New Year’s Day 2017 falling on a Sunday was probably the best thing that could have happened for me. Less than three weeks into our life transition I was still (and am still now) wrestling to keep my emotions balanced. When those you have spent the majority of the past three years of your life with no longer seek to be in your presence, it can feel incredibly lonely and sad. Going through this with family has been helpful, but not enough to take away the stress that goes with the unknown.
Our church services have a common element that occurs at some point which is a time of special prayer. As my friend was praying over me, crying with me, her words were exactly what my heart needed to hear, and my mind had not yet been able to speak. These times of compassionate prayer are not surprising for my church. It is the most common practice we’ve witnessed and participated in for the two years we’ve attended Lifeline Princeton. It is what brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to do, they are meant to carry each other through hard times, and our church does a fantastic job of it.
As our time of prayer wrapped up, my friend asked me specifically what was going on. I was surprised to have to explain anything because her prayer had hit the nose on the head. Still, her facial expression revealed she was thinking the same thing I was. Then she said something I’ll look back on this year frequently.
My friend paused and then said “I feel like God is calling you to a deep spiritual rest. I don’t understand it because moving and rest don’t go together, but that’s what I think I’m hearing.”
I smiled and nodded. I explained I knew what she meant because God had laid the word still on my heart. As I walked back to my seat to join in with worship, I felt the peace my friend had prayed for come over me.
There are seasons in life when those around you will be able to see God moving in the details of your situation when life looks stagnant through your own eyes. There are times when a truth God has been trying to teach you will only be accepted as truth when someone else believes it first.
Although our conversation was a reminder that my call in this season is to be still, it was more than that to me. I had spent the morning fighting feelings of distance from God. I hadn’t been unable to worship and pray as my thoughts drifted to upcoming tense conversations, hard decisions to be made and replaying the previous weeks in bewilderment. These few sentences reminded me God was near and he was paying close attention.
It took a few sentences to tell me God was near and he was paying close attention. I’m so thankful for a friend’s courage and willingness to tell me what she thought she heard, even though it didn’t make sense to her. It was what my heart had been longing to hear, the confirmation I didn’t realize I needed until it was there for my ears to hear.