do and the way that I do them.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity (I thought) to move one step closer to that dream – one huge step closer. I was thrilled. However, I was reminded by a close friend of mine that we should never go into anything blindly, and especially without the Lord. She encouraged me to pray about it, and I did. I spent around two hours in deep conversation with God because I realized she was right – if God wasn’t a part of what I was about to dive into, then I knew that it would eventually fail.
I prayed things like, “please help my family adjust to this change in my life if it’s your will, Lord, and give me the right time to bring it to their attention.” Then I said, “Father, I just pray over this whole thing. I pray that if this is something you have planned for me, that you would bless it and guide me through every step I make. If it’s not something that you see fit for me to pursue, then please show me, and help me accept it and be okay with it.”
What happened next was definitely not something I saw coming, nor was it something I wanted (at the time, anyway), but it was for sure something I needed.
I brought this new opportunity up to my family when God presented me with the right time to do so, and they took it far better than I expected them to. Everything was going perfectly – God had answered each of my prayers that I prayed that day, and I was ecstatic at how smooth it all went.
Then, all of a sudden, it was gone. The step that I wanted to take so badly towards that dream of mine had completely vanished into thin air, and I was going crazy. I was all kinds of unsettled about it and confused on every level of my brain.
Thoughts kept popping into my head like, ‘what had happened? I prayed about it more seriously than I had prayed about anything else; didn’t God know that? Couldn’t He feel this longing in my heart? Didn’t He know that I spent every day thinking about this dream I had? I knew he did, but was He just going to rip a rug out from under my feet and leave me there? Why would He do this? What did I do wrong?’
Remember that friend of mine from earlier? Well, I confided in her about what was going on in my head (shoutout to her by the way, for putting up with me while I was practically exploding on the inside) and she said this: “Dae, you’ve prayed about it. You prayed about your family taking the news well and they did, and that’s so wonderful that you were honest with them about what was going on in your life. You gained a closer relationship with them through that. Plus, you spent nearly two hours just pouring your heart out to the Lord – that alone is amazing and beautiful just in itself. Maybe that’s the good that comes out of this whole thing.”
It took some time, but I finally was able to see where she was coming from, and to understand that God had heard my prayer from the very beginning – that’s why this opportunity was pulled away from me. I know now that He was protecting me from something that I couldn’t see, just like He has done in the past.
When I was in the middle of that “no,” from God though (I call it a no because it was something I thought I wanted, that He knew I didn’t need), a part of me felt like I was being punished. Like God was withholding the one thing from me that I wanted, just because He could. I wouldn’t have admitted that to you at the time, but that’s how I really felt, whether I knew it then or not.
But Lord, please forgive me for that because I was so incredibly wrong. That was the devil telling me those things and I was choosing to start believing them. That was, until God got a hold of me and reminded me of the truth – which is what I want to share with you today.
When a person says no (or anything else for that matter) there is an entire world of possibilities as to why they could be saying it. We don’t know why certain people do or say certain things; we can’t see inside their hearts – only God can do that. And as humans, our emotions, thoughts, behaviors, intentions, and so much more are constantly changing, which can ultimately lead us to making the choices we make.
But when God says no, we can know of full assurance that God is doing (or saying) what He knows is best for us, whether we can see it in the moment or not. God is good and He sees all things, and we don’t have a reason to doubt otherwise. Look at everything that he has done for His church (that’s church as in true Christians and believers everywhere, not just inside a certain building), this country, and so many other, countless people.
I know well from experience that saying it and truly believing it in your heart are two totally different things, but still. If we’re looking – and I mean genuinely looking – over our lives and all around us for His blessings and protections, we will see it everywhere. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and packages for each and every one of us, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they are there.
Below are some verses in the Bible that I feel are comforting words during situations like these. Feel free to share with me some that are encouraging to you as well!
• “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:27-28 KJV
• “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.”
Proverbs 19:21 KJV
• “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalms 46:10 KJV
The truth of the matter is this: God doesn’t say the things he says without a good reason. He doesn’t tell us no to punish us, or just because He can. He doesn’t say it because He thinks it’s funny or to watch us squirm in discomfort. He doesn’t say it to play a joke on us or to make us hurt. If God gives us a no, that means that He’s got something else waiting for us around the next corner. Something bigger and better than the thing we thought we wanted and fought so hard for. It means that His plan and our plan for our lives look entirely different from each other. It means that ultimately, no matter what anyone says, does, or thinks, God is in control and we have to remember that. God is and has always been holding the whole world in his hands, and in this world, here we are, worrying and stressing over things we cannot change – over things that God never meant for us to try and take into our own hands. And if God is holding this world in the palm of His hands, that means that He’s holding us, too.
Another thing to keep in mind is that just because we want something, doesn’t mean that a). it’s God’s will and b). that we’re going to get it. First, we must take it to the Lord and be sure that it is part of His plan for our life. If it is, great – let’s continue to pray about it and ask the Lord for guidance. If not, we should be reconciled to that, knowing that God does have a plan and a specific purpose for each one of our lives – one that may affect others around us in ways we don’t understand.
That’s not saying that if God has put a desire on your heart, then He’s not going to fulfill it – that is not at all what I’m getting at. What I’m attempting to get across here is that just as (in fact, even more so) a earthly father would look out for their child and do what they think is best, our Heavenly father is constantly looking out for us too, because He does know best, and He can see things that we can’t. It’s up to us to have faith in Him and what He can do.
I believe He’s calling us to trust Him, and to trust that His plan for us and the rest of this world are far better and different than anything we could ever ask or think. And as far as what’s going on in the world right now, I haven’t got a clue as to what’s going to happen after all of this Corona stuff is over. Truthfully, I don’t want to think about it, because when I do, anxiety starts to eat away at me. Instead, I want to pray. I want to pray for you, your faith, this country, it’s leaders, and everything else going on in the world right now – seen or unseen. I don’t know what the future looks like – none of us do. But I do know that whatever that future may hold for you and I, God is already there.
I don’t know that any of this made sense, and I know that this post isn’t written perfectly, but I’ve had these things on my heart for a while now and have been wanting to write them down, but was waiting on the Lord to help me put it all together. I hope that somewhere in this post you found a bit of encouragement and if not from here, from somewhere else – whether it’s through the words I type or through someone else’s. I pray that you and your family are staying safe and healthy amidst all of this chaos going on, and I pray that you’ll always look to the one who is in control of all things.
God bless, and remember that Jesus loves you.
P.S. How’s life? What are your thoughts on this topic? Is there anything you think I should try writing about? Let me know!