2016-11_lt-wontletyougo

Doubt is real.

It can plague our hearts and tear us apart like a disease.

Trust me, I know.

Recently, I was told that my life is “goals” (true story), but within, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Each new year brings a new set of challenges, each new challenge brings an onslaught of doubt and fear.

I think this certainty of life dawned on me first in High School when I struggled to understand why no guys ever asked me out. But then, when a boy did come along, I doubted God’s plan for intimacy within marriage hardcore.

I’d love to say the doubt ended when High School did, but that would be a flat out lie. Doubt continued in college when I faced an intense bout of homesickness and understanding my parents divorce. And, oh adulthood… don’t even get me started. Sometimes, I feel like I’m always climbing the steep part of the mountain.

Trust is a Choice

Even as I write this list, I wonder if I’m crazy. How could I even attempt to tell you about trust when I just exemplified such doubt in my life? How could a God who is all good also be all powerful? Especially if I don’t see clearly His intervention in these difficult moments…

Well, He is good and all powerful, yes, but He is also wise. He knows exactly what we need.

We doubt when we struggle to see the greater picture. Which is pretty much always, right? And, it’s difficult to understand why we only see a bit of God’s grand ol’ plan. But, God does have a master plan. And, like the rainbow across a darkened sky, He gives us small consolations through every situation – if only we pay attention.

Be Open

This year, in the midst of the anxiety and doubt that comes with trusting God with a new pregnancy after experiencing a miscarriage, all of this truth came to a profound apex with a simple song. In my darkest moment of uncertainty, as though God began to add color to the dark horizon, a glimmer of steadfast trust penetrated my life with these lyrics…

If you could let the pain of the past go
of your soul
none of this is in your control

If you could only let your guard down
You could learn to trust me somehow
I swear, that I won’t let you go

In that moment, even despite all the unanswered questions, the fear, the anxiety, I experienced a profound peace and joy. I knew that God had everything in control.

It was a springboard (albeit, a very small one) into a new understanding of God’s faithfulness.

Let Him Lead

In that moment, I was reminded that there is great freedom in allowing God to take the reigns. I was afraid, oh so afraid, that this new pregnancy would result in another miscarriage, but what good would it do to try to control the outcome? Simple logic tells me I can’t. But, God tells me countless times and in countless ways that He can. He promises us that He will protect and provide for us always (Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 6:25-35), but we have to take that first step of faith in order to allow Him to prove His faithfulness to us.

When your fear is currency
And you feel that urgency
You want peace but there’s war in your head
Maybe that’s where life is born
When our facades are torn
Pain gives birth to the promise ahead

In that moment, I was reminded to tear down the facades in my life. They will do me no good. I needed to tell the war in my head that peace is greater, love is stronger.

There ain’t no darkness strong enough that could tear you from my heart
There ain’t no strength that’s strong enough that could tear this love apart

In that moment, I was reminded that God is not going to abandon us in the darkness, but will be our light to guide us through that darkness. (John 8:12)

Not coincidentally, many call the child you have after a miscarriage a “rainbow baby.” As much as our culture uses this image to identify with protest movements (I’m sure you’re thinking of one already), it truly is a profound symbol ordained by God. One that signifies something beautiful — a promise fulfilled, a prayer heard. (Just read Genesis 9:12-17.)

This is the real truth that must accompany us on this journey of life. Sure, the realization that “bad things” happen is important to come to grips with, but even more so, we must clench to the incredible freedom that comes with recognizing that God will never abandon us. Even if we lose sight of Him, He never takes His eyes off of us.

Let Advent Refresh your Soul

What is your darkness? Where do you desperately need peace, trust, faith? In what area of life do you need to be refreshed, renewed, restored, relieved? As January 1st approaches – the beginning to a new year, a fresh new start – offer God a prayer of abandonment to His plans, and embrace the lyrics of this song as a love letter from the giver of all good gifts.

But, above all, learn how to trust Him somehow. He will never let you go.

Editor’s Note: The lyrics highlighted in this blog are from Switchfoot’s song, I Won’t Let You Go.

About the Author

Rachel Penate

I am a Wisconsin girl at heart who has a slight obsession with the band Switchfoot. When I was little I dreamed of becoming a professional figure skater, but instead found myself studying Education. Currently I reside in the great, yet terribly hot state of Arizona, and serve as Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Life Teen. I love most: my job, the ocean, running half-marathons, my sweet daughter Cecilia, husband Robbie, and above all — my Lord. Follow me on Instagram @r_penate and Twitter @LT_rachelp.