This one comes from my best friend, Ashley!
I started this post the day Sarah asked me to write for her blog. The process of writing about something God is teaching you is one of the ways I’ve connected with Him so closely in the past and I was excited to make sense of the messiness and pain I was feeling during this season. I wrote part of the post and set it up to add to as I continued to learn and hear from Him this month. The thing is, that post has disappeared from my Google Drive. And despite several detailed searches, I was not able to recover it. So, for me this makes what’s to come exactly what He wanted me to process tonight and share with you this week.
The quality of being faithful
Thorough in the performance of duty; steady in allegiance or affection; implies qualities of stability, dependability, and long-continued devotion.
The day after I started writing the initial post and asked God to make His faithfulness visible in my life, memories of feeling shattered in different seasons were summoned. I began to have conversations with Him about deep longings He’s met and ways that I’ve been so specifically crafted as a result of past loss, grief, and betrayal. It was as if He gave me a glimpse of some of the eternal reasons behind those past battle scars and while my situations did not change, I was left with so much trust for the future. It was a treasured and long anticipated moment between us as this is what I had begged of Him years ago in anger and pain.
During one of my counseling sessions this month my counselor gave me the image of the backside of a tapestry quilt as a metaphor for what this side of eternity looks like.
It’s messy on the backside of quilts–there’s thread and stitches made with no regard to appearance or organization. That’s how this side of eternity can feel. It’s not until the veil is lifted and we see the details and intentionality that went into each stitch can we begin to comprehend the pain and the “but why God” we are left with on this side of eternity.
While I hadn’t heard the metaphor before, the concept was not new. However, the comfort from it was. There was something about it that was so uniquely comforting. To the point where I needed to know why. What did I hear from that? Nothing about my life had changed yet I was so comforted by this comparison.
It was the idea that God has a plan.
I am such a planner–to a “fault.” And right now I feel like I’m learning that plans fall apart. Our worlds shatter. And it’s okay. Because God is in control. Not because He’s taken over control because we messed up or can no longer handle it, but because He was always in control. In a season that I would classify as a fear of shattered dreams, God was reminding me that He has a plan and that it was never my plan to begin with. And the story of His faithfulness in my life goes back long before the pieces that have begun to weave together this season. It goes back before I can even conceptualize.
Biblical inerrancy is what it comes down to for me, which for me in this season is essentially, “what if everything I have read and been told about God was true.” What if I took the 277 accounts in the Bible of covenants between God and His people each as Truth. What if I took them each as a promise of His own faithfulness to me. And then what if I held onto those promises during times of fear and doubt.
The truth is that Fruits of the Spirit are brutal. The good stuff comes through the blood, sweat, and tears. And the funny thing is everyone hates on patience. You always hear, “never pray for patience.” But it’s faithfulness that’s the life shattering fruit. But the good kind of shattering. The kind of shattering that has to happen before deep healing takes place and God begins to piece together your life so that His plan for you can come into fruition.
I stopped at a fruit stand in the outskirts of Monterey yesterday and came to the conclusion that for me God’s faithfulness is kind of like a pomegranate where the fruit is made up of 600+ seeds that are also the fruit and each have a greater purpose. While the process of understanding God’s faithfulness in your life and reciprocating that faithfulness despite the hardships in each season is brutal, what he produces through our brokenness and shortcomings is so life giving when lived out and shared with others.
Ashley Hamilton is a Writing professor whose co-workers are 100+ 18-21 year olds and it’s a constant love-hate battle between them and her. She copes with life through story telling and dreams of being a “stay at home professor”. She’s also an ISTJ and Myers Briggs enthusiast, and is passionate about helping others identify the lies of the enemy and coming alongside and encouraging others to endure the race.