by Nina Goodwin
“Here I am at the beginning of another year, and nothing has changed.”
This was written in my journal for several years in January, the beginning of every year, because it seemed nothing was happening in my walk with the Lord. It seemed I wasn’t doing any walking but a whole lot of sitting and waiting. But, in that sitting and waiting, which I will refer to as a wilderness experience, God was doing so much in me even when I could not feel or see it.
So, the next year in January of 2019, I wrote something different in my journal.
“Lord, in this new year, take me on a journey of getting to know You more in a deeper and more intimate way. Give me wisdom to know when and where You are leading me. I want to live the life You have given me on purpose, not just going through life and letting life happen. Help me not to miss You. I open myself up to You and what You want to do.
I know I haven’t done things in the past because of fear, but I know if You are asking me to do something then You have already provided whatever it is I will need. I trust You. I rest in Your presence and who You are.
I know time is short and I want to share Your love with all that You allow me to. I pray for open hearts and minds towards You and that people’s hearts would be receptive to Your Spirit. I am not wanting anything in this New Year except You and what You want. There is nothing else but You.”
I would love to tell you that in a moment, things shifted spiritually for me, but that did not happen. I knew that no matter what, in all of those years of just sitting and waiting, that God is faithful. He has never broken a promise. I trusted His faithfulness that He had proven time and time again.
“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14 NASB)
There are a lot of scriptures on waiting and being encouraged, and I felt like I had read all of them a thousand times over those few years; but still nothing changed. I kept wondering why I was waiting on God and what was I waiting for. I told Him that no matter what I would serve Him, even if I never felt Him or heard Him again. I guess I was trying to encourage myself since it seemed nothing was happening. I was faithfully having my quiet time with Him but it was very quiet on His end. So, I just kept at it, praying at some point there would be a breakthrough.
During this season of waiting, God in His gracious way was leading me to other people to encourage them and speak life to them. I was like, “Lord, why are You doing this to me? I need to be encouraged and someone speak life into me.” I did not feel like I had anything to give and was scared when I had to speak. But God was working things out of me that I had learned to lean on and to not trust Him with.
For the next year until January 2020, God just gave me little snippets to hold on to. Just when I was about to give up, He would show up and prove He is so faithful. I would hold onto those moments like precious gold because it seemed that it would get me to the next moment with Him. I had no idea He was building my faith and trust in Him. He was seeing if I could or would be faithful in the small things He was requiring of me.
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much...” (Luke 16:10a NASB)
It seemed like it happened in a moment or suddenly to people around me, but no one knew what I had been walking through the last few years. The Lord showed up in my quiet time, and I have not been the same since that moment. He transformed my heart, and I will never be the same. I have a boldness I have never had before. I am a 100% introvert which makes talking to people, especially strangers, very difficult. I had allowed Satan to use that so much that it created fear in me. In the waiting season I realized I was not waiting on God; He was waiting on me to completely surrender everything to Him.
You are probably saying, “But, didn’t you give everything to Him when you were saved?” Yes, I absolutely did. However, when we have a love relationship with someone, we are always getting better and changing for the good. I had a good relationship with the Lord, but He wanted a better relationship with me. I had used my shyness and introverted personality as an excuse far too long and allowed the Devil to keep me from what God wanted me to do.
As I look back now, I see all that the Lord was working out of me and replacing those things with what He wanted in me. I was sitting at His feet and soaking in His presence and growing in Him. Even though it was difficult, it was worth every single moment. He has replaced my fear with boldness and tenacity. I was always scared I would say the wrong things and mess everything up; but He has given me boldness and I trust in His faithfulness, so much so that if He is saying to do it then He has prepared a way before me. The results are up to Him. He only requires my obedience, and the rest is up to Him.
I have also learned to stay in my lane. I used to see people doing things for the Lord and I was like “God, don’t make me do that.” I have come to realize that He requires us all to do our part and not everyone else’s part. You may think your part is small, but if you are doing exactly what He tells you to do when He tells you to do it then you are being completely obedient. Remember, the results are up to Him.
A moment with the Lord can change you forever. One of the definitions of moment is ‘a short period of time.’ So, don’t miss your moments with God, but just as importantly do not miss the moments He puts in front of you every day to see people the way He does. Live every day with God moments. Remember that these moments do not have to be profound to you, but that one moment could change a person’s life forever.