time passes

They say hindsight is 20/20. After situations and circumstances in our lives pass, we tend to see them more clearly and understand them a little bit better. We might have a better understanding of why they happened, we see how we can react in the event that we go through the same thing again down the road, we identify the ways in which we were shaped or taught by them, and we just have a better view of them overall. For most people, this is proven to be true 100% of the time, and for me personally, I get smacked over and over again with this concept.

A while back, I wrote a blog about finding comfort amidst chaos. I was in a really weird transition between my second-to-last semester of school and my last summer as a college student. This particular transition was so confusing and hard because I didn’t know how exactly I was going to be spending my last “summer break” before my final semester of college. A ministry internship had not been working out as planned, and I was in a state of what I’d like to call–Haley crisis..meaning that I literally was so upset and worked up about something that might not trigger those same emotions in other people. I was so scared of staying in Indianapolis for the summer without definite plans. No job, no internship, no worth wild plans…nothing. To steer clear from the boring parts of this story, let’s just jump ahead 3 months later..taking us right to the point in the calendar where I realize that summer is ending and I head back to school in a week.

…that point in the calendar is now…the beginning of August and in about a week I head back to finish my very last semester of school…

And so this is when I look back and see what that weird and scary transition from May looks like through August’s lenses. I can’t say that I am outrageously smarter than I was 3 months ago, or that I will never be scared of an awkward transition or decision again..but I can say that The Lord cares about awkward and weird transitions. Looking back, I remember how concerned I was with the possibility of not being used in Indianapolis to serve God and those around me. How silly was I to be worried about something like that!?

The Lord placed more things in my lap than I could commit to. At points I was baffled by all of the opportunities that He had given me and couldn’t even believe all of the doors being opened. I was given opportunities to spend time with and teach/learn from an awesome group of middle school girls at my church and share with them the importance of evangelism and some experiences I’ve had with sharing the Gospel. I was given the incredible opportunity to meet and babysit the sweetest of boys who, every time I am with them, they remind me of the simple pleasures of life. I was given, on what seemed to be silver platters, countless opportunities to serve and invest in a few people in the Indianapolis area who, without purposely doing so, humbled me and reminded me how precious life is and to live it to the fullest. And on top of those things, I was reminded through a series of events that we are not entitled to everything we tend to think we are entitled to. We are not entitled to good health, we are not entitled to wealth and success, and we are certainly not entitled to writing our stories in our own ink. Our lives are written by God and sealed with the precious blood of Jesus, and everything else we try to compensate with and strive for does not prevail. Even in striving to live out God’s will, we will be redirected and transitioned in ways we would not imagine until it is 3 months down the road and we get to take a nice look in the rear view mirror. 

A reoccurring theme has been flooding in my life lately. “Time passes.” No matter what emotions we feel, how stressed we get, or how confused we feel in life’s transitions and unknowns…time passes. If this is true, why don’t we learn to use this pass of time in only positive ways? Three months ago I was pretty confused and stressed out..well now I’m about to have a head-on collision with the most awkward and tough transition in my life.. post-graduation. YIKES. And once again, no job..no plans..no clue where I am headed. As much as I sometimes begin to fall back into my scared and confused Haley crisis, I have to remember what this time and transition will look like 3..6..12 months from now. The time will pass, so I just have to remember what I have learned and hold onto God’s promise of faithfulness. God is faithful in these transitions. Even while I have NO clue which way to go, He is guiding me and moving me along His path.

Scripture tells us time and time and time again that God will never leave us nor forsake us. He doesn’t turn his back on those who love Him. When God tells His people that He will not leave or forsake them, He tells them these things to comfort them in big situations, but He also whispers these things to us in the small situations too. In Deuteronomy 31, Moses tells God’s people that “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” My transition from college student to post graduate may not really be entered into the “Guinness Book of World Records: Craziest Life Transitions/Decisions,” but it is still cared for and orchestrated by the One who created me and gave me life. One of my favorite Psalms reminds me of this beautiful truth. Psalm 139:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Looking back, I can see that I would much rather The Lord’s will for me prevail than anything I could ever come up with on my own, so I choose to hold onto His promises and seek Him as this time passes. Scripture also tells us that His ways are far better than our own, and it is a much more comfortable ride when we remind ourselves of this daily. 

