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Maybe We Need to Reframe Our Perspective of the Victory



I've been writing a lot about the journey of waiting for our victory in Christ and the answered prayers that we are believing for because it's something that I've been working on a lot in my own relationship with the Lord. I'm wrestling with a lot of heavy things, and I feel as if I'm falling short in so many ways, but by the kindness and grace of God, He continues to pick me up and teach me throughout this season. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm clinging to the little blessings and lessons that remind me that God is still looking out for me, He's still present, and He's still constant, because He's not only the God of the big things but also the small things too.


I have this daily flip calendar with encouragement each day, and recently, one of them genuinely made me stop and think. It hit so hard, and it began to shift the way that I was approaching prayer and even God throughout this season. It said:


"God promises to render beauty out of 'all things', not 'each thing'. The isolated events may be evil, but the ultimate culmination is good."


Dang.


Let me preface what I'm about ready to say with the reminder that God can and will do whatever He wants to do. There are so many situations where God makes the most broken things beautiful, and He answers prayers and redeems individual parts of our story before we get to see the ultimate culmination. We serve a God of miracles, and I am still believing in that.


But this quote challenged me to step back and surrender the expectations of my victory back to Jesus. I have an image in my mind of how God is going to work all things out for my good, how He's going to answer my prayers and lead me into the promises that He has spoken over me. But perhaps I'm stifling what God wants to do in my life with my own preconceived notions. Perhaps God doesn't have the fairy tale ending for each area of my life, but the overall, "it all worked out" at the end of my life.


For example, we all know I've been waiting, waiting, and waiting for physical healing in my shins. For the past four years, I've had such faith that I was going to have a redemptive, powerful story, and come back stronger than ever before. My senior year was going to be my comeback, and I was going to blow everyone away with my recovery. But as summer has come and I've began the slow process of getting back into running, the pain isn't gone, and my hopes are rapidly declining. I believed that God was going to heal all of the pain for good, that I was going to be able to get back to the sport I love and miss so badly, and it might still happen, but there's a pretty good chance it won't. (I've cried many tears over this.)


We all have these areas of our lives, and many of us have multiple. We desire healing, restoration, blessing, for such good things. But I think I'm realizing the harsh reality that sometimes the answer God has for us is no. Sometimes the plan God has for us doesn't include the quick ending to our struggle, the relief from heartache and pain, or the fulfillment of the dreams we have for ourselves. Sometimes it just doesn't happen.


This is not easy to wrap our heads around. It's hard to accept that a good God would not answer the purest, most genuine prayers and desires of our hearts. These emotions are valid, and I think God welcomes them. Even so, I'm wrestling with the grief of the "no" to what I had hoped was so desperately a "not yet". We experience this with relationships, physical healing, careers, college, and more. Sometimes, we receive the "no" when we least expect it, and it's devastating. And often hard to accept.


In the midst of this, I'm clinging onto faith that behind every "no", God has something better, and purpose for His answer. I'm believing that He will not allow me to walk through such sadness without having a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm trusting that these trials make my faith stronger and my testimony even more powerful, so that the goodness and glory of God may shine through increasingly. I'm holding onto the truth that even if I don't understand right now, God is still good, and I will one day see that the ultimate culmination of my story is filled with His faithfulness.


It's not easy, friends. We'd all much rather walk through yeses and celebrations and fulfilled promises. But it is now that the Father refines our character and strengthens our faith. If we never walk through the fire, we will never become the mature, shining ambassadors of Christ that we are designed to be. It's necessary, and there is purpose, despite the pain.

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