I find it no small coincidence that I was asked to write about God’s faithfulness just one week before the very thing I wasn’t sure was ever going to happen, well, happens.
Allow me to bring you up to speed.
Two years ago, I sat down to be interviewed for the story I didn’t want to be mine. I didn’t want to be the single girl, about to turn 30, being held up as the example for patience and faith and trust. I didn’t want to be the one telling the story that even though what I had asked God to give me for many years had yet to come into existence, I somehow still knew him to be faithful. I really didn’t want everyone in the world to know I didn’t want to be single anymore and even more so, I didn’t want people to think God isn’t good or he doesn’t answer our prayers.
Still, I told my story. (https://sandalschurch.com/stories/stephanie-keen/)
I sat down at a table, talked about my life and told someone who was pretty much a stranger about how it took everything in me to utter a prayer to God asking him to do what (at the time) seemed impossible. And how that one prayer didn’t really seem to change anything in my circumstances, but it did change me.
A few weeks later, I reluctantly posed for some pictures in that same spot so we could attach my face to that story I dreaded sharing so much.
I think I honestly thought at the time that God’s faithfulness to me would probably be in the form of never answering that prayer, but instead using my story to encourage all the other people who were waiting for their answer from him.
Now here I am, looking back on all of that and trying to answer the question, “how has God been faithful to me?” As I began, I kept trying to come up with these grand examples of what God’s faithfulness really is, how it goes beyond coincidences and very specifically answered prayers and all the seemingly little things that demonstrate how involved he is in my life. But again, try as I might, I can’t seem to tell any story except the one that’s mine.
Because I’m big on nostalgia, I came back to that same spot to write this story. And because I’m also big on procrastinating, I starting by rereading that story and looking at the calendar to see when exactly that all went down. And that’s when I found out exactly how God has been faithful to me.
Do you know what happened exactly one year from the day I sat down to tell my story? I sat down for what would turn out to be my last first date. And do you know what’s going to happen exactly two years to the day from when I reluctantly posed for those pictures on this patio? I’m going to pose for some more pictures – just a few minutes after I marry the man I asked God to bring so many years ago.
This bears repeating because I don’t mean, “Oh how funny, it was almost the same day.” I mean it was the exact same date, both times. I believe that God knew when I sat down on April 1, 2015 to tell my story that April 1, 2016 would be the anniversary of my first date with the man who would become my husband. And God knew that when I posed alone for pictures on April 28, 2015, that I was doing so on the very date that would become my wedding anniversary two years later.
What does it mean to me that God is faithful? It means he heard me when I asked him what I thought was a ridiculous question. It means he chose to answer that question in a way that would not only show he listened, but that he knows me. It means that he knew that there would come a day when I would sit down and realize he put a very specific plan in place to not only answer my question, but let me see exactly how he did.
I see now that God’s faithfulness can be as personal as it is universal. The universal side of God’s faithfulness is that he will always bring what he plans into existence. From the moment we sinned, God planned to make a way to bring us back to him. God’s faithfulness to all of us came in, in the form of fulfilling his promise to make us perfect and forget our sins through Jesus. And God’s faithfulness to me came in the form of answering a prayer I thought he had dismissed.
I am now living on the other side of seeing God answer me in a way that only he could. My hope is that I remember his faithfulness the next time I think he has dismissed my request, or worse, dismissed me. And friends, we are all living on the other side of seeing God keep his promise to bring us back to him in the way only he could. My hope is that we will all remember his faithfulness the next time we think he has dismissed us.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 NLT
Reflect on this…
Where is an area where you may feel either dismissed or overlooked, either by others or by God?
If we believe that God sees us and knows everything about us, how does that change how you feel during times when God isn’t answering you the way you had hoped?
Reflection is an incredible tool to remind us of God’s faithfulness, but we can often forget to look back and see how God has answered our prayers. What are some things that you have asked God for that are now realities in your life?