Yesterday, with one phone call, my whole world crumbled.
I was not ok. I’m still not ok.
But my middle name is Faith. So I called my pastor on the way home yesterday. And this morning, I gathered myself as much as I could and I went to the Word. I was still in shock and barely present and definitely numb so I pulled up YouTube and searched for Elevation Church. I pulled up the sermon I missed in the Maybe, God series that I missed and clicked play. Because You knew exactly when I would need to hear that message. Because You, my God, have perfect timing.
Steven Furtick started with: “I can walk into darkness and light it up because the light of the world lives in me.” I immediately started going woah now, no I can’t, not right now. I am in shock. I am confused. I don’t understand. I am disappointed. I am defeated. This weight feels heavy. I can hardly breathe. I can’t even function. I am not ok. Well, obvi Steven was not finished, so he continued with a definition of my middle name: Faith, which means sure reliance, and he defined it as confident reliance. All I was thinking is I’m sure I got no confidence or reliance right now. At this point, I am almost scoffing at the message, because this must all be some sick joke, at the same time, I know nothing is funny right now.
But I kept watching, as Steven further explained that Faith is an expectation to know even if the sequence of things don’t make sense, You live outside of time and outside of my sequence. I thought I was doing what You wanted. I thought I was living inside of Your will. He continued stating: I don’t have to live in suspense, I live in expectation that You are good. I have goodness and mercy as the gatekeepers. I have security.
Excuse me, while my doubt screams, what security do I have right now? My mind has completely shut down on me. Lord, have some patience with me as always, ok? Because I know I sound awfully pessimistic and broken, but I am listening. So, Steven continues preaching, I’m still barely even there. He says the way You grow our faith is to disappoint my expectation. Well, check. Then he said the way the devil uses disappointment is to destroy your faith. Well, check. Jesus ya girl is confused. I know in my heart that disappointment grows my faith, but this feels like it’s being destroyed. I got to get it together.
So, I keep listening and Steven says my faith does not rest on me. And I’m all like: well thank goodness. He continues with You need our faith to rest not in whether You fill our agenda or not. You taught in parables so Your wisdom couldn’t be ascertained by the human mind so Your Spirit could reveal the unlearned, not the wisdom of this world. So much of what You do is hidden, but we spend so much time in our invisible prisons in our minds, trying to figure our whether You are good, whether life makes sense. Steven said: I can’t figure it out like that. I can’t figure it out through self. He said: it’s hard to see the light in solitary confinement. As long as I’m in the prison of what I thought, I can’t be a part of what You are doing.
Then Steven closed with a prayer. As if the prayer was just for me and my circumstances, he prayed: they got hopes up so high, they made a fool of themselves. He said: it’s You, I need to make sense of my life.
So, here is my prayer. This one is going to hurt. Steven may have been preaching about John the Baptist and he may have been preaching in North Carolina about a month ago, but you and I both know, he was also preaching about me, today, in Alabama. I still believe in your faithfulness. I still believe in your truth. I still believe in your holy word. Even when I don’t see, I still believe. I don’t even know what to pray for right now. Clarity maybe? Truth? Answers? I don’t know what I am supposed to do now, Father. I don’t know anything anymore. I feel like a fool. The world around me crumbled and it feels like there’s nothing left but uncertainty and storm damage. Yet somehow, I am still here, I am still standing. I built my life upon the rock so even when it’s storming, I’m still standing. I am soaked, head to toe. I am being tossed around by the wind. I am getting hit with debris. I am most definitely not ok, but I still believe. I feel lost, but I am not lost. I am yours. I am your child. I know who I am, because I know who You are. I have no clue where to go from here or what to do, but I know your light lives in me. I know you live in me. Lord, help me to know you’re near. Father, I love you and I am so so so terribly sorry. I don’t even have words to process this right now. The only thing I can say is I still believe. You are still good. You are still merciful. You are still King. You are still sovereign. You are still the way, the truth, and the life. You are still my life. Even when my world crumbles around me, You are still my everything. You are all I desire. You are all I need. You are my security. You are my safe place. You are my sanity. You are my sure reliance, my confident reliance. You are going to walk with me into this darkness and light it up. You are near. You never left even when I couldn’t see. You are still in control. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.