Dear Seventeen-Year-Old Me

Dear Seventeen-Year-Old Me,

I know. I know your world is shattered, but I promise you, things will get better. I know that right now it doesn’t feel that way, but it’s true.

You’re going to cry yourself to sleep so many nights. You won’t always.

You’re going to wonder if your heart will ever heal. It will.

You’re going to wonder if there is anyone else out there for you. There is.

You are going to come out of this stronger.

Because you are not defined by your relationship status. Your life does not revolve around another human being. Your world will be put back together when you start wholly trusting in the One who created it. Don’t settle because you’re lonely; don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Live your life. It gets better.

Photo credit: unsplash-logoOlaia Irigoien

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The Other Side of Trust

In our walk with God, we are told time and again to trust God. This is a concept that I feel that I’ve gotten a pretty good sense of. I know that God will provide for me, I know that I need not worry (though sometimes I still do) because He holds my future, I know that if I seek Him He will make paths clear for me and I will end up where I need to be.

Recently, though, I encountered a different side of trust that I hadn’t really thought about before. A person in my life was facing a lot of issues in their life and it was clear to me that the problems they were encountering were coming from the fact that they were relying on themselves and not on God. There were issues of anger and doubt and uncertainty in their life, and they were frustrated as any of us would be. But I knew that their relationship with God wasn’t being nurtured, and this is where a lot of the problems were stemming from.  It was as obvious to me as a stop sign is red. But they couldn’t see that the stop sign was red. I was getting so discouraged. I just wanted to scream that the answer was right. In. Front. Of. Them. But you can’t make someone see something. You can’t make a blind person see the red stop sign.

So finally, after weeks, months maybe, I just said, “God, I have got to stop trying to fix this myself. I can’t make them see. But You can, and I know that You will work in their heart.” And I stopped trying to fix the situation. I didn’t stop encouraging them. I didn’t stop praying for them. But I did stop making it my responsibility to get them to understand.

Later that very day, they told me they realized they hadn’t been trusting in God for awhile and that they’d been neglecting their relationship with Him. It was almost like God was saying, “See, Brandi? You weren’t trusting Me either.” I knew that I had to take my hands off the steering wheel in my own life, but that day I realized I need to trust God in regard to the other people in my life. I realized that I do in fact have a part to play: to always act in love. But my part is not to be Fix-It Felix and make the problems go away.

It makes me think of a commentary I heard of Lauren Daigle talking about her song “Come Alive (Dry Bones),”and she says something along the lines of it’s not our job to judge the prodigal son, but to pray and intercede on their behalf.

We have to trust that God is working behind the scenes. We need to be open to Him working through us, but we have to remember that He is the ultimate healer, not us.

Notes on Exodus 16

I thought I’d share my notes on Exodus 16 from my Bible Journal.

“Sometimes God delivers us but we are so short-sighted that all we do is grumble like the Israelites in the desert. We don’t see the big picture, how much better it will be for us once we are out of the bondage of sin – or even just a bad circumstance – even if we face obstacles after.

When we complain, we are complaining against God and the life He’s given us – or the situation we’ve put ourselves in due to sin. Either way, complaining doesn’t solve the problem. It just makes us bitter.

Moses told the Israelites not to keep food until morning – not to hoard. They needed to trust God because He was going to provide. We need to trust in God and His ability to provide for us.”

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Photo Credit: Omar Prestwich