Courage to Trust

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

In the months leading up to January of this year, I chose a word to focus on as I met with God each day. You may remember from an earlier post, that the word I chose was “courage”. If I had known the full extent of what God was going to teach me about courage this year, I might have chosen a different word, such as “peaceful” or “blessing” or maybe even “joy”! However, courage it was, and courage I have learned.

For a variety of reasons, my husband and I had moved to a town unfamiliar to us. It was new and different, but not necessarily a bad place. However, during this time in this new environment, we faced several challenges. (…and I’m using that word lightly.) Trials, pain, confusion, loss and more, were the things that were placed before us. Mountains that seemed to be indestructible stood in our path, and, the enemy, being a resourceful foe, used our new location to amplify our feelings of loss by keeping us isolated.



It is so important to remain in fellowship with other members of the Body of Christ. God created us as beings that should lift each other up and support one another during times of trial.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) 

We can find strength by standing together. Knowing this, we searched for ways to connect. We longed to find a church home where we felt we belonged. However, for some unknown reason, that was not to be. As the darts from the enemy continued to assault us, we turned together to the One who guides and protects. I prayed for courage to face the circumstances that we found ourselves in, and though many days were extremely painful, God was there, right by our sides in the battle. The courage that He taught us, in the form of increased faith, strengthened us each day.

The unrest and isolation that we felt remained for many months and we knew we had to make a change. We felt that our move to that new place had been the wrong choice, but also knew that God has a plan in all things. We prayed for guidance, desperately asking God to show us what to do. We prayed for doors to be opened and for our hearts to heal. We prayed for Him to show us the way and to bring us to a community where we were supposed to be.

Several times during the year, we ran a bit a head of Him in our quest to know His will. And at each of those times, God made it known that we were to wait right where we were. He had something planned, but it wasn’t the right time to reveal it.

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

Looking back I can see that even while we were waiting, God was working. And as we waited, we learned to trust. It takes courage to trust. I think that was the crucial lesson God wanted to teach me this year.

Following the rejection of our daughter, I had to have courage to trust God. Rather than keep wondering why things happened the way they did, and why God allowed this huge loss into our lives, I needed to learn to trust that God had a plan. My prayers for her changed from “heal me” to “heal her”…and peace began to settle on my heart. I still feel the heavy ache of grief over what is gone, but I have gained courage to face that grief. Later, when the chaos concerning my mom’s health and mind confronted us, it took courage to release my feelings of guilt and responsibility for her care. I learned that to please God rather than people is a scary thing, but with God, the courage came to follow Him alone.

Then, amazingly, when things seemed the darkest, God opened a door. It was just a crack at first, but the crack was wide enough to let the bright light in which displaced the darkness that we felt. Once we acknowledged that God was in control we took a step of faith and a path became clear. Our steps seemed directed and purposeful for the first time in months. As God continued to open door after door, we could sense that He was letting us know our time of waiting was over.

And this brings me to where I am today. I am a more courageous woman than I was a year ago. My faith has grown and I am trusting God more each day. We have moved back home and are again fellowshipping with our church family. This is a joy that I can’t find the words to fully express. I am so thankful! The journey over these past several months has been a very difficult one. However, through it all, our God has been faithful. He has brought us to a place of strength in Him that is marked by courage learned the hard way. But, the hard way is sometimes the best way and I am thanking God for His perfect plan.

Trusting Him with courage,







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16 comments

  1. The words you ended with are such great truth Joan. But, the hard way is sometimes the best way and I am thanking God for His perfect plan." While your words may not be joy, you can see your joy with everything you share. He is faithful! Love you, friend. xoxo

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  2. Yes, He is faithful! I am so thankful for God's strength during difficult times...and, I am so thankful for the people He has brought into my life right when I needed them the most! Your support and prayers have been so encouraging to me - more than you know! Now, it is a new season and I am excited to face this new time with joy and strength!

