Hey guys! I know it’s been awhile since we’ve posted on TGWAM, but we’re back FULL TIME now! We’ve missed you guys so much, but Lacey and I have been going through a challenging time in our lives both as friends and individually. If you read Lacey’s post on Tuesday (which if you haven’t you should as soon as you get done here) then you know that Lacey and her family just recently left Aliceville. Her dad has been called to be the new Youth Minister at Coosada Baptist Church in Coosada, Alabama. This has not been an easy pill to swallow for either of us or our youth group. Lacey and I are not used to spending more than a few days apart, much less two and a half hours being between us constantly with visits being absolutely necessary but few and far between.
Lacey and I have struggled with the idea of change since her parents announced earlier this month. The idea of Lacey no longer being ten minutes away, Patrick and Brooke having a new group of students, and myself being left two and a half hours away from them to figure out what my next step is supposed to be is a scary idea and a reality that has made me very upset with many people over the past few weeks.
Anger is an emotion that I have struggled with ever since I was a kid. My first reaction to a situation, whether embarrassment, frustration, confusion, or whatever is to become extremely angry, then cry. Anger has been my outlet for all of my emotions for the past seventeen years. In the heat of the moment, my anger can come out in many ways: yelling, screaming, punching, or crying just to name a few. I tend to bottle up my anger until it all comes out in a verbal moment of fury toward whoever happens to be in my way at the time. In the moment that the anger within me comes flying out of my mouth, it’s like every weight is lifted from my shoulders for a split second, then the instantaneous regret of everything I said hits me like a ton of bricks. The anger that spews from my mouth is definitely not a righteous anger, and because of that, the conviction from the Holy Spirit weighs heavily on my heart, usually causing me to quickly apologize and for my eyes to fill with tears because of the potential pain I’d caused the person in front of me.
THIS is the kind of anger that I’ve been feeling for the past few weeks. This anger that I’ve held in my heart has caused a strain on multiple relationships: Lacey and I, Pat and I, my entire family and I… all because of anger that I wasn’t ready to release yet. Anger that was controlling me. This anger quickly put a strain on my relationship with God as well. My life was no longer about serving and following Him; it was about my comfort, my wants, and what I thought I needed.
Going into my senior year of high school, losing my best friend and my youth minister isn’t what I wanted… AT ALL. I was angry with God; I was angry with myself; I was angry with everyone. I would cry those same angry tears that I mentioned earlier and demand that God tell me why He was ripping the Franklin family from Aliceville. How could He take them away at one of the most crucial times of my life? Didn’t He understand?! We had JUST released our first CD in January, we wanted to play gigs this summer, we wanted to play frisbee and just hang out until super late and we all had to go home. We didn’t want to give Pat and his family away to some other church family! It just wasn’t fair! I asked God why He was taking away everything I had known for the past three years; why He was abandoning me right before I was about to make some of the most important decisions of my life!
However, in the midst of all of my anger, yelling, and crying God simply reminded me of Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know I am God!” He was reminding me that even though He was calling the Franklins to minister somewhere else that HE is God, therefore He has bigger plans not only for Patrick but for our youth group. I was also reminded of Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.” In a time that I truly felt as though I had been abandoned by God, and that He was giving up on me because I hadn’t been living the best Christian lifestyle that I could, God reminded me that He is going before me, He is fighting my battles, and He has great plans for me. God continuously reminds me of these Bible verses, even daily. He reminds me that even through this storm, He is my provision, my comfort, and the one I should turn to when I feel all hope is lost.
The title of this blog post is representative of two things: the physical distance between Lacey and I that hasn’t exactly been the easiest thing for either of us to cope with, and the wedge of space that I pushed between myself and God when I found out about the Franklins being called away to Coosada.
God always makes a way for us to come back to Him when we run away, push Him away, or ignore Him. He gives us chance after chance to run into His wide open arms. God is showing me through this difficult times that I MUST be dependent on Him. I have to turn everything over to Him and trust Him to take care of it, because He is in control. Am I 100% fine at this point? No, I’m sad and confused about all of this, but I’m trusting that the promises in God’s word are TRUE and He will provide what we need, no matter the situation.
Thank you for reading my blog post today. I know that it was a little long, but for those of you who were able to make it to the end, thank you for your continued support of TGWAM! I hope you all have a great rest of the week and a great Independence Day Weekend.
Be His Hands and Feet,