By Brooklyn Oseguera
I am a lover of routine. I like to go to the same Starbucks every week, get groceries every Monday morning, drive a certain route to school each time and so on. Routines make me feel like I can control my life. When everything is as it should be – when all of my ducks are in a row – it’s easy for me to stay close to Jesus. I feel the way I want to feel with Him, I don’t have anything crazy going on…it’s just good. When life happens and reality comes into play, my routines can quickly shatter right before my eyes. As I feel like I’m trying to grab all the pieces and put them back into place, sometimes it becomes harder for me to have that same connection to Jesus as I had when everything was how I liked it. It can feel like everything is different and I have to try to get my heart back into that rhythm of rest – back into intimacy with Him. Many of us go through some troubling moments that completely throw us off. Whether it’s failing a class in college, being betrayed by a loved one, getting a scary diagnosis or even moving to a new city, the new can often emotionally and spiritually paralyze us. Personally, I just went through a huge season of change that left me feeling so overwhelmed and depleted. I didn’t know how juggle a new job, new church and trying to make good first impressions while also doing my best to keep up everything I was already doing before also. It was all a little too much at once, and it became hard for me to stay connected to my Jesus.
When seasons like these come in our lives, I feel many of us struggle having intimacy with God. In the book of John, however, God reminds us that connection with Him is completely necessary in this life.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 [ESV]
The Word of God is always true and always relevant, even when our circumstances are changing. When we are overwhelmed and don’t exactly know what we are feeling, God wants us to come to Him anyway. Yes, in the mess and the stress – He wants us. He doesn’t want us to try to manage everything else before we reconnect with Him. He wants us to come to Him first. I know in my life, I’ve chased after t.v., academic achievements, friends, my partner and even coffee when trying to cope with new changes and stress in my life. I’d constantly be working out of my own strength, trying to make everything better. Deep down, I would worry about the future – forgetting that my Lord was already holding it all together. It’s very lonely to be in the midst of change but running from intimacy with God. The enemy has a way of getting us to isolate ourselves instead of running into the arms of Jesus in the midst of the change. We often get so wrapped up in what’s changing that we stray from the One that’s constant.
Recently, as I found myself anxiety ridden and clouded with confusion about the many changes happening in my life lately, I wanted to shut down and shy away from the eyes of my Jesus, feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about aspects of my life. Meanwhile, the Lord tugged at my heart to open up His Word and soak up His truth. I opened my Bible and landed on Psalm 139:2-5 [ESV] which says, “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” You are acquainted with all my ways. That line especially stood out to me. I dwelled on the fact that God knows every detail of my life – big, small, new, old, scary, exciting, past and future – and I was still before my Jesus. I rested because I knew He wouldn’t. His eyes are always on me. Because He knows, I can cling to Him instead of everything else that pretends to hold me. He has it all in His hands, and that right there makes any change I face okay.
Friend, I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe you’re in the midst of a job change, a big move, a breakup or just entering into a new season in life. I want to encourage you to stay close to the One who already knows it all – the One who knows you. Make the choice each day to pause in the midst of your worries and stress, and just be still. Choose to open up to Him and let Him know how you’re feeling, rather than to run from Him. He’s the best listener and the perfect person to confide in. Don’t stray away. Choose intimacy. You can make it through this with Him holding you. Break off the desire to put everything back together yourself and instead come running into His arms. He’s ready for you, He knows you and He loves you. Go on. He’s ready for you.
Brooklyn is a lover of Jesus and an advocate of intimacy with Him. Sharing her heart with others is one of her greatest passions. She does this through coffee dates and writing in her blog. She is also currently writing her first book, which she hopes to have out later next year. In addition to these passions, she loves leading worship at the church she and her husband attend in Sacramento, CA. She is married to her high school sweetheart and is enjoying being a newlywed, but is also looking forward to the future God has in store for them. She loves meeting new people and getting to know their hearts, so feel free reach out and say hello sometime!