More Lies?!

|| Lies I’ve been facing in my ministry journey so far.

The beginning of March brings for me the comfort of finally feeling at home in a city I never thought I’d call home earlier in my life. I’m half way through my new job and with that has come many thoughts and questions of anticipation and sometimes, anxiety.

Am I good enough for the job? Will I see God at work? Is God even using me?

As it turns out, working in ministry has a funny way of making you see just how sinful and broken you really are.

Truth be told, I’m not good enough for the job. As one of my good friends bluntly put it: After all, God can use a donkey (Numbers 22:21-39). I might see God at work. God is using me, but I won’t always see the results (John 4:37-38).

But this is why we run to God for absolutely everything.

It’s easy to become bitter and blame God for the trials we face – especially if we view Him as some sort of a genie who will grant us all of life’s blessings. God blesses us, but he doesn’t promise a life without suffering. I’ve noticed some childhood lies and wounds I mentioned in 2 of my blogs (linked below) resurfacing in my life:

  1. God is not in control
  2. I cannot trust God
  3. I don’t belong here.

I know, I write about lies a lot and you might be thinking, “you’re writing about more lies?” 😛 But the truth is, the enemy will always be trying to get us down with lies. He truly is the “father of all lies” (John 8:44).

As I’ve been praying, my eyes were opened to the fact that I am living in constant fear that God is not in control, and that even if He is, I cannot trust him because He will just end up taking away people I love from me. This lie emerged after the sudden deaths of so many loved ones in my life in 2019. I also believed these lies when I was raising support and I expected God to send me to Montreal in September. When I wasn’t able to go, I believed God had failed me, even though I knew He couldn’t because, well, He’s God and He’s perfect.

And then, when I got here, I began to feel like God was not using me at all, and therefore, I must’ve messed up in hearing him or something and I wasn’t supposed to be here. This particular lie came into existence when I felt like I wasn’t “helping” anyone, or teaching anyone anything, and when I didn’t see more Quebecois come to Christ.  The French culture also has a way of shaming those in subtle ways who don’t speak French, and they are quite bitter about past church experiences. After a few instances, I began to think “I don’t speak French, I don’t have any close friends here… Therefore, I do not belong here”.

Notice how all these lies came from feelings. Maybe this is obvious, but sometimes our feelings are wrong. They’re not fact, even though I tend to take them as fact sometimes.

But a prayer I came to know and love, helped seep truths into my polluted mind:

Lord, teach me how to surrender everything – the ways I feel, and even the time of death of my loved ones. Teach me how to do that so I can live in freedom, and not live in fear of something bad happening anymore. Help me surrender my idealistic expectations and feelings to align with your will so that I can live in the freedom you offer me. May I remember how you lead me here and stay steadfast in the truth that you are using me even when I can’t see it, or feel it, and you are using even my mistakes. I declare that you waste nothing, Jesus. In your mighty name, Amen.

Not surprisingly, it’s actually a lot easier to surrender when I choose to recognize God’s truth: that there is hope, that nothing is wasted.  

These are truths that I’ve “known” for a long time that have helped me surrender and trust God. Yet why do I still doubt?

Because God is constantly calling me to trust him in new ways. Trusting God this time doesn’t look like the last time I had to trust God because it’s different circumstances, it’s new and not what I’m used to; it’s out of my comfort zone – right where God likes to put us so that we can draw near to Him, depend on Him and lean into Him.

As many of my readers might already know, I am deeply moved by worship music often. A song that has given me great encouragement recently is a simple song led by Leeland called “Wait Upon the Lord”. The lyrics are so simple: “Come on, let’s wait upon the Lord, He will renew our strength”.  You can click below to listen to it on YouTube.

I know the majority of this blog has been about me and my journey with these lies, but I also know they are no stranger to others too. In light of the rise of the coronavirus and the many catastrophes occurring around the globe, it’s easy to believe the lies that God doesn’t care about his people, that he is leaving us to suffer without any justice. But nothing is wasted, not even the most evils of evils. God will use that for good in the end. It’s a promise He’s made to us! (Romans 8:28)

If you struggle with believing that, here is an in-depth, easy-to-follow study of Romans 8:28 by John Piper that might help you!

And I hope it brings comfort to know that I am praying for all my readers as you face whatever lies the enemy is throwing at you, and that you stay strong in the truth amidst the shaky world we live in!

With love as always,
Anna

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