Even If: a hard-learned lesson of faith in the midst of change

[Today’s guest post is from Kaylyn Whitley, who has some experience with letting go and finding faith.]

Early in the morning of March 9th, I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror trying to get ready for class, but was instead crying hysterically for the first time in almost seven years. I was a Teacher’s Assistant for a graduate professor, and I was substituting that day; which meant I was giving the lecture that morning. What no one knew was that two days prior, I had dropped out of seminary. I was fine, and happy as I usually was when I got to lecture, but then “Even If” by MercyMe came on my Spotify. I was trying to sing along, but had lost it by the start of the second verse.

“They say it only takes a little faith to move a mountain. Well, good thing, a little faith is all I have right now. But, God, when You choose to leave mountains unmovable, oh, give me the strength to be able to sing, ‘It is well with my soul.'” (MercyMe, Even If.)

The thought “What have you done?” in regards to quitting school, crossed my mind over and over again. I knew I had lost my financial aid by leaving, so I knew changing my mind wasn’t going to be an option. I had no “Plan B,” and no faith to go along with the uncertainty that I was feeling about everything. The irony is that my lecture that day was on faith and repentance.

Fast forward to today – late June – and I’m an unemployed, university graduate but seminary dropout, still without a plan. In late May, I applied for what would have been a dream job for me. As I was waiting and waiting for June 16th to find out whether or not I would get an interview, I was constantly reminding myself of the promises of God:

  • He who began a good work in me will see it through to completion (Phil 1:6).
  • I will cast all my cares on Him because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).
  • He will sustain me and not let the righteous fall (Psalm 55:22).
  • God has a plan of hope for my future (Jer 29:11).
  • Stop worrying. God’s got this (Phil 4:6-7).
  • If God takes such good care of the birds, He’ll take even greater care of me and my needs (Matt 6:25-34).
  • No matter what happens, God will work all things together for my good and according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

This list nowhere near exhausts the promises of God, but I was able to muster up enough faith to remind myself not to count God out. However, June 16th came and went with no call for an interview. Yet, I found a familiar phrase still stuck in my head from months prior: “Even if.”

In a dark, quiet moment one night, it was like I heard God speaking to me:

Kaylyn, even if it doesn’t look at all like you had hoped for and dreamed about, will you still follow Me?

Kaylyn, even if it doesn’t happen when you thought it should have, will you still trust Me?

Kaylyn, even if it doesn’t happen at all, because My plan for you isn’t what You thought it would be, will you still worship Me?

Will you still love Me, even if?

Will you still serve Me, even if?

Because, no matter what, I’m still here. I’m still your ever-faithful God who goes before you, and I know the plans I have for you; even if you don’t understand it all right now.

So, Kaylyn, even if … will I still be your God?

Once again, I gathered up my mustard seed sized faith, and from somewhere deep inside my heart I managed to pray, “Yes, LORD, even if … through whatever ‘if’ may be.”

You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good all of my days.
Jesus, I will cling to You, come what may.
‘Cause I know You’re able. I know You can. …
But even if You don’t, my hope is You alone.
(MercyMe, Even If.)

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Kaylyn Whitley is a twenty-something who is still trying to figure out and find her place in this crazy journey called “life.” She is a graduate of Liberty University, where she earned her B.S. in Religious Studies: Theology and Apologetics with a minor in Biblical Studies. Her love of God and theology was the catalyst that sparked her passion for egalitarianism, gender equality, and women’s rights. Connect with Kaylyn on her blog Follow Your Arrow, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

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10 Responses to Even If: a hard-learned lesson of faith in the midst of change

  1. Pingback: Even If: a hard-learned lesson of faith in the midst of change — Tim’s Blog @tim_fall – Just One Train Wreck After Another | Talmidimblogging

  2. Jeannie Prinsen says:

    Thanks for this post, Kaylyn. Every single one of us, no matter our age or stage of life, can benefit from your words because we’ve all been there: wondering what the next step is, whether we’ve made the right decision … and just clinging to God’s faithfulness and grace no matter what. Wonderful words of honesty and encouragement today.

    • kaylynrenee says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Jeannie! It is weird to think that this will still happen even after my 20’s, but faith never stops being tested and growing. I’m very happy you enjoyed the post ♡

  3. Tim says:

    Kaylyn, when you sent me this post I couldn’t get to it right away. God knew the timing needed, though, because I read it on the exact morning I needed to read something like this. You give great encouragement in the faith and I am grateful you let me run it here as a guest post.

    • JYJames says:

      Yes, great encouragement and excellent timing.

    • kaylynrenee says:

      Thank you so much, as well! I feel very grateful you offered me the chance to write again. When you first offered, I put it off for several days, because I didn’t know what topic to choose. I’m like, “Oh, gosh. I’m not in school, I don’t have a job, and my life is boring or frustrating most days. Hm…I guess I’ll work with that.” ☺

  4. Jennifer says:

    Just wanted you to know that the link to her blog is broken.
    I think it’s because there is a comma after “com”.
    I was able to find it by googling it, but you may want to correct it?

    Thanks for the article!

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