By Claire,

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God”
My favorite missionary of all time once said this, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Everyone has their one main thing that is hard for them to surrender to the Lord. For some its money, for others its possessions, or sometimes just their title. Mine is people. My care for others runs deep, but its something that is very hard for me to surrender to the Lord. I fear the pain of losing people that I love, so naturally I wander from the Lord and try to hold onto them in my own way. God has been growing my heart a ton in this area recently.

Eight months ago I was in Hawaii studying at a Bible College. I had recently gotten into a relationship with an awesome guy. That relationship challenged me to dig deeper within myself. I grew frustrated because I realized that I did not know who I was. I remember praying to God, “If you eliminated all of the people that I care about in this world that I don’t know what would be left to me.” For weeks, I prayed that he would teach me who I was so that I could share that person with others.

Well, God answered my prayers in very unexpected ways. He took me home away from all of the people that I loved. For the first time in my entire life, I was alone with my own thoughts and my own heart. In all my life, I had never taken the time to process things on my own because I was too distracted trying to help other people’s situations. I learned that what I once viewed as selflessness was actually its own form of selfishness.

My mind had never been so vulnerable in all of my life. So, naturally, Satan found it to be the perfect opportunity to tear me down. First, with a fear to be abandoned, unwanted, or unheard. Then, with doubt, doubt that the Lord had a perfect plan for me. Unbelief came next. My trust in the Lord was shaken when lies had overtaken my thoughts. Worst of all was my unworthiness. I wanted to run and hide from the Lord, because I didn’t deserve his love, and I could never bring him anything more than the mess within me. I was broken. At times I have wanted to hide completely from people because I was ashamed and other times I have placed my hope on things of this world rather than in Christ.

The last three weeks, God has opened up my eyes and given me the ability to see a glimpse from his perspective. I have learned how incredibly powerful and alive the word of God is. I have learned how crucial it is for me to first be grounded in Christ and be fed by him daily before I give all that I am to others. He has challenged my trust in him by taking away important people from my life, but I have found great peace in resting in the hands of my Creator.

I have been a fool in trying to hold onto things that I cannot keep. I have let fear distract me from the only thing that will not fail me. It is easy to wander from truth even when you know it in your heart. In this challenging season I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the Lord’s faithfulness to me. Being vulnerable is difficult. Having to leave people you love behind is painful. Instead of crumbling, I chose to make lemonade by seeking the purpose in it all. I used this time of uncertainty to learn about myself and my God.

I have experienced his grace and love in ways that I have foolishly ran from my whole life. He is a gift that I cannot lose, a gift that will not fail me, and a love that I can pursue eternally. How awesome is that?