Written by Taytum Allwood
I started out writing this with an overview of why this current season of our lives has been so challenging. Instead of sharing all of the details that most of you know already anyway, I’m just going to cut straight to the heart of how I’ve felt carried by grace.
The Heart of It
Have there been challenges? Yes. Have they left us totally broken? Sometimes it feels like it, but no, not totally. There have been tears and struggle, which is totally normal and okay in this current season, but once the tears dry up, you must make your move.
Your move will determine how you overcome. Even if that movement is a prayer that says, “help LORD“.
This only happens when your eyes are on Jesus, who can carry you with His grace. We (my husband, Brian, and I) have personally felt very carried in this season. We felt carried during a time of separation a week before our son was born. We felt carried in the two weeks he remained apart from us after our son came into the world. We were separated because he was protecting us as he worked in the ICU with COVID19 patients. Our separation may have been physical, but our communication was constant, and prayer anchored us firmly in God. In His presence, our perspective is shifted away from the world and towards something bigger than us. Our physical problems don’t simply disappear, but our eyes get opened to the reality of God within us and God at work all around us. And hope is restored.
Changing Your Perspective
I listened to a sermon recently by pastor Steven Furtick. He said that his prayer at the beginning of the year, for a number of years, was “LORD, this year, won’t you remove all my problems.” He found that God never paid much attention to this prayer and instead, problems persisted year after year. He then changed his prayer to “LORD, increase the quality of my problems.” God knows that the only way we learn to persevere, grow and ultimately overcome, is by going through the fire.
Challenges grow us, I hope we all know that. And if challenges grow us, our response is the first key. Will we be those that shrink back, throw in the towel, give up, lose hope or grow weary? Or will we be those that rise to the challenge, recognize God is with us and supplying the grace and strength we need to overcome?
At the beginning of this year I listened as our pastor preached about expecting more. These words began to take root in my heart and ever since, I’ve been praying “LORD, don’t let me limit You.” At first, I thought this word was in relation to soon becoming mom to two babies, one just over a year at that stage, and the second due in April. I knew it was going to be “full on” but I didn’t want to limit what God could still do through my life (in my family and outside the walls of our home). What I could not foresee was that our second would be born in the middle of lockdown as a pandemic raged across the world.
What I have sensed all along is that God is not surprised by what happens in the world. And He is not surprised by the challenge’s life throws at us either. He is also the only one who knows a way out and a way through. That is why trusting Him with our whole hearts leads to the deepest sense of peace and joy, even if the storms are raging all around us. I have had moments where peace has felt lost but God has been so faithful to take me by the hand and lead me back to that sweet stillness where my soul is quiet and I am attentive to my Father’s voice.
Circumstances remain, but our minds focus on His hope!
I am not writing this as someone who has made it through the storm. In fact, the storm is more our reality now than when this all started. I am writing this as someone who knows the hope that anchors my soul.
If you would like to know this hope too. Please get in contact with us, we would love to pray with you and invite God to become the foundation of your hope.