Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.
Have you ever hoped or dreamed for a certain situation to go a certain way and it has not yet, or maybe it will not. Are you there right now? As many of you know I recently finished writing my forth book called “Daughters of Fire: Burning Bright For God In An Increasingly Dark World.” The book is a journey of life lessons and wisdom form the prophet Elijah. Well, writing this book was one of the most challenging projects I have even worked on. I wrote it while pregnant and after I have my son. Much of this book was written in the middle of the night or while nursing my son and just in the fringe hours of trying to do everything else. But I was so passionate about this message that I was determined to write it down and share it with you.
Well, part of sharing it with you meant sharing the book to publishers last summer at a women’s conference. I was so excited to present my book and the prospect at getting published with a traditional publisher. The idea of having the reach of a large Christian publisher to spread this message I am so passionate about would be a dream come true. I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed awake in bed thinking of what it would all be like. Seeing my book in actual book stores, having a team to help me promote, and traveling the nation to do interviews and speaking engagements. I had it all worked out it my head.
However month’s after meeting with publishers I got my first rejection letter. It was pleasant. She explained that although they loved the book idea, they did not think I had a big enough audience to meet their sales and marketing goals. I tried to stay positive but on the inside I was crushed. See they did not simply reject my book, they rejected my dream and my vision.
Now I know I’m not the only one that has ever happened to you? I’m sure there are many of you who have invested so much emotional energy into something you are hoping for and are quickly faced with the reality that it seriously might not happen.
Maybe you had your wedding Pinterest board all in place but then the relationship ended. You hoped this would be the month you’d get pregnant but then your period comes on, you just knew that job or school or opportunity was just for you only to have that door slam shut in your face. And you’re just left there with shattered dreams, not really sure what to make of all the pieces. And you wonder why God allowed you to hope for those things in the first place. You wonder if you’re doing something wrong and why God did not work this out for you. I get it. I’ve been there more than on one occasion.
When I was pregnant with my first child my husband and I we living in a townhouse outside of Washington DC where we lived at the time. One day my husband was at work and I was home by myself taking a nap because that’s what you do when youre pregnant and have a moment to yourself. Well to my surprise I woke up to the entire house shaking. First I seriously though I was dreaming but then when I realized that no this is really happening I was so scared, I had no idea what was going on. Then it hit me. Oh my goodness Jesus is coming back. And I remember thinking I didn’t get to have my baby yet. Y’all this was a 3 story townhouse in a cluster of two other townhouses. Literally moving left to right. Pictures were falling off wall and things falling off dressers and in closets. I praise God to this day that I did not go into labor. I went downstairs and outside to find all my neighbors outside too. We quickly found out that we had experience, most of us our first earthquake. Y’all. We were not prepared for no earth quote on the east coast. But when your very foundation shifts, everything falls with it whether you are ready or not.
With that I do what to say that I have prepared this study with those in mind who’s struggle may be even more serious than a rejection letter. Maybe a lost loved one, an unexpected betrayal from someone you deeply trusted, or a devastating health report. I want to let you know that no matter where you fall on the scale of just how real your struggle is I think we can all identify with the uncertain and scary feeling of facing a circumstance where it literally feels like the ground has caved from under us.
When I received that rejection letter last year, I’d be lying if I told you I was not disappointed but like any disappointment I took it to God and I had to decide. What would I do next? What would I do if it never worked out, what if my dream never came true? And the Lord really placed this testimony of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego on my heart so I started studying it. And it encouraged me so much and thus lead to the creation of this study, praise the Lord.
And I love this story of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego because even in the face of things not going their way, in the face of rejection and death, they maintain this strong resolve not to allow that to shake them. That although their dreams may not come true they stay strong in their faith in God, they stay bold in their trust in God’s love towards them and they are completely unmoved by the threat of uncertainties that this life can bring.
I want some of that and I know you do too. Because the reality is, things will not always go our way, how we want and how we plan but we serve a God, who is our anchor who ensures we will not get pushed around by all the uncertainties of life. Hebrews 6:19 assures us:
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,” – Hebrews 6:19 NIV
The hope this verse is talking about are the promises of God. It is reassuring us that although things may change, people may change even we may change, God will not, and neither will His promises. Although this life is uncertain our God is not. And because of that our souls can rest assured just like Shadrach Meshach and Abednego .
Let’s keep this conversation going Beloved! Comment and let me know what helps you to remain unshaken when the struggle gets real?
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