The Strength to Persevere

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, but after a two-week trip to the States, a move to a new apartment, and a pretty major hair cut.. I’m back!

I’m sure this is your reaction right now. I missed you too.

New Beginnings

Right in line with my Year of New Beginnings, I moved into a new apartment last week! Woohoo! It’s an amazing home with a lot of light and delightful cross-breezes that I am very thankful for. But one thing I realized during the moving process last week is that new beginnings often require a lot of work. So much cleaning, so much planning, and so much adjusting. And did I mention the cleaning?

But, when you see the goodness of what is ahead, you find strength to do everything required. When you are full of expectation, the work feels easy.

This revelation hit me in a really deep way recently. It gave me hope. I guess because I felt like I was running out of strength.

Perseverance

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking through a dark tunnel. I believe there is end to the tunnel––sometimes I even think I can see the light coming closer––but then it eludes me once again and I begin to wonder if I will ever get out. Maybe I will plod through this tunnel forever. Not knowing the length of the passage, I don’t want to run and use up my energy. And part of me is hoping for rescue anyway, hoping I won’t have to walk to the end by myself.

Recently, at times, I’ve just wanted to sit down. I’ve begun to doubt there is an end to the tunnel.

I’ve felt like this as an intercessor. I’ve felt like that as a person of faith. I’ve felt like this as someone tasked with the mission of being a “light” in the world. And rather than focusing on the challenge of the tunnel and its design, I’ve begun to question myself. Maybe I just don’t have enough strength for the journey.

But after literally scrubbing the floor of my new apartment until I had no more strength, then moving to another room and scrubbing some more, then another, I realized I had more strength than I thought. And I saw that my renewed strength came from motivation: I wanted a clean apartment, and I knew I could have that clean apartment if I just pushed myself a little more.

When you have motivation, strength renews itself. When you have vision, the challenges shrink to manageable size. When you have hope that the new is coming, that hope fuels you.

Hope is the key.

When you have motivation, strength renews itself. Click To Tweet

Rain

It poured on our moving day. I was sitting in my old room watching the moving guys pack up all my stuff when I heard the torrent start. I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear it. (I could also hear the guys cursing and see their soaked shirts.) It kept going and going. And as I wondered if I should pray for it to stop, if it would significantly delay the day or ruin our stuff, I heard a soft, gentle voice remind me of something I had forgotten:

Remember what I told you in Indonesia at the beginning of the year?

Yes. Suddenly I did.

In January, I went on a missions trip to Indonesia––my first new beginning of 2017, my Year of New Beginnings––and during that trip, God told me He was giving me a new prophetic name: Rain.

It’s kind of something between me and God that’s a little hard to explain, but basically He has used rain to get my attention throughout this year.

I hadn’t thought about rain in awhile, but suddenly I was remembering different rain storms throughout the year: The sudden downpour that caught me on a motorbike in Jakarta the day before my missions trip started. The thunderstorms that knocked down trees in my neighborhood while I was visiting home. The outpouring that was happening right then. The many times I’ve had to run through pelting raindrops and found myself laughing in delight. (I love running through the rain..)

And I began to see that God had been with me the whole time.

I had been feeling like a failure, I had been feeling like not enough, I had been feeling guilty for wanting to sit down in the tunnel and give up. But God’s love flooded into all those places as I listened to the rain. As the drops thundered down, I felt Him cleansing my mind and heart with His truth.

As the rain comes down from heaven and does not return to it without watering the earth, so are you, my daughter. You may not have recognized it, but I have been sending you every place you have been. Nothing has been in vain, nothing you do ever is.

Hope found me there amongst the boxes of my belongings, alone in the dusty room I was about to abandon. Hope.

Exactly what I needed to keep going, to keep believing, the hope I needed to persevere––and to rest. Somehow the doubts that make me want to give up also keep me from rest. But when I find the hope rooted in the One who has authority over all things, I both find the strength to walk and the peace to rest.

Not the End Yet

Endings are also beginnings. Sometimes the hardest thing isn’t facing an ending, but facing a difficulty that seems endless. But no matter how long the darkness may seem, it does have an end. I know because He said so.

May God give us the grace to see the bright end as it draws nearer. And to see that He is right here, with us every step of the way.

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Elizabeth is an American living in South Korea who believes in destiny, miracles, and living life intentionally. She holds to simple faith in a complex world, values the beauty of the everyday, and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is always learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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