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 learned 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 profound, needed way recently. 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 be plodding in 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 at all.

I have felt like this as an intercessor, a person of faith, and 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 hope that the new is indeed 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 move or ruin our stuff, I heard a soft, gentle voice remind me of something I had forgotten:

Remember what I told you in Indonesia?

Yes. Suddenly I did.

In January, I went on a missions trip to Indonesia, and during that trip, God told me He was giving me a new prophetic name: Rain. The whole prophetic name thing is something between me and God that’s a little hard to articulate, but basically God 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; running through pelting raindrops the streets of DC with my brother on our way to a work party (to which we arrived soaked); the outpouring that was happening right then as we were moving apartments.

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

I had been feeling like a failure for wanting to sit down in the tunnel and give up. But God’s love flooded in 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 leave. Hope.

Not the End Yet

Endings are also beginnings. Sometimes the hardest challenge 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 God 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 holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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