When shadows fall on us, we will not fear, we will remember.
When darkness falls on us, we will not fear, we will remember.
When all seems lost, when we’re thrown and we’re tossed, we’ll remember the cost…
We’re resting in the shadow of the cross.
-Shadows by David Crowder Band
This week has been really, really hard for me. Honestly, I’m trying to hold it all in. I’m trying not to show everything getting to me…but, I’m having a really hard time with my anxiety this week. Several times this week, I’ve wanted to pack up my bags and head home. I mean, I live 20 minutes away. It’s no big deal to go home for dinner. But, I’m struggling to stay on campus/with friends/etc. because I know that part of my fear of the unknown will only be conquered by doing so. I’m insanely scared. There’s something about putting my trust in people and opening myself up to friendships that is scary. I’m not great about being vulnerable with people. I like to keep control over the situation. I’ll tell silly stories that make myself look stupid all day long but when it comes to letting people into my life, I want to close those doors. I’ve been really convicted of this during my bible reading this week though. It seems like God is constantly trying to tell me “It’s okay Lauren. I’m here for you. No matter what happens, I will always be here.” I know that I can place my faith in him. He has shown himself constant throughout the ages. He’s kept covenant after covenant even though his people failed to keep up their end of the bargain. As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD to help, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.”
My God is always with me, even when I feel alone, like I’m trapped in the shadows. It may feel like the world is swallowing me up, but I know that my God will remember me. I know he’s faithful. I’ve got this big book with tons of stories in it to prove it. It’s hard sometimes. I feel like it shouldn’t be. I mean, I’ve been incredibly blessed to make some amazing friends here at HC. I know that God has great things planned. I love it here, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s hard once the newness of the situation has worn off. It’s hard when you reach that point in friendships when you realize, “Wow. I want to trust this person.” Because be giving someone trust, you’re also giving them the opportunity to turn you down and completely destroy you. As one of my favorite worship leaders, Chris Tomlin, sings “Lord I need you, oh I need you. Every hour I need you.” It’s an ongoing thing. It’s not like I’ve suddenly figured it all out. Every time I think I’ve finally smartened up, I get struck down again. Every time I think I’ve figured this God-thing out and am giving it my everything, I find a tiny place in my heart that I want to hold back on. Like, I don’t mind trusting God with my career. I don’t mind trusting him with the little things, like what I’m going to eat tomorrow. I struggle with the big things. Like, who I’m going to marry. Like, what I should be doing to make the best of my season of singleness. Like, what he has planned for the bigger outcome of my life. It’s these times I feel trapped in the shadows. It’s times like these when I want to run back home to my family where it’s safe. Home is safe. It’s a zone that I can be free to do whatever because they will love me no matter what. I’m realizing that God fits into this. While I’ve said for years how God loves me all the time, no matter what I say or do, I’m finally realizing the true meaning of the words. I can be independent from my family. I can live a life where I don’t go home every weekend. I can find a new “home”. While it’s not exactly the same…it’s similar. It’s finding a “home” with God and finding my rest and peace in Him. That’s the only way to escape the shadows and find true joy.
And that’s my sermon for the night. :)