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Sometimes life hits you with a double whammy, a triple play or a straight out free for all. Circumstances knock you off your feet, take your breath away & cause you to wonder if life will ever be good again.

That thing you’ve waited for isn’t going to happen. That broken relationship you’ve prayed over may not be restored, after all your hoping. You feel as if you might not get up again. So you cry out. To your family, to your friends, to anyone who’ll listen. Or, you curl up in a ball with no energy or desire to talk to anyone or do anything about it.

Well, maybe you don’t. I do. I have & I still tend to. What I wish I did more consistently is to cry honestly & lay myself bare before God – full of hope.

He knows it all. He can take it. Even so, I often forget that. Then I feel like giving up.

To believe or not to believe

The last two weeks have been emotional roller coasters to an extreme. The enemy crouched near & I let him. I let his destructive lies penetrate because I equated my circumstances with overall defeat.

I’ve been through cycles of anger & sadness while begging Him to move on my behalf. Begging for circumstances to change.

Please dear God, just this one thing. Can’t you just let this go right? Can’t we move forward in a season without all this ridiculous pain? I’ve had enough.

Dark places have become too familiar and seeing them again only threatens to make it darker, because guilt. Vicious cycle this is.

Why, Lord? I shouldn’t be here any longer. I’m not meant to stay here. Why won’t you answer {what I want} & change things?

As I curled up & sobbed the other day, feeling woeful and despondent, I heard Him answer.

I did NOT like His answer. Not one bit.

I heard Him say, “So, you’re done doing things my way now?”

What in the world God? My tired heart wants to cry more. I’ve spent so many years & given up so much of myself. I’ve trusted you unwaveringly. At least, pretty much, right? I’ve cried out in the midst of agony believing you were still good. You weren’t going to give up on bringing your promises to fruition. Now that I want to give up, you ask me this?

Softly, without anger, without hesitation, he continues to let those words hang in perpetual reverberation.

“Are my ways not good enough for you anymore, Jolene?”

Properly reminded, I was faced with a choice. Either His ways are better, or not. Either I live like I believe this, or I don’t.

Believe.

My one word for the year 2015.

I thought it might be a bit challenging. I had no idea it was going to kick my you-know-what.

In fact, I planned to have my first beautiful post of 2015 all about my word & how I was going to live it out. Instead, I was given the {ahem} opportunity to be tested in it & learn my need to a greater degree.

I was so focused on my worthlessness that I forgot His worthiness.

Friends, we do need to believe in His goodness, His greatness & His ways over our own. In order to live like we truly believe we need our faith to grow. And faith? It grows according to the Word. We need truth, His truth.

One of my grandest passions is to encourage others to live out their calling, by and for the One who calls them. This requires living like I believe. This requires my faith to increase.

Do you need your faith to grow as well? Pray with me.

Lord – You tell us in your word that faith comes by hearing & hearing by the Word of God. Give us eyes to see & ears to hear you & your truths over the lies of the enemy. May we equip our hearts by storing up your Word & may the Spirit bring your truths to mind when lies threaten to cover them up.

Your ways are more than good enough. We want to do things your way & see your glory shine through them.

We believe. Help us in our unbelief.

with love, Jolene

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