- All my life I have struggled with trusting God.
- Trusting that He truly has plans of good and not of evil.
- That He knows the beginning and the end.
- That if He cares enough to provide for the birds how much more me?? (Matt 6:26)
When I lived in Scotland things were getting tight. I was heading into my second semester, and had no idea how I was going to make ends meet. I was getting desperate. This was my dream. To live in Scotland. Surrounded by gorgeous green, fresh air, community, adventure, history sprinkled in my everyday life, diversity, excitement and what felt like a spiritual promise land. But as time went on it felt like my dream was going to be taken away from me as my funds dwindled.
I starting thinking if I can’t pay rent then I am going to lose my place as Stirling Uni, then I will lose my place at UNM, then I will lose my scholarship, if I lose my scholarship then I can’t get my degree, if I can’t get my degree then what am I going to do with my life… Now looking back I laugh at my tendency to get ahead of myself. I was starting to make myself sick with worry over issues that had not even come to pass, but my silly mind naturally goes down this spiraling path of negativity.
Well, part of God providing is us busting our butts. With my particular visa I was able to work up to 20 hours a week. So I created a resume and went all over town desperate to get working. Weeks past not a single call back. Finally I went down to the Starbucks on campus. There I met the supervisor and came home with a job. Ok… time for a small breather there was now a bit of income.
Time went on money was still tight and I was struggling in my new job. I was working hard, cleaning all the time, being friendly and yet it seemed as though my supervisor always had something to complain about with my work. I was getting so discouraged. I was a spoiled brat! I never wanted to work while I lived in Scotland. I wanted to be free to enjoy the experience, but I couldn’t do that and now my job was hard. Life wasn’t fair right? Again I am a perfectionist who unrealistically lives in a world where nothing hard every happens regardless of the size of the struggle.
I began to wrestle with what it meant to trust in the Lord. I’ve been told my whole life to trust Jesus. To have faith. Not to worry. Theses are all good and great things, but you know what was missing? The How.
How do you trust Him? What is the application. What steps could I take to reduce the stress… I was speaking to my sweet and wise friend Kirstin about it, my struggles and worries, and she said you know how you trust God? You THANK Him. You thank Him for everything He has already provided you. Be it small or large give Him thanks. When you list those thanks you realized that He has far provided your expectations and needs.
So simple, yet so profound. I wanted to do this. To stop stressing over every single issue that would come onto my plate. The next day I was determined to live this out. I was feeling poorly (a pretty bad case of a sinus and throat infection that was causing me issues breathing, but hey I got to experience a Scottish hospital and healthcare in the middle of the night… I digress), I wasn’t getting the grades I was used to and struggling with an assignment and when I got to University that day my supervisor found me and complained about my close the night before. I was feeling so discouraged. But I stopped and thanked Jesus. I thanked Him that I was able to take the bus to school that morning instead of having to walk in the rain, I thanked Him for giving me friends that loved Jesus I could lean in on, I thanked Him for the time I already got to experience in Scotland, for the countries He had allowed me to travel to, I thanked Him that I HAD a job regardless of the difficulties and so on I went.
Then I took it one step further. I went to speak to someone about how much my accommodations would cost me for the rest of the time, pulled up both my Scottish and American bank accounts to know exactly how much I had and I sat down to create a new budget with what I had. I wanted to write it out all on paper to Jesus. If I knew what I needed anytime I began to worry I would just tell God you already know and it is in Your hands. I didn’t know how He was going to work it out, but I was going to trust that He would. So I set myself up in the library and started to write a letter to God. And on February 25, 13 God showed Himself strong.
My letter started “Lord I don’t know what to do… ” I shared my heart to the Lord about my battles at work, my health and my worry. I gave Him the amount in my accounts and because I’m sassy reminded Him that the pound was expensive and my meager dollar wasn’t holding up. At this moment I didn’t have enough money in my accounts to pay for accommodations for the rest of the time not including food, phone, electric, bus pass and numerous other bills. As I went on I began writing some of my thanks down to the Lord, and told Him this struggle was His and no longer in my control. I was in the middle of signing my usual closing ‘I love you, Carissa’ and got interrupted. With only the letters LO of love written out a woman sitting across from me got my attention.
She said hello then said “so this may sound strange but are you a Christian?” I told her yes and she said “Ok I believe God has told me to tell you something is that weird?” I laughed at her and responded I have been writing God a letter for the past 30 minutes so honestly no. Then she handed me a piece of paper and scurried off before I could open it. This was the contents of the letter (February 25, 2013)
Know this is a bit weird, but, God has told me to tell you!
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, rely not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
He is a faithful God. x”
I started to ugly cry it up right there in the middle of the silent floor of the library (talk about getting stared at!) But I didn’t care. God met me exactly where I was at! In that moment He used someone willing to speak so clearly into my life. You know what else. I was in the middle of telling God I loved Him and He already beat me to it. Before I told Him, He was already working on ways to love me! He loves me even when I don’t deserve it. Even when I am struggling with doubt, when I am acting spoiled and when I don’t take Him at His word. He began loving me before I was born. He loved me at the Cross. Before I even had the chance to sin He LOVED me. And He LOVES you.
God is good. God is love.
I want to encourage you to trust in the Lord with all your heart. I am in a season once more of trust. The Lord told me to leave my job with out having anything else lined up. I was told to leave without knowing the direction I am supposed to go. With money flying out of my account, and not so much going in I am feeling anxious and discouraged, but the Lord reminded me of this sweet moment today. That He will provide and He will lead me where He wants. You know what else?? That last semester on paper I should not have afforded to stay in the United Kingdom. However, God out did Himself not only was I able to stay and work it out He blessed abundantly. So much so I had the funds to afford a trip to Northern Ireland and could bless my sweet friend Kirstin to come with me so we could spend the week with our group of friends before I had to leave the country. And that trip still to this day hold some of the sweetest memories I have.
Long story short life is uncertain. But God is ALWAYS faithful. When you’ve lost your way He will make your path straight. And if you never trusted the Lord, and you are hesitant to trust something you can’t physically touch I challenge you to rethink that idea. I say that God physically showed up in the moment I needed Him most. He wrote me a letter back in that third floor library. You want to feel God then let Him in and give it a shot. He is waiting to love YOU!