These past 17 months have been tremendously hard for many of us. As Chad (my husband) and I did a walk the other day, I listened to my statements and questions. I could hear deep discouragement that was close to despair. We have had some tough years, some hard knocks, and hits were seeping through. Chad heard it too, and the next day he booked me a hotel room so that I could spend some time in solitude leaning into God with my sadness and questions.

While there, I felt the Lord push me into leaning into my identity as a loved daughter- a daughter whom God could see, a daughter God valued, a daughter whom God wanted. From that full realization of my identity as a daughter whom God loves and regardless of the world’s craziness; I could stand tall, filled with the Spirit, and engage the world’s darkness as light and salt.

I felt the Lord encourage me to meditate for 30 days on His love for me – one verse/passage a day. I remember standing in an underground training school in Ch….  I met the main theology teacher who equipped these young men and women to serve the Lord regardless of the cost. In her first year as a Christian, this theology teacher memorized hundreds of verses about God’s love. From that strong identity, she engaged in courageous work.

When God gave me this mandate, I knew I would benefit. I saw my own brokenness. I knew I needed to go back to the very foundation of who I was in God’s family. But then I felt a very quick prompting. Share your verses and reflections with others. Perhaps God realizes many of us need to be reminded! These shared reflections may be for just one person, and if so, even this reveals God’s depth of intimacy and concern than each of us daughters and sons realize God abounds in love for us.

My first verse I reflected on was Exodus 15:13, “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength, you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” The Israelites had just seen God part the Red Sea and had walked over on dry ground. Can you even imagine? Moses and Miriam break out into a song declaring praises and gratitude to God. Exodus 15:13 comes within this song of praise.

Perhaps because we are truly wandering right now, this verse just melted into my spirit as beautiful anointing oil! I have been deeply saddened about Afghanistan and the plight of our sisters and brothers in Christ there. About two weeks ago, one of our friends called to say a wife of an Afghan brother had called the states and reported her husband had just been beheaded. My heart just wept in honor of this brother and sister. But this verse encouraged me for the Afghan church. Through God’s love and strength, He would lead and guide them.

On a lesser scale, but a personal one, I thought over our past 18 months since covid hit. Because of that, 5 international trips we had planned were canceled. A vision for 2021 that would have our family in about twenty nations for a vision that we felt God led us to pursue had to be canceled. Closed, Asian borders has made it impossible for us to return. We have moved 6 times in the past year.

Though we’ve seen God do some beautiful things through the multiple transitions, it’s been hard. God used this passage today to remind me that I am loved by God and I am redeemed by God. Therefore, God will lead me. He will guide me in His strength. Through Him, I can rest in His presence knowing that despite the still position I feel I am in, God IS continuing to lead and guide.

As the Afghan refugees plot the ground looking for a place to rest their head or the Afghan Christian looks for caves in which to hide, God in His love and strength will guide them. Though our feet are still and our frequent flier miles are not accumulating for the first time in 20 years, God also continues to guide and lead us!

Perhaps you can relate to some hard months. Perhaps you too can hear your questions and can detect feelings of discouragement or despair. No matter what is going on in the world, God wants you to know you are loved and He is willing to guide you and lead you through these rough days. YOU are loved and cherished. In His love and strength, God wants to guide and lead you. You can rest in this assurance. As a redeemed daughter or son, God finds great delight in guiding you and leading you – especially on rocky and uncertain paths.