"I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Note: I wrote the first half of this post a while ago (last May I think) but never finished because I still didn't understand why it happened or what God was trying to teach me. Now that it's been a year, I realize more of what the Lord was teaching me.
Sometime early last year, I became really good friends with these two guys (one was a year older than me and one was two years younger). And when I mean really good friends, I mean really good friends. We shared our troubles, our trials, and our joys with each other. We called each other brothers and sisters in Christ. We texted pretty much every day, all day. We prayed for each other. We loved each other. It was an amazing thing, and I loved it. Here were like-minded people who constantly encouraged me in my walk with God. Here were people who I knew I could go to in tough times. Here were people I knew I could trust. We shared countless laughs and created priceless memories. The older one was like the older brother I never had. He taught me so much and shared so much with me, and we learned from each other. The other one was also like my younger brother. We shared so many laughs and memories. I taught him things and he taught me things. We all assumed we'd be friends for the rest of our lives.
I'll always look back on the year 2017 with a smile.
I constantly looked forward to texting them, and I always enjoyed the one-on-one times with them. I'm so, so thankful for both of them and wouldn't trade them away for a million bucks.
So, that was last year. 2018 also started off well, with us just as close as ever. And then I did a 21 day fast with my church from texting and my device. During those three weeks, I learned so much! I felt closer to God than I'd ever felt. He helped me see things more through His eyes and through His perspective.
I'll never be the same as I was before those 21 days. I now enjoy getting up early in the morning to meet with God and read His Word and pray. But my relationship with God wasn't the only thing that changed.
During that time, I realized that God wanted me to step away in my close friendships with those two guys. And please don't get me wrong, they're amazing people!! There are a couple reasons why, but I'll share the main reason. I had heard stories of girls/women who had grown up with very close guy friends, but when they found someone they wanted to date/marry, that guy would be jealous of the close guy friend, and it would harm the relationship between the couple and keep it from blooming. Now, let me get this straight: I'm not trying to marry anyone right now! But a wise friend said this to me recently: You need to start working on who you want to be as an adult right now. You can't just change your behavior in a day. It takes a while!
And also, just to be clear, it's okay to have guy friends - just be aware of the future and what God may be calling you to do. It's different for all of us, and ultimately, do what God tells you to do, not what I recommend doing. I'm not against guy friends at all (talking to the ladies)- in fact, it's healthy to have guy friends. I have lots of guy friends! And vice versa to all ya guys out there.
But back to the story: I prayed about it for a while. I loved my guy friends soo so much and I didn't want to let go of them, but as I prayed, I felt peace in obeying and letting go. I still don't understand why, and there are definitely times when I wish I could undo what I've done. I've shed tears over it and everything that I do seems to remind me of them. But I know that God is somehow going to teach me something through this and that in the long run, it will be worth it. Maybe I'll never understand, but if there's one thing I've learned, it's that the answer is often where the peace is. Peace is from God - chaos and stress are not.
Family, sometimes- oftentimes- God calls us to do things we don't understand. He calls us to do things we don't know the outcome of yet. As humans, I know we prefer to see every angle of something before trying it out, because we're afraid of the unknown. But God has called us out into the unknown - God has called us to live by faith, not by sight. We need to trust Him! I know He has a plan throughout this, even though at times I definitely feel like everything's going DEAD WRONG. Being a Christian means living uncomfortably - and I don't necessarily mean physically. God calls us to live out of our comfort zone and to show that we trust Him!
UPDATE: So now it's been almost a year to the day I let go, and MAN have I done a lot of growing since then! Here are a few things I learned from what I had went through:
1. First of all, when I said goodbye to my friends, I learned to trust God's ultimate plan even when I didn't understand.
2. I remember running upstairs to my little corner where I usually had my devotion, crying, right after I ended it. Through my pain, I learned to run to GOD first and I have felt such STRONGGG peace since that day. It so unexplainable, like, why should I feel so at peace when my whole world's falling down??
3. My whole world is not falling down. CHRIST IS ENOUGH FOR ME. I realized that God really speaks to me through songs! Every morning, I wake up with a song on my heart (normally a worship song) - and it's through those songs where I am reminded of His truth and His promises. The day I told them, we (my family) went to the Good Friday service and the song that they played was Christ is Enough by Hillsong Worship. That night was the first time, I think, that I raised my hands without fear. Nothing that happens to me should tear me down because Christ is MORE than enough!
4. By letting go, I learned to rely on God. He is SO, SO faithful and will NEVER let me down! Even the greatest, bestest, loyalest friend isn't perfect - but God is!
5. God really did have a plan. I've been able to spend so much less time on my device, which freed me up to interact with the people around me. And it was definitely healthier for me.
There are more, but this post is getting crazy long, haha!! Family, if there's one thing you remember, remember this: God has an AMAZING plan and calling ahead of you and nothing can take that away. Trust Him, because He never fails <3
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."