Guest Post by Shelley Jarl
This year I will turn 50. Just like anyone else’s first 50 years, my first 50 have brought a mixed bundle of joy, sadness, laughter, and tears. The last 9 months, however, have tested and tried my faith in ways I could never have imagined and have been more difficult than any other period in my 50 years of life.
During this difficult time, someone asked me, “has this shaken your faith?” I will share with you in a moment how I responded to that question. First, let me tell you why I responded the way I did.
As I often do as I journey through the mountains and valleys of life, I have put together a playlist of songs which speak to me, songs to encourage me during a particular season. One of the songs on my playlist is “We Dance” (Bethel Music, Steffany Gretzinger). This song contains a line which when I sing it, I find myself praying it to the Lord. It states, “Finally ready now, to close my eyes and just believe that you won’t lead me where you don’t go.”
As I pray this line, as well as other prayers, I am learning to trust that regardless of what I’m going through, whatever trials life may bring my way, God will not lead me where He doesn’t go. And I am comforted knowing God is with me.
This is the kind of prayer which stretches faith. It is a prayer which helps us trust God in the very midst of the valleys of life and to trust He has a plan for our time there. But the story does not end in the valley, for God does not leave us there. We must also trust that God will lead us out. Can you say with confidence that you trust God will lead you out of whatever valley you are walking through?
Remember, the same God who led the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness, also led them out of the wilderness. The same God who led Joseph and the Israelites into Egypt also led them out. Though you or I may not be able to see it as we wander, deep in the muck and mire of our own wilderness, God will indeed lead us out of whatever situation we find ourselves in.
So, regarding my answer when I was asked, “Has this shaken your faith?” I was able to answer, “No, it hasn’t.” Because I know with confidence that God has been with me in the valleys just as He has been on the mountain tops and He has not, and will not, leave me in the valley or lead me where He doesn’t go.
Shelley Jarl, author of “The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink in Here,” is a mom, Christian, entrepreneur, business owner, author, and lover of all things creative. She strives every day to embrace the abundant life God has given her. As a self-proclaimed warrior, she has put on the armor of God numerous times to overcome tremendous adversity in her life. She can be found living down the end of a ridiculously long driveway, in the mountains of New Hampshire. As proof of her insanity, she owns Weimaraners. But, most importantly, she is a sinner saved by a loving Savior, Jesus.
Shelley can be found online at www.becauseliada.com where she encourages people to find their God-given adventure, whatever that looks like for them, and live out the abundant life God intended. She can also be found at www.faithfulbloggers.com where she helps Christians connect and get equipped to impact the world with their faith story.
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