Shoddily published from my phone because my computer is on its deathbed, so I am very sorry for the undoubtedly poor formatting and numerous errors.
A few months ago, at a church very far from my own, God spoke very powerfully to me through a woman active in that congregation.
I had been struggling for quite sometime with my lack of direction. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing with my life. The uncertainty was crippling; and the frustration as a result was poisoning. My relationship with God faltered; I openly resented Him at times. It seemed like everyone but me had some divine calling. Even earlier that day, a man deemed as the church’s prophet had prayed over my friend and I. As a result, he had told her specifically what avenues of her life to focus on now, and which ones would be more prominent later. I got “do what you love, and don’t worry about the rest.” All stuff I’d heard a thousand times, all stuff I ultimately knew. I spent the entire service ignoring the sermon and dwelling on what that man had said to my friend and I. For almost a year I had been begging and pleading with God to just cut me a break, to give me a path, to let me know what my future held. (Spoiler alert: the world is not a wish granting factory, and neither is God.) Literal moments before, I’d been begging for that same clear, cut and dry answer, and had gotten the ever vague “do what you love” speech.
I still reference that sentiment with utter disdain. The list of things I love is weird and long and very sparse in the potential careers department. Things like “stalk c-list celebrities” and “tweet my every thought” are not exactly the types of hobbies that so clearly translate into an obvious job. If we’re being perfectly honest, I remember spending a ridiculous portion of the sermon thinking, “I love The Bachelor.”
As the church service ended, I was admittedly pissed. I wanted easy. I wanted God to give me what I wanted, when I wanted it, and I didn’t want to have to give anything in exchange. Like I said earlier, God is not too keen on simply granting our wishes, and He’s often equally unenthused by the idea of doing things on our time. So naturally, I wasn’t going to leave this very cool church with what I felt like were answers. I resigned to my fate of uncertainty and jealousy of my friend’s perfect prophesy and I prepped to leave. I plastered on my “thanks for allowing me to worship with you” face and headed for the door.
While my friend was caught up in conversation, I feigned an interest in what the people around me were saying. My mind, as you already know, was elsewhere. And then, a woman who had lead part of the worship portion of the service approached me.
One of the coolest things about God, is that when He does give you His little gifts, when He so chooses to impart His wisdom upon you, you can’t help but know that it’s right. I was drawn to this woman when she’d spoken earlier in the service. I had known she was the type of stranger I wouldn’t mind talking to. She introduced herself, and then blessed me with the most moving, impactful words. It may seem small, it may be something a thousand others could have previously said to me, but nothing felt so special and so real as having God send a complete stranger, totally unprompted, up to me to tell me that His plans for me were greater than anything I could imagine, and that knowing that, I should not limit myself in what I wanted for my future because in turn that was very hastily, very inaccurately, limiting God.
Since my name is Sierra, she referenced the Sierra Nevada mountain range, saying that God had mountains in store for me, that I would reach the highest of peaks. There’s no doubt I felt God stirring in my heart.
Still, it took me so much time after that to really understand what God wanted from me. It’s still difficult at times, to know what God is asking of me, and follow through.
Since that church service, almost every sermon I’ve heard has mentioned having faith. What is now my favorite verse, Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” kept being thrown at me.
I’ve been going through what I’ve deemed “the worst year of my life” for various reasons including that overall sense of uncertainty, and finally, recently I’ve broken through the misery of this year to see it for what it is worth.
I’ve begun to see that sometimes God calls us to do specific things, like be a doctor or teacher or musician. And He calls us to those things early in life and He keeps us on that path and asks us to prove our trust in Him by sticking to that path for a very long time. But other times, God takes you through this journey of loving a long list of weird and random things, and wanting to work a different job every couple months. Sometimes God takes you through this long and winding journey of not knowing exactly who you are for almost all of your life, and then all of a sudden, you’re finding yourself in a rush and you’re overwhelmed by the changes that doing so has brought on around you. Sometimes for years your path is so wide, while everyone else’s is so narrow, that you don’t realize you’re on a path at all. Because sometimes God is asking you to do nothing but wait. God is asking you to live each day for Him and do nothing else. He is asking you to show your love for Him and your trust in Him by being patient. And then one day, you realize what the lady said was right. You realize the reason things have been so tough lately is because you’re climbing a mountain, and it’s steep and rocky, and you can’t see the top. Some days you get nervous; the uncertainty starts to creep back in. You wonder if there’s even anything at the top; you start to think you won’t make it. You consider the possibility of heading back down now; you can see a few optional trails, they seem okay. It seems like you could be happy taking those paths. They’re less steep, you don’t have to be as patient that way. You want to take matters into your own hands, you want to have some level of control over what happens, and if you just climbed down and got on one of the easier paths, you could already see the finish line. Some days you know you want to reach the top of the mountain, but you consider maybe stopping for a bit before you get too high. It’s more dangerous, more difficult, the higher you go and if you stopped now and just took a little time to built in a safety net of your own, then it wouldn’t hurt so much if you fell. Some days it’s like that and you don’t want to prove your trust in God, you get selfish because you’re human.
But then you close your eyes, and you remember all the good moments, the amazing moments that left you shaking with God running through your veins, and you know that this mountain is yours. You remember that part of believing in God is believing that He will provide you a way to do the impossible. He will never fail you. You stop looking at the other paths down below you; they fade away as you realize that God’s plan for everyone is different and comparing yourself to others is a futile endeavor. Your brain stops running through the countless ways you can create your own safety net; you realize that creating any safety net at all is diminishing the power that God has to take care of you on His own, it is limiting what He can do for you. You stop worrying about what’s at the top of the mountain because you know that God wants better for you than you could ever even want for yourself. You start to believe you have a shot. You start to know that closed doors and missed chances are just as important as doors wide open. And with all that time you used to spend worrying, your mind starts to open up; your heart starts to talk. You find out who you are and you see that God had indeed laid out a path for you all along. You spend more time doing things you love and then you get this elated, indescribable feeling that the top of the mountain is a lot like that. You start to feel it in your bones, that the view is worth the effort, even though you have no idea what it contains. You climb and you keeping doing what God asks of you. You keep believing in the impossible; you keeping refusing to limit His power and strength; you keep waiting patiently for the answers you don’t have, and while doing so you share what you do know with others.
This may not make sense at all. I may seem like the last person who should be talking about patience and trust and faith in God. Some may take this as bragging. Some may think I’m delusional. But know that I am sharing because right now, in this moment, on my mountain, that is what God is asking me to do. He is asking me to wait, to follow Him blindly into the unknown without fear or hesitation, and He’s asking me to do my best to encourage others to do the same.
I know most people reading this are looking out onto a very uncertain time in their lives. In less than a ten year span, we graduate high school, we graduate college, and we are expected to know exactly what we want out of life. The gravity of such responsibility is staggering. So many questions are left unanswerable. There are corners we’ve not even looked around, and it’s terrifying, but it doesn’t always have to be. We don’t have to have all the answers. We just have to know in our hearts that God will give us the right answers at the right time, and until then He will keep us safe. We just have to know that we’ll get mountains and we will get to the tops of them.
Let me hear all your thoughts in the comments below. Also a quick apology for my lack of postings recently.