These three verses - I've been clinging to the promises they reveal for years, since the beginning of my journey in meeting the Spirit of God face to face.
When I found myself feeling lost, lacking purpose, or going nowhere, I clung to Jeremiah 29:11. It reminded me that even when we cannot see them, God has meaningful plans and purposes for our lives, which He held in His heart even before He knit us together in the our mothers' wombs. I held on to this truth and prayed that God would reveal those purposes to me; it gave me hope for my future.
When this hope and those prayers began to stir up visions for a future within my heart, and yet I couldn't see any possibility of their coming to fruition in what were the current circumstances of my life, I held onto Psalm 37:4. I prayed for God to align the desires of my heart to His purpose and will, and then I set my eyes on Him. I let Him become my joy and my pursuit, faithful that He would bring the truest and purest desires of my heart to life in His perfect timing.
When I felt myself drawing nearer to the goodness and vision He had laid upon my heart, but the details were up in the air, or it seemed that detour after detour stood between me and the materialization of those God-dreams, I clung to the declaration of Romans 8:28, that He WILL work all things together for the good of those who love Him, those who take delight in Him, and who are seeking to fulfill His purposes for our lives.
After years of holding on to these truths like a lifeline, I am finally seeing the start of all of those hopes, desires, and dreams coming to fruition in my life. I see the truths that these promises declare arising in abundance over every aspect of my life. But I didn't find them in my striving; I found them in my surrender.
It wasn't until I truly let go, began to really study and digest the word of God, sought out discernment and clarity in His commandments, and then laid down every single aspect of my life to rest in obedience to His word, surrendering to His will with open hands and an open heart, that the word of God came alive in my life, through the realization of all that these promises held for me.
Proverbs 16:9 says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." It wasn't until I finally realized what it looks like to follow Jesus one choice at a time that this verse made sense to me. We look into our hearts, and decide where we feel called to go, but He leads us there, one righteous and obedient, Spirit-led choice at a time.
About a year ago, I wrote this in the caption of an Instagram post:
"We don't need to have a perfect (and completely detailed) vision of the future ahead of us to follow His lead. God is faithful to light the path for us, but He keeps us dependent on Him by showing us only the EXACT NEXT STEP ahead... we don't have to have it all figured out to follow Jesus.
Just like the headlights on our cars light up the path directly ahead of us, but not the lurking darkness further along the winding road, God's Spirit shines light JUST far enough ahead so that we can embark on the journey and stay on the road, even when we can't see the destination."
GOD PROMISES TO GIVE US a hope and a future, the desires of our hearts, and that He will work all things together for our good, but these things happen only when we trust Him, delight ourselves in Him, love Him, and heed His call.
When we love Him wholly, committing ourselves to His direction and leading, when we are willing to surrender - THAT'S when He brings the God-dreams of our hearts to fruition in our lives.
photo credit: Torrance Saunders