How many of you have a friend best known for telling it like it is? I do and her name is Stacee Bain Crittenden. In addition to my best friend’s penchant for honesty, I’m surrounded by a bevy of girlfriends, church friends and sorority sisters who like to keep it real. True friendship yields many blessings including loyalty, ongoing support and unfiltered feedback.
Earlier this year, I invited a few friends to my apartment. We gathered together to talk about our dream homes, dream cars and yes, a dream man or two. We shared our life goals. I talked about turning V2V into a book. My girls complimented the weekly posts.
One of my “tell it like it is friends” said, “Tracey, I read V2V every week. I get it, that we pray and talk to God. What do you do after you’ve done that and nothing’s changed? You ask God for help and help has yet to arrive?”
I sat their in silence, intently listening to her question. I could empathize. “I don’t know the answer to your question but I’ve been there,” I said. “There have been times where my personal desires were at odds with God’s plan. Nothing seemed to go right. Things hung in limbo. Yet and still I waited for my change to come.”
“I get it. We should trust and pray,” she said. “And then what? Tracey, you have a different kind of faith. Not everybody has your type of faith. What do you tell that person who’s struggling to get through another day while their prayers hang in the balance?”
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderfu deeds for mankind, Psalm 107:8
Not a question I could answer alone, so I turned to Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald S. Whitney, a book I studied during my diaconate walk. It talks about the moments in our lives when God floods our souls with a sense of presence and the times when we sense his absence and wonder if he has left us. The author took great pains to emphasize that God never leaves us but sometimes initiates a spiritual thirst within us, a thirst that only HE can fulfill. The reason for these moments is to deepen our faith and force us to depend fully on him.
for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9
In the deepest, darkest valley, God is still there. He’s always there even when it doesn’t feel like it. He is always there because he’s brought us through past trials. We can trust and know that he’s still there to lead us through present trials. Just have faith and know….that he’s there, by our side.