I got out for a walk last week to clear my thoughts and think some new ones.

When I came to a sharp turn on a tree-lined street, with fallen leaves scattered everywhere, the setting sun gently smiling through the gaps in the branches, I stopped to try to snap a picture of that beautiful moment in time.

Just that morning, I’d been praying and God had reminded me of the word “Adventure” and I was thinking about whether I am still excited by what’s around the bend in the road ahead.

Adventure was this magical word I felt God whisper to my heart, fully 20 years ago, when I was just beginning to walk with Him.

Adventure was this bold invitation. I said yes to adventure again, serving Him in Mexico for the summer a couple of years later.

The adventure of following Him took me to South Africa and Zambia the next year, and to Scotland the year after that.

His adventure was calling when I packed two suitcases and moved to Edinburgh for who-knew-how-long in 2005.

Saying yes to God’s invitation to adventure has meant so many things I treasure: marrying a South African I met in Scotland, calling two foreign countries home for extended periods, giving birth on three different continents.

Somewhere along the way though, things got hard. From financial struggles and harsh experiences on the mission field to “starting over” in North Carolina and, more recently, handling a traumatic medical experience, nearly losing a child. 

Maybe you can relate?

There are times when walking with God doesn’t exactly feel like the fun adventure you signed up for.

I realized, as I looked at that big curve in the road last week, that sometimes in our life, things can hurt so much we stop believing there can be something good around the bend.

We start to think maybe things are just always gonna be hard.

That belief can really slow us down.
That belief can really make us afraid.
That belief can lead us to start saying a polite “No thanks” to the adventure invitations from our God.

2020 has been a year of hard things and a year of disappointments for so many of us. We’ve said some really hard no’s, faced a lot of really challenging choices, maybe even said some very, very painful goodbyes.

But if we believe in the goodness of God, we have to believe the truth of His promises:

  • That He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. {Jer. 29:11}
  • That when we pass through the waters, He’ll be with us, and when we walk through the fire, we will not be burned. {Isaiah 43:2}
  • That He doesn’t withhold good things from us as we walk with and toward Him. 
    {Psalm 84:11}

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to invite you into a deeper study of this idea, an invitation to begin to reframe our perspective so that we can look forward without fear.

For today, I’d like to encourage you to whisper these words to yourself, to really hear them with your whole soul:

Yes, this year was hard. Yes, so many things hurt. But God has not changed, and neither have His promises.

Our pain is a pathway toward His purposes for us, and there is good, there is good, there is GOOD yet to come. Even when you can’t see it, you know Him and can trust: more good is always just around the bend.

P.S. If you’re in gift-giving mode, I’d love to welcome you to visit my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide. It has ideas for different ages and budgets and I hope it’ll be a helpful slice of inspiration for you! Peace and GRACE to you today, friend!!! Click the link below to see the Holiday Guide and Grab the Hassle Free Holiday Guide I created to help you plan and prepare for more peace during the holidays!

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