A Year Full of Expectation

I chose expectation as my word for this year. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I chose this word.

Man, was I unprepared for what God had in store for me this year!

Here are a few things that I learned from this year full of expectation:

  • God doesn’t like to stay in the boxes we tend to put Him in.

This has been a lesson I seem to learn time and time again. I try to put God in a box of what I think He can accomplish or how I think He’ll heal me. Time and time again this year, I put God in a box, and time and time again, He burst out of the box doing more than I ever imagined. I sent out letters for Ukraine and within week…WEEKS…I was fully funded due to generous people. I didn’t expect to fall in love but I did. Ukraine wormed its way into my heart within minutes of touching ground. I finally got content with being in my corner of the world, and God put hospital nursing back on the table. Through an unintentional interview, it was like God was saying “Your story is not over yet.”

  • Bravery and expectation go hand in hand.

Living with expectation takes a lot of bravery. I mean, if you expect God to move, you have to say the next brave “yes”. You can’t expect to sit on your butt and wait-just wait-for God to do something. Living with expectation means listening to God and saying the next brave “yes” that falls in front of you. It means making plans, but holding them loosely as you expect God to move in them.

  • Rest is not selfish. It enables you to be your best self later in the week.

Rest. Self-care. In some circles, these words make people cringe. Honestly, 2 years ago, they would have made me cringe. It wasn’t until I was literally forced to slow down that I realized how necessary it is. My energy is like an opaque coin jar. I keep taking change out of it not realizing I’m close to the bottom until I hit a wall, get a TBI headache and I’m put out of commission for 24 hours. I hate it. I hate that I can’t do everything. I hate that I seemed to need more rest than an average 24 year old. I realized something this year. If I plan time into my schedule for rest, it doesn’t feel unproductive or a waste of time. Over time, my mentality changed because I didn’t view it as selfish rather I viewed it as necessary for me to be my best self. I couldn’t help the littles feel better if I was at the end of my rope.

  • My story isn’t over yet. Your story isn’t over yet.

I don’t know where you are or where your story has taken you. You may be reading this and you are on a mountaintop. God has never felt closer, and life is perfect. I’m happy for you. Cling to that feeling. Soak it in, and capture it to remember in the hard times. On the other hand, you may be reading this thinking “What has she got that I haven’t? Why is life so hard right now? Why is God so far away? Is God even good?” Don’t…and I mean don’t be ashamed of those questions. They are real. I’ve been there. All I can say is try and remember the mountaintop experiences. It may not seem like it but that God is the same God in the valley. This is why reading the Psalms is good-oh so good. David lamented about where He was but he always said “remember when…” You may feel like your story is over. I’ve felt that way many of times in the past two years, but GOD. He has redeemed what I thought was lost, and put my mind and my heart back together. 3 years ago, I begrudgingly settled for Akron, OH when I really wanted the ends of the earth, 2 years ago, I had no choice in moving back to Mansfield, OH. Today, I am realizing that God is up to something at MCS and in Mansfield. I am honored to be a witness to what God is up to.

This has been quite a journey, and I’m not there-wherever there is-yet. Thanks for walking this journey with me. This has been a year full of expectation. I started out the year hopeful, but depressingly realistic of where I was. I end the year overwhelmed with how God has blown those seemingly realistic thoughts of who I would be out of the water.


Life is Messy, but God is Good

I have problem understanding God.

I was just in a motor vehicle accident.  I was hit on the left side and I am lucky to be alive. God saved me for a purpose and I have not figured out why yet.

So many people were praying for me and even inspired by me. I didn’t ask for any of it but maybe God has a bigger picture in mind.

I hurt. My ribs were bruised, my pelvis and my lower leg and ankle were shattered, and my bladder was damaged. All in all, I’m lucky to be alive but I hurt. It could definitely be worse but it is hard to see God’s mercy when I hurt!

I know God is good but it is hard for me to trust that when I am going through so much. I feel obligated to understand God because of all He has done for me but God likes it when we are honest.

Sometimes, I do not think this is fair.

Sometimes, I think the future is unattainable.

sometimes, I think the road back to recovery is long and hard.

God likes it when we are real with Him because right now life stinks. I was in a good place before the accident. I had just gotten a good nursing job. I acquired a place in a newish city. I had just gotten to a place where it was just me and Jesus.

I have to work harder to get back to where I was previously.

Sometimes I understand Him like when I think about what He has done for me and how far He has brought me. I trust Him when I think about how He has already used my accident to bring Himself glory. A friend and I were talking about how many people prayed for me, supported me, and surrounded my parents in love. That is the way the church should be. I had people praying for me from different continents and all over America. That is how the church should respond, coming together in a person’s time of need.

I can’t be discouraged all the time and that is the key. I know for me it is hard to be positive all the time and most of the letters, visitors, and Facebook posts are all positive. I needed that at that moment or my parents needed that because they felt like giving up at times. There needs to be a balance of trusting God and grieving. You can’t lose your faith in God within your doubt.

Fundamentally, I believe that God has things under control and that He has a bigger plan for this tragedy but it is hard to see the bigger picture. I can see the ways God is being merciful in the little ways. The ways that are more evident. I even think that the fact that God saved me from the wreck, the fact that I had minimal internal injuries, and my fast progress show God’s faithfulness.

I trust that God has everything under control but I can’t see the bigger picture. Everyone can’t always see the big picture of what God is doing when you are looking forward. You can see what God is preparing you for when you look back. God is constantly preparing us through the easy times and the hard times.

It just frustrates me that I can’t see the bigger picture but I know God is good. Through it all, it is me and Jesus.