Last week I was scrambling.
Typically by this point in the 8 week publishing cycle, I already have all the content planned for the upcoming issue of Gritty Faith.
But this time I had holes.
I didn’t understand why. You see every single time it just falls into place. I don’t go looking hard for contributors, rather I trust that the right person with the right story will be ready to share it… and God will prompt the connection.
So last Tuesday, I was sharing my reservations with my mom. Trying to sort out how to best fill this next issue.
Add on top of this I was really nervous as I was gearing up to release my very first art collection for sale on our website. And between the combination of the two, I just wasn’t sure I had it in me. I began questioning if God was still providing.
And then, less than two hours after that worry-filled chat with my mom, I got a text.
Someone close to the project had been working on my behalf during the very moment I was fretting… and I had no idea. She had a contributor for the magazine that was ready to share was it a good time? (Ummm, yeah!)
And then in her next text she out of the blue mentioned she adored the painting I posted on Instagram that morning.
What?! She adored the art that I was planning on offering for sale the very next day that I had not yet told anyone about? Talk about an affirmation.
Now, just one week after stressing out, I am working on the Issue 5 layout with overflowing content and have sold a healthy number of paintings from my first collection.
Often, when it feels like we are doing it all alone is actually when God is working the hardest on our behalf. The way He moves mountains usually involves a lot of moving pieces and people that we do not always see. He is not only softening our hearts for the work He is prompting us to do, but He is working on the hearts of others to help us with our work.
Hanging by my bed is a version of this quote from Susie Larson,
"May you find a moment of peace and quiet tonight to thank God for all that is right in your world. May you have the presence of mind to release your cares and worries to Him. May you have the gritty faith to grab a firmer grip on His promises to you. And may you wake up in the morning knowing that you’ve gained ground even during your sleeping hours because God is always moving on your behalf. As you entrust your whole self to Him today, He’ll get you where you need to go tomorrow. Sleep well tonight.”
I could go on and on about this quote but this phrase right here is the gold today: Knowing you’ve gained ground even during your sleeping hours because God is always moving on your behalf... the weight that phrase takes off my shoulders gets me every time.
It’s a reminder that this big audacious dream is not all up to me. I can take a break. I can rest when needed. I am not working alone.
He is working on my behalf.
So whatever it is that you are struggling through today, that problem that you just cannot see the light on, know He is working on your behalf too.
Assign it, delegate it, and quite micromanaging it. God’s taken on the task.
And if you feel him working on your heart, prompting you to help another, share your story, or open up in a new way, listen to it. Chances are He is trying to use you to fulfill someone else’s need.
Faith Over Fear.
When will this be over?
How many times have you asked yourself this lately? When will life go back to normal? When will this be over?
When Angie was fighting her abrupt battle of cancer, I cannot even tell you how many times I asked myself that same question. When will life go back to normal?
When will I no longer have to triple check that no one in my house is sick before swinging in for a quick visit?
When will we no longer have to time our outings based on the best days of health in between chemo rounds?
When will we no longer have to have lengthy conversations at bedtime to calm our kids fears and anxieties?
When will we be able to just be normal again?
When will all of this be over? And the reality is, it still isn’t over.
Even when it was over. Even after the last chemo treatment, and her last breath, and the last prayers as she entered the gates of heaven, it still was not over.
It just transitioned. It morphed from one strange feeling to another. Life has never been quite the same as it used to be.
It will never be over. Because the old normal no longer exists. It was rewritten by a new normal.
In life there are so many times where we transition into something different. A new job, a new baby, graduation, marriage, even divorce. And often all of those changes bring a shift with them that comes with a sense of hope and excitement for potential.
But not when you had no control over the circumstances. Not when your change was brought on by something you never in a million years wanted to happen.
This time right now is odd. Everything feels uncomfortable. We are trying to abruptly fit ourselves into boxes that we never expected to be in. Trying to express our love and empathy over phone calls and video chats instead of with a hug. Trying to do business in unconventional ways instead of face to face. Trying to teach our children remotely from a kitchen table with their siblings instead of in a classroom with their peers. It all feels forced and awkward and we ache for things to just be normal once again.
But it is in this space of hard things where we really find out what we are made of. It is in this space where we develop gratitude for the things we once took for granted. Here we actively seek out joy and hope instead of expecting it to show up in front of us.
Things will likely never go back to the old “normal” because by the time we are through, we will no longer fit into that normal. The old routines will no longer be a comfort for we will have outgrown that space as we enter into our new normal.
Nothing will ever be exactly as it once was, but there are ways to seek joy as we grow into our new surroundings.
Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of The Norway Center Store and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. My husband Kyle and I live in an old general store, converted to residence, with our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard dog. You will usually find me with paint on my clothes creating my next repurposed piece.