I have no idea how in all of the time I’ve had this blog, I never once have written about this. In all my life, this is one of those stories or moments that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. So beginning of the story, rewind to September of 2015, soon after the start of my senior year of high school, I was sitting in my car one night after youth group, trying to get myself ready to drive (for some reason it is a whole process for me) and I was just feeling super emotional so I probably looked like a dying cat or something. Out of nowhere my youth pastor knocks on my passenger window and so naturally I unlock the door (why wouldn’t I?) and that night from there was one of those nights that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. He got in and asked me that simple question that a lot of people ask, “Are you okay? You seemed a little off tonight…” but you know those people that that question isn’t just a surface question, it’s real. It was one of those things where I had no idea how dejected I’d been feeling until someone asked me about it. I’ve always had people in my life who ask how I am and really truly care about my life but my current youth pastor is one of those people that is constantly ready to jump into your struggles and reach out to you when nobody else notices that anything is wrong. So anyway that would have been probably my second week of my senior year of high school, my best friend had just left for college, and my school life was just a mess…(boy I had no idea back then). I remember as soon as he asked that question I just broke down in tears and tried my hardest not to make eye contact, knowing that it would only make crying worse. I think I gave him an “I don’t know” answer at first but eventually all of my fears and burdens that that season of my life had brought me to came out, looking back those seem so small but he still cared- one of my favorite things about people like him. And then, the climax of the story, he gave me this word…he said, “God put this word steadfast on my heart for you” and he explained that through this season of difficulty and change that I was just beginning, his prayer for me was that my relationship with Christ would remain steady.
That night paved the way for what would be such a long, faith testing year for me spiritually, I had no idea then that God would use just a word to repeatedly bring me back to Him when life got hard. And He would do it over and over again, every time. It definitely didn’t stop in that car in September, I couldn’t stop thinking about it on my tear filled drive home, or the next day at school or for the months that would follow. Senior year turned out to be hard, really, really hard but I continuously found myself back at Jesus’ feet. There were days were that wasn’t so easy and there were days when the last thing that I felt worthy of is the steadfast love that God had for me.
Steady, steadfast, unwavering, constant, faithful, loyal, resolute, unyielding, inflexible. All of these words mean the same thing, all of them describing our God’s love for us, all of them beautiful examples of how our love for Him should be. But that one word, steadfast, I kept coming back to it. I don’t think that there was a day that went past during that time where I didn’t think about that word. It sort of became a word that my youth pastor associated with me during this year. And at first, I didn’t really understand how this word meant so much, after all my life wasn’t that much in shambles.
Eventually, that word made sense. Some really, really taxing situations came up in my life and I understood why this word was such a burden on my heart. It was real, I was being tested and this question that kept coming up was, am I going to remain steady in my faith or am I going to let the things of this world drag me down with them? I can’t really speak for what other people saw in me during that time but I know most of the time I probably looked like I was in pain, I mean there was a spiritual battle happening in my life but I really can’t imagine what my life would have looked like if that September night didn’t happen. Maybe there would’ve been another opportunity to share that word with me or maybe not. I can’t help but think how different those circumstances would have looked had steadfast not been such a big part of my life. I wish I could just vomit out the whole story and just be raw and real but I don’t think that’s how to best share this testimony.
There were days and weeks throughout the journey of my last year of high school that I couldn’t pray, I couldn’t even open my Bible because I just couldn’t bear the truth, I couldn’t bear to face God, I couldn’t understand God’s plan and that was hard. But you know what? I still don’t understand God’s plan, somedays it’s still a struggle to have that desire to open the Word or pray but I’m choosing to fight my way through the jungle that God has sent me through. And I’m trusting that God has a purpose for every trial, every struggle, every dry season, every abundant season. My prayer for anyone with a huge burden, for anyone walking through a trial is that you would rely fully on God. That you would keep your eyes set on God, let Him be your foundation, your solid rock. I’m not going to tell you that the process is easy but it is worth it, if you choose to walk through it, you will come out of it changed.
There are so many places in the Bible that mention that word steadfast, book after book, verse after verse, most of them either in relation to how God loves us or how we are to be in our relationship with Christ. From Genesis to Revelation are these constant reminders and I wish I could include every verse with that word in it but that would make for a very long post I feel.
Genesis 39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
Psalm 147:11 But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Isaiah 63:7 I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
But I think it’s just so important to put your struggles out there, if you’re like me maybe you can’t share the whole story but remember that your testimony is a message and maybe that message will bring someone to Christ. Don’t be held back by what makes you comfortable. Honestly this last year has been one of the most uncomfortable, stretching, faith testing years but I would not have it any other way. I know that every moment has built me into the person that I am today. Remember that God is right beside you throughout it all and He is fighting for you.