“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
I thought it would be appropriate to start with a quote from this great man who we are honoring the legacy of on this day. But, I also think this sentiment perfectly sums up what I have been learning the past few weeks.
Ever since high school, having faith has seemingly been easy for me. It’s not that life had necessarily been unchallenging – that would be further from the truth. It’s just that my faith was the only thing I had to cling to when my circumstances seemed insurmountable.
2017 was a different kind of challenging. It was like living in a dessert. Miles and miles of sand and dry heat stretched before me with no sign of relief in sight. I had hit a dry season, where nothing was going the way I thought it was supposed to. I was beginning to think that God had abandoned me here in this dessert. My struggles, my doubts, my insecurities seemed so big to me that I thought maybe they were too big for God too. In writing this out now, it sounds ridiculous to me, but I was so overwhelmed by all of these emotions that I didn’t understand where God was in all of this.
So, I did the only thing an independent, take no help, show no weakness girl like me knows what to do and I tried to forge my own path and figure my life out on my own. I put so much effort into trying to make my life look put together and into trying desperately to control circumstances that were way out of my control that I started to feel like I was going crazy. (My friends and family may debate that I had already gone crazy before that but that’s beyond the point)
The harder I pushed, the more confused I became. I no longer was in this dessert all alone, but I was all mixed up in this dessert and unsure of which direction I had come from and which direction I was headed towards. I had lost my vision.
“Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
Over and over again in the book of Joshua, we see the words that express that God is with Joshua and the Israelites. God does not abandon Joshua when life gets hard. He does not leave Joshua to fend for himself against his enemies. I began reading the book of Joshua at the beginning of the month and I am already blown away by the number of times that God has expressed that He. Has. Not. Left.
With social media, marketing strategies, even just walking down the street, it is so easy to get distracted by what everyone else has and what everyone else’s life looks like. My confusion began the moment I let myself become so distracted that I forgot that God was walking beside me. I felt like a complete failure for making it all this way to Washington, D.C. for grad school only to find myself questioning everything I had always known to be true and everything I thought I knew about myself. But I have come to the realization that all this confusion has come from me fighting against myself and trying to kickstart my life all alone.
“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-15
The truth is, I wouldn’t be in Washington D.C. if it was not for God’s provision. I would not be writing this blog post from this beautiful city at this moment if it was not for God’s grace because I probably would have left a month ago. But I am still here, and God is still good. Though I know I often forget it, the truth is God is still here with me. And when I write in my journal and say thanks to God for all that He has done for me already, I am reminded that God has not abandoned me in my suffering, in my doubt and in my dry season and He has not abandoned you either.
Faith is messy and hard. It’s not something that makes your life easier, as I may have thought in the past. But I now know more than ever that I need to continue to cling to my faith, ESPECIALLY when I cannot see the whole staircase because I really do want to see what is at the top.