~Well, Hello all!~
As I promised yesterday, this is the first in a series of five blog posts (all of which are going to be amazing, just saying!), and I’m delighted to present to you one of my best friends in the world, the amazing, sweet and beautiful Sarah.
ABOUT SARAH SYLVESTER
I should probably introduce myself so you’re not all like… who is writing this? I’m Sarah. It’s difficult to describe yourself but… I’m a girl, very much human, but also a daughter of God. I love God and people, and I’m growing in helping them. I’m passionate about people’s dreams being reach, people helped into better situations, and seeing the world changed. I recently graduated TAFE, and am looking at Uni next year, with the ultimate goal of serving God, probably as a missionary to Thailand and Cambodia.
I’m really privileged to have the opportunity to do a guest post on Chelsea’s blog! And…I kinda have to take a moment to tell you all (though you probably know from reading her blog!) how epic my friend Chel is! We’ve been friends since we were eight or nine. You all know how good a writer she is, and I’ve watched her writing improve over the years, it’s amazing! I love her style; she has an amazing humour in her writing. The beautiful worlds she creates and the depth she goes into with her characters. And most of all: how she is serving God through her writing! She’s amazing 😊.
I’m really honoured to have been asked to do a post on what God has taught me this year…and that’s a good question. As we begin to reach the end of the year and start to reflect…I look back on one of the hardest years of my life…and I’ll always be eternally grateful that I have God and have been saved by His grace.
What He’s taught me…the list is so long. He’s such an involved, daily, eternally loving God with infinite wisdom. He uses people, situations, books, the Bible, songs, worship, responsibilities and directly speaking to us, to teach us so many things. How good is that?!
I think the main thing He’s been teaching me is trust. One of the things God said most often is, will you trust Me?
It says in Isaiah 12:2 (NKJV)
“Behold, God is my Salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation’”
There are many bible verses like this. We trust in God because we know He is trustworthy. He gives us reasons beyond count of why we can trust Him; He proves it to us, He makes promises to us, He assures us of His protection, love, and strength… He shows up and works miracles big and small. I can’t imagine life without Him!
So, when you’re stuck the worst situation…. Maybe grandparents passing away or people you love suddenly changing, family going against family, fighting beyond what you even thought possible. Serving kids on a camp to change their life but being overwhelmed by their fighting and behaviour or going home without them, not knowing what is happening to them. Having people use you because you’re always willing to help, but knowing they don’t care for you or learning how to do some of the most important relationships well… and not always being successful. When facing some of the biggest life choices you feel you’ll ever make with zillions of factors to consider up in the air or facing an intense level of anxiety and depression over and over…. Sometimes not seeing the light at the end.
What do you even do?
You cry out to God. Maybe there are tears streaming down your face, maybe you are to wrecked to cry, but you beg Him to answer and you seek Him ’til you find Him, cause He’s right there, even if it takes time to find Him.
And He gives you a hug, comforts you with words you’d never even think of love and pace, and asks you to trust…
“Will you trust me and worship me even in this?
Will you trust me to deal with this situation and that I am still King?
Will you trust me to protect you and those people?
Will you trust me to answer this prayers?
Will trust me to look after you when you step out?
Will you trust me to work it all out together for Good?”
My life verse, that I quote all the time, is Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
“And we know that all things work together for good for those who Love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.”
That’s a promise! One to which I hold tight. God says, “it’ll all be okay!”
The times I’ve felt better after pushing through in worship… it’s broken depression in my life when I had nowhere else to turn and God had to do something. And I love how he promises to love us and protect us, such as in Romans 8:38-9:
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels or principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created things, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus or Lord.”
And Jesus says in John 10:27-30
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and my father are one.”
I love being so secure, held safely by God who is greater than all, like, you can’t get much safer!
And another amazing thing he taught me is, the importance of hope.
I went through a short period where I was really suffering from hopelessness, and I still struggle against it. At the time, I lost love for people, God seemed like a hard task master rather than a loving father and I didn’t have hope. How can you survive without hope? When you look at the future without hope, it just crushes you. Everything was dampened. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV) says:
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
The greatest is love, but right next to it is hope. We need to abide, fully dwell in, like branch is part of a vine, in faith, hope, and love.
It got to the point where I felt terrible and I just went to God and said, Please do something, and after spending about an hour with Him, which was honestly a struggle at first, but ended up being beautiful, God restored hope to me, and…it felt like I was waking up. I saw the world again. I was so struck by the difference. I was like, “Daddy God, you’re actually a father and loving, I love you. I have joy! This is awesome!” and I was so sorry to have lost my love for people at that time, it was honestly so hard. But I had hope again. It was going to be okay, and I could help others.
Of course, stuff in life came again, and again I had to struggle with having hope. Just recently I wrote Hope on my wrist, more than once, to remind me to have Hope. Not to lose it and be hopeless and think “this is the end” but to truly have hope.
There’s always Hope
Trust and Hope are two things that have majorly impacting my life, particularly this year. It’s a beautiful process to walk through life with God as he teaches and loves on you. I encourage you all, no matter what you’re facing, Gods got you and it’ll be alright. I know it’s a cliché, but in God, even the absolute worse situation you can imagine, can turn out good. Trust and Hope in God – Seek him and Find him – he’s right there with open, loving arms.
Please feel free to ask any questions and I’ll get back to you through Chelsea. I’d literally love to chat with you about anything I’ve said, about life, about God. Let us know. God bless you incredible people!
Thank you for writing this amazing post, Sarah! It was a pleasure to read 😊 Please give Sarah a shoutout in the comments! Did anything in this post particularly stand out to you?