Instead of just agreeing that the statement “hindsight’s 20/20″ tends to be proven true 100% of the time, I am so much more confident in saying that God is faithful 100% of the time. And more than just having faith that we will one day see the purpose of life’s transitions and timing, let’s have faith that God is specifically using those very transitions and timings for us to best know and love Him. 

her relentless pursuit

I actually created this blog a long time ago and forgot about it so I never wound up writing anything, until today. I think that’s a common theme in my life…starting things, but never actually pursuing them. It’s a character flaw of mine that I’ve always hoped to grow out of. Not only does this flaw pertain to blog posts or homework assignments; it also applies to my pursuit of knowing God better. There are certain books of the Bible that I want to dig into and study, or certain character traits of God that I want to process through and learn more about. There are people that I want to start being more intentional with and have spiritual conversations with, and there are ways of serving the Lord that I begin to feel passionate about and want to pursue. There are even things that I want to surrender to Jesus and begin to actually let Him take over, but I somehow get distracted and put pauses on pursuit of these things. The older I get, the more I realize that this flaw of mine is something that I am going to have to work at and I know that the “growing out of it” will only come from relentlessly pursuing the Lord (kind of ironic that months ago I titled this blog “her relentless pursuit”) and persistently striving for growth in this area.

I am a huge nerd when it comes to seeking the meaning of words. When I read books, receive text messages, or come across things that have a word in it that intrigues me even if I already know what it means I will look up its definition in the dictionary. Try it! Sometimes my mind is blown by what I thought a word means and what it is actually defined as. Trust me–words are a whole lot cooler than what we think! Just as it is important to know the definition of words when studying scripture, I see it to be important throughout daily life too. Who knows, maybe thats just me, but I promise it makes for interesting realizations.

So, to pursue my interest in defining words, I looked up the definitions for the words that title my blog… relentless and pursuit. Relentless is defined as, “oppressively constant; incessant”..Okay STOP right there. My mind automatically thinks, “oppressed..I know what that means but what does the dictionary say it means.” So, oppressively=”weighing heavily on the mind or spirits.” Not only does my mind think that when I saw that word but it also is intrigued by the word “incessant” and wants to know what dictionary.com has to say about that one. Incessant=”continuing without pause or interruption”. Okay moving on– Pursuit.. Now this one is a bit more simple..”the action of following or pursuing something or someone.” Reading these definitions is like circling or underlining the final answer to a calculus problem. Almost like an “ah-hah!” moment. Friends, not only does the Lord show up through scripture, but He shows up all around us. I’ve been reading a book called Astonished by Mike Erre (seriously consider checking it out if you’ve never read it) and one of the things that I love/feel really convicted about what I’ve been reading is that we tend to look for God in all of the spectacular things and sometimes we forget to look around and find Him in the simple things. Looking up definitions to words of a title of a blog I created months ago is one of those little things for me.

This post is not at all saying that I have not been pursuing the Lord lately. God has been teaching me so much and this summer I am finding myself to grow more in love with Him every single day. However, I am saying that I don’t want to fall into a road of stagnation and I’m going to continue walking with the Lord the best way I know how, but starting now, I am going to try even harder to relentlessly pursue my Lord and Savior. I am going to deeply continue to pursue and follow Jesus without pauses or interruptions. When something weights heavy on my heart, when there is a character trait about God that I want to know more about, when there is someone who I randomly get the urge to contact, when I realize there is a book of the Bible I want to study, when there are certain scriptures I want to dig into, when there is a way of serving the Lord that is placed on my mind, and when there are things I feel I need to surrender to Jesus…I am going to pursue them more than I ever have before. And I am going to start by remembering that “Jesus is before all things, and in Him all things hold together”-Colossians 1:17. A relentless pursuit of Jesus will only bring about a more pure pursuit of these things…and so…. here’s to my relentless pursuit.