    Blessings & love, Joan

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  3. Joan, This is beautiful truth. We do grow most when life is hardest. I often wish it happened while lying on a beach somewhere. :-) I pray to grow closer to Him, and the only way to do that is deal with the junk I want to ignore. I am reminded repeatedly that His grace is sufficient, and in that grace I will place my trust and hope for the future. I am so glad you are back near friends and enjoying your new home. I'm so thankful the Lord chose to cross our virtual paths. You bless me!!

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  4. I agree...a beach would have been nice last year! LOL But, I am so thankful that even (and especially) in the tough times, God grows us. When we depend on Him, rather than ourselves, He points us in the right direction! I'm glad we've met as well...You are such an encouragement to me!


    Blessings, Joan

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  5. I am more convinced that ever, Joan, that God allows us to go to the lowest depths in order to grow our faith and to gain a closer relationship with Him. While we are going through it, though, it is so excruciatingly difficult to understand that fact. Once on the other side of the difficulty, it becomes so much clearer. You and I have shared some similar experiences in our lives, friend. My heart is touched, and now encouraged (even that word has the word "courage" in it!), by what you have shared here! May you continue to be swaddled in the love and joy of returning back to your friends and faith community.

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  6. Joan, I am loving getting to know you, and this heart-wrenching post written to bare your heart and find God there, was a very special post to read. God certainly uses our trials as stepping-stones, doesn't he? I'm glad that at last, you have found "home" and know that you will find future challenges easier because of all the courage that has been infused into you because of these hard experiences. May you know God's deep blessings in your heart in this next season of your life.
    Love,
    Mary,

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  7. Joan, thank you for this sensitive post. You write so open and honest that I keep reading. God will help you through it. Whatever happens. He does what he promised. Our God is is a safe shelter and patient helper. I love your word. I chose this year the word JOY. But I feel unhappy about that word. This year my eldest daughter chose to ignore us. She lives her own, poor life. Without God. Without us. Similarly, our son. But I thank God for the Sunshine, the autumn colors, the friends around us and our three other children at home. I struggle with myself, but find peace in Him. Sweet hug.

    http://kostbaar.blogspot.nl/

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  8. Sometimes we learn more in the detours than in the straight paths. Nonetheless, they're not easy! But they grew your courage, so amen. When my mom had dementia, we had to make some very difficult choices as well. Looking back, I know in my head they were the right ones, but sometimes my heart still aches over them.

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  9. I'm so glad you were encouraged, Ann! God always has a plan, even if we don't see it. We can trust Him for the easy stuff and the hard! I'm so thankful for this relationship with Him that He has offered me and I'm gratefully fostering it each day!


    Blessings, Joan

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  10. Thank you, Mary! I love your stepping-stone example above. I have often thought that in trials, stones of faith are laid. Each stone for me represents an experience in life, a lesson learned and a step of faith. And each stone has carried me to a place of deeper fellowship with the Lord. Blessings, Joan

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  11. I'm so sorry that joy has been difficult for you this year. When our children turn their backs on God and on us, it is heart-wrenching, isn't it? However, I love that you are still looking to God and thanking Him for the beauty around you! Thank you for your encouraging comment and I pray that the peace God is giving you grows.


    Blessings, Joan

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  12. Yes, dementia is an ugly disease...especially when it alters the personality so much. Decisions can be difficult as we make the choices for our loved one's care, and doubts often linger. But, when we look to God, He'll always direct us! Blessings, Joan

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  13. Isn't it AMAZING how God works through our "One Word?" So glad that He has been there working through your circumstances. Thankful for your courage and joining our community, Joan. Much love to you today!

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  14. Thanks, Sharita! I'm going to have to be careful when I choose my "one word" for 2015 - LOL! Blessings, Joan

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  15. Such powerful truth. Some things just don't grow on the mountaintops. They only come about after coming up out of the lowest places. Asking God to continue to give m the courage to face my new reality.

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  16. I know He will, Barbie! New realities can be tough, but with God by our side, we can make it through! Blessings, Joan

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