You know those seasons of life where it feels like God is just throwing everything off course? Like the plans you made suddenly are worthless and are falling apart? Those dreams you had? Gone. The future you were aligning your day-to-day to? Vanished. You are left grasping and wondering what happened.

I know that feeling. I know the feelings that come along with it. I know grief. I know heartbreak.

More importantly though, I know love. I know grace. I know hope.

I’m honestly speechless right now. Eyes welling up just because I’m amazed and in utter awe of God. Of where He’s brought me.

It’s been one heck of a year. Exactly one year ago today, I was thrown into a journey I never imagined I’d be walking. Boy can God change what you thought were His plans, when in reality they were the ones I was making, hoping they were His.

What I didn’t expect though, was where I am today. I’m stronger. I’m joyful. I’m leaning into my faith than ever before. And I know who I am.

I’m in front of you today though, because the journey is long. The journey is hard; but life on the other side of it is so worth every tear, every ounce of confusion, and every word of frustration thrown up at God.

Back in the middle of this past summer, our church did a series on questioning God in the journey. Everything revolved around this idea we all know: “To get out of this, I’m going to have to go through that, to get there”.

One part of the series keeps popping in my head as I sit here and write, thinking about my year of highs and lows. So, I’m following that gut instinct and I have to share!

We all go through our own personal hurricanes throughout this life. Many of us experience more than one, all different magnitudes, different situations, different times, but still devastating. When you’re in it, all you want is to get out, to reach the other side when everything will be “all better”. Nobody ever wants to go through the fight, through the struggle, through the pain.

We all search for clarity, simplicity, and comfort when life falls apart. We want the completely white Rubix cube. The one where everything is the same, everything is in order, and everything seems perfect.

Who really wants the white Rubix cube though? Nobody. At the end of the day, we all know this isn’t truly beautiful.

So when we’re seeking clarity, simplicity, and comfort, I’ve learned it may be what we want, but deep down we know it’s not beautiful. It’ll never make us happy.

The world makes us believe everything unclear, uncomfortable, and difficult is not good. Going through two very different seasons of loss has taught me one thing for sure, the beauty is found deep in the journey. It’s in the unclear, uncomfortable, and difficult.

And you’re not alone in it. I know how to question God. I’ve felt alone and abandoned by Him more than once and yet, He’s always there. I truly know He will never give you more than the both of you can handle. It’s not just on you; you have a Lord and Savior who is there to carry the load as well.

Even though it feels hopeless, the only thing you can sometimes hold onto is hope. Hope not in the circumstances though, it’s hope in Him who is so much greater than the circumstances you’re facing.

I sit here, insanely grateful for my God and they journey I’ve been on to get to this day where I am becoming more and more of myself than I ever imagined. I’m learning to truly love like there is no such thing as a broken heart.

I’m at a place where parts of the last year, excuse my language, felt like hell. But, I made it through though, and you know what? I wouldn’t change what happened a year ago for the world. I never thought I’d feel that way or actually say that. BUT HERE I AM.

People told me God must have been protecting me from something I couldn’t see, and His plan is so much better than what I was seeing.

Let me be the first to tell you how hard that is to believe. I’ll tell it to myself, I’ll say it out loud, and I’m still trying to get my heart to believe it fully.

I’m still confused with what God’s plan is. I like things planned out and this last year has been a tug-of-war learning to let go and let Him take control on a daily basis.

Looking at what I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, the ways I’ve grown, I see Him. I know something beautiful is at work.

I’m learning to see my beauty, and I’m actually holding confidence in myself again!

So You,

You who are struggling.

You who are tired.

You who are hopeless.

You who are lonely.

You who are feeling worthless.

You who don’t believe.

Keep fighting. Keep on going.

This season will not last forever. You are made for so much more.

The waiting is the hardest part, but the waiting is where the beauty lies. The waiting is where life happens, in the midst of the messy. Take it one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time.

You are growing.

You are blossoming.

You are shining.

You may not see it, but I do. You are so full of love and so worthy.

Let yourself be on this journey. Have grace for yourself and do not ever be afraid to lean on others.

I’m here. and You are amazing.

XO,

Shaya

P.S. You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. – Song of Songs 4:7