I feel like I've said that more this weekend than anything else.
Friday and Saturday, it was to a friend going through his first heartbreak, which anyone who's been there knows is an absolutely awful feeling. They're trying to be friends, because they were best friends before they dated, but he felt like she wasn't there for him at all, so I kept reminding him that I'd be here for him no matter what. He's my friend, too, and every time I looked at him I saw tears in his eyes, so I couldn't help it. Everyone needs someone to be there for them in times like this.
Today, though, was something totally different. Our series right now at church is called "Great Words of the Gospel" and today's word was faith. Pastor Sean started his sermon off with one of my favorite verses: Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." He talked about what faith is and is not, including that it is not an easy button guaranteeing a life of pleasure and easiness (he even had one of those Staples Easy Buttons that say 'that was easy' when you press them).And honestly, I don't even remember most of what else he talked about, because the entire time he was talking, I felt God speaking straight to me about my migraines.
At the end of the service, he said that anyone who needed to talk about something, so I asked to speak with him, and when we got in the "green room", I told him what's been going on with my migraines and my mom's job and everything. How I know and believe that God is here but it feels like He's just watching and not working. Which is absolutely contradictory to the very nature of God, I know that, but this is what emotions do to you when you're in the middle of a tough situation. Pastor Sean reminded me of one of the songs we sang this morning (below). That song was really when I started feeling God speak to me.
Never once have I been alone. I wasn't alone even when I didn't believe God existed. He has carried me through so much, so for me to think that He's going to stop carrying me through this is ridiculous and underestimates the unending love He has for me. He is here, He is working, and even though it doesn't make sense to me now and I'm frustrated with this pain, He is going to save me again and redeem this in His perfect timing.
So many of my friends have been telling me over and over again that the Lord is using this to draw me closer to Him. 103 days feels like a long time to me, but it's less than a blink of an eye compared to the eternity that I will spend with the Father who has held me through things much scarier than this. Pastor Sean defined faith as "confidence or trust in a person or thing". If I claim faith in God, I have to trust that He will resolve this situation....in His time, not mine.
My Father is here every second of every day, giving me the strength to get through each day one day at a time, despite the pain. He is here in the hearts of my friends, giving them the words they need to remind me of the Truth when I start to feel weak. He is here, deepening my trust in Him and teaching me to loosen my grip on the reigns of control a little more each day.
John 16:33 "I tell you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (Another one of my favorites.) He has overcome. He is here fighting for me, keeping his grip on me to keep me out of the pit of despair that was my life for far too many years.
In the piece I wrote for the church's new website, something I said was "There have been several weeks that I have left the service on the verge of tears because I had been hit with the realization that God had used Pastor Sean to speak right to me." This was one of those weeks.
And as if I needed any more proof of just how faithful the Lord really is, the guy who gave me a ride back after the service agreed to give me a ride to Small Group each week, as my previous ride became unreliable and I would like to go every week and was quite frustrated that I'd missed the past two weeks because of having no ride.
Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did You leave us on our own. You are faithful, God, You are faithful.
I am not alone. And my friend, neither are you.
Matt Redman - "Never Once"