Stepping Out into the Waves
Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away.
God never changes.
Since September, I’ve been in a season of transformation and transition. I decided to apply to a nursing school program I’d had my eyes on for a while, took online courses for the first time in years, then, once I found out my work contract was likely to not be renewed, I went through a season of uncertainty regarding where I would work. Finally, once I had acquired a new job, my housing situation also changed quite suddenly. I never spent much time at the beach growing up (sadly), but during it all, I felt as though I were treading water in the midst of strong rolling waves, wondering if the next wave that came suddenly might be too strong for me to withstand, and might pull me under. Lo and behold, six months later, I’m still swimming.
Seasons of stability are great. I love getting into a routine. There’s room for spontaneity, but it’s contained. At the end of the day, you know what to expect. However, if there’s something I’ve learned through the last six months is that certainty and stability is always a bit of a façade. Life is really quite out of our control and our circumstances can change in an instant. The only constant in the midst of our changing circumstances and relationships with others is God. He’s our Rock and our Compass who guides us at all times, but especially when the tide is high.
Stepping out into the Water
When I decided to apply to nursing school, I wanted to feel complete certainty regarding my actions. Was this the right program? Was this the right time? Was I certain I had what it takes? “Is this what you want, Lord?” I prayed. I so wanted a confirmation that I was doing the right thing, but there was no flash of lightening, message from the heavens, not even a mysterious call from an old friend confirming my decisions as I secretly hoped. “Fine, Lord” said, pouting in my time of prayer, “I guess it can’t be consolations all the time.” I began to pray, “Lord, please bless this action. If you don’t want me to do this, please close the door.” The further along I went pursuing nursing school, the more doors seemed to open, and the more my desire grew for it and the more God showed me that this profession would honor him and help me to serve others in love, in a way unique to how He made me. In retrospect, I believe the fear I felt came from not trusting my own judgement; God through this experience taught me that He wants me to trust myself and not be afraid to take action in my life. He was granting me freedom as his co-creator to form my own future. The actions I took, He would bless, if I so asked Him to and desired for Him to, even when I stumbled along the way. And, I could trust, that were I to make a mistake, in His mercy, He would guide me back to His path.
God as our Anchor
In the middle of my courses and application process, I found out my work contract was not going to be renewed. Impeccable timing, of course, just as I was applying to grad school and the stress of the holidays were approaching. Yet, I had seen how God had been so faithful in the past in providing for my needs (especially work), often in what I would describe as miraculous ways. He had been so faithful to me in my spiritual life, would He not continue to be so in this time of uncertainty? Was not God still my loving Father, even in these new circumstances? This period was one of the longest in the last six months, lasting for about three. I’d go through moments of peace, only to be tempted to fear and anxiety. But in those moments, I knew that I could cry out to God. He wanted me to be honest with Him, share with Him my fears, and then surrender my future to Him. He wanted me to learn to live in the moment, day by day, learning to trust in His divine providence, and in His deep and intimate involvement in every aspect of my life. Then, at the right moment, He provided me with the right job. In reality, even before the job came to be, He had still been providing for me.
God never Changes
A couple weeks into my new job, the third wave hit. Our landlords had decided to sell the home, citing that they had received the proverbial “offer they could not refuse.” I would need to leave within three months. Immediately, I reached out to various friends. Again. I lived through another period of uncertainty and surrender, but this time with the hope and confidence that God was in the process of building. He does not build only to recklessly destroy, so I could continue to trust that He was building my future. Then, surely enough, God graciously provided me with a new home within a week of receiving the news. After a couple weeks of waiting, my application was approved and the deal was sealed. With this final big event, I had the confirmation that the Lord was calling me to begin a new chapter in my life. Despite all the changes in circumstances, however, I found so much inner peace. Through all my transitions and moments of uncertainty, God was the same good, loving Father He had always shown Himself to be. He sent many unexpected blessings, new friends and reconnecting with old ones, rich experiences (especially at my current job) that opened my eyes to the complexities of the world. The old was indeed slipping away, but rather than feel sad and nostalgic, I felt excited. He makes all things new… and yet His goodness, His love, and His mercy remains. Amidst the high tide, low tide, stormy or calm waters, He remains my Anchor, my Rock.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God,
finds he lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
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Joy Ruiz is a proud Virginia girl who feels at home whenever she’s close to the mountains. A couple years ago, she found herself working in D.C. and decided to call it home for a while. In her free time, Joy enjoys painting, singing, and spending time with friends.