When We Run Ahead of God {Anchored Souls Series}

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Today my dear friend Tiffany Parry joins us on the blog as we continue our Anchored Souls series. Tiffany’s heart for real conversations drew me into her writing instantly. She leaves pretense at the door, and isn’t afraid to talk about the messy, often confusing parts of our walk with Christ. Her writing challenges me to dig deep and ask hard questions, and I am continually grateful God chose to align our paths in the writing world. I hope you will give her a warm welcome today as she talks about those seasons when God gives us a tough direction to follow.

When We Run Ahead of God

Just be a girl. God wrote the words over my heart.

After a season of struggle and difficulty, heartbreak and confusion, those words should have sounded like an invitation to freedom and rest. But for a “girl” who was used to doing, and going, and being so much more than “just” it felt like I was being placed on a shelf to collect dust.

God had called me out of ministry, out of labor and the business of caring for others. When my natural inclination might have been to search for a need to fill or a job to sink myself into, God said, just be.

It’s a humbling moment when the Creator of the universe gives you direction to simply stop.

I’ll be the first to admit that change isn’t easy. When, like me, you crave routine and detailed order, change feels a whole lot like the deep and wide unknown. But only to us.

“Jesus replied, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.’”
John 13:7 NLT

God sees, and He knows exactly when to cast light into the deep unknown and bring certainty out of the shadows.

So I waited…watched…listened…worshipped…communed…healed…stood still.

And then I was done. Yup. I decided my season of “just being” was over and it was time I leap right back into what I left behind. Notice all the “I’s” in that sentence?

Let’s pause for a minute. It bears mentioning that my season of wait encompassed over a year of my life. A year of change and adjustment, of new beginnings in new places. It was a necessary season of rest and refreshment in the Lord, and it wasn’t mind to end.

The changing of the seasons are never in our hands.

On a crisp fall evening, I donned brave and strong and marched [or more like crept into the corner] of a Women’s Ministry meeting at my new church. Certain that it was time to reignite my passions and reengage my gifts, I [there “I” am again] decided signing up for the smallest of small jobs would be harmless.

My pastor’s wife shared her vision for the women of the church—kindness, love, authenticity. She filled my heart in places I had no idea craved care and attention. At the end of the meeting I approached, lifted my hand to shake hers, and nearly slipped on my own puddle of tears as I poured out as much of my story as would fit around hiccups and sobs. Messy, but quite real.

Do you know what she said to me? “Just be a girl.”

Her words echoed God’s and assured me that it was simply too soon.

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He was in the room that night. Even when we run ahead of God, He still stands by our side.

So I waited…watched…listened…worshipped…communed…healed some more and kept standing still.

And it was hard. But it was good. It still is. Rather than run ahead, I’ve taken baby steps and God has met each one. He has shined a great light into that deep unknown and has revealed certain truth, unwavering promise, abounding grace, and the most tender provision.

There have been moments I’ve wondered if perhaps God would forever leave me in a holding pattern. But just when I think I’m forgotten, God proves that He has been working all along—transforming, refining, equipping, molding me into the person He needs me to become.

We are His—dearly loved, held close, deeply treasured—and we are NEVER forgotten.

There are places we will soon walk that God has not yet revealed because He hasn’t fully prepared us for them. The stillness, the quiet, the seeming unknown are not indications of His absence, but simply the promise that His best is yet to come.

Let’s “just be” a people who willingly wait, who stand expectant, of God’s very best.

 


tiffany-headshot2Tiffany is marveled by the endless grace and relentless love of her Savior in this life that can be so messy, too busy, and entirely imperfect. Her heart is to share God’s precious promises of grace and love with others and invite them into honest and authentic conversations about faith and life. Tiffany welcomes you to join the journey at her blog, Simply for One, or on Facebook and Instagram.

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19 thoughts on “When We Run Ahead of God {Anchored Souls Series}

  1. I know that feeling as well, Tiffany. It’s so hard to put into words exactly how it feels to walk this road, but you describe it as if you see straight to my heart! Thanks for continuing to take those baby steps, allowing God to use you – like today with this post – in His ways and His timing. God bless you friend!

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  2. Tiffany this is precious to me. I think you’ve been walking this a bit longer than I have and I’m listening to wisdom and encouragement in the Lord you’re passing down the waiting line. Thank you. Thanks especially for this: “It’s a humbling moment when the Creator of the universe gives you direction to simply stop.” Amen. So glad you’re here!

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    • I’m so happy you were encouraged, Bethany. It has been a LONG road and I’m not the person I was when I first set out – which I’m grateful for. God has changed me in necessary ways and more than anything, I know Him more deeply and certainly. So, that makes every hard step worth it. Hold fast, friend – He is SO good to us!

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  3. Beautiful. There’s strenght in simply “being”, and Tiffany, it’s evident in you. By deciding to simply “be”, you have impacted me in a good and godly manner. True story. 😉 Praise God for His reassurance in the puddle at women’s ministry. New church or not, He’s still the God who sees all. Praise the Lord. And Abby, thank you for sharing your space. xo

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    • I appreciate that, Kristi. It’s a joy to be able to share our experience and strengthen others in their own – to comfort as we’ve been comforted. It’s the beauty of telling ours, and I’m so glad to link arms with you as a fellow story teller. xoxo

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  4. I know that God has allowed me to find this post today because He has caused me physically to rest. Its not in my nature to not help but I believe He is changing my season once more and this heart has to obey. He is El Shaddai and I Am to me. Amen! Praise my Jesus !

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    • Obeying isn’t always easy, but it’s a direct reflection of our love and for our Father. His plans for us are good (not necessarily easy or simple), and I pray you sense His nearness in your season of change. Blessings!

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  5. Tiffany,
    I am perhaps even more headstrong than you are. God had to remove people around me and sideline me with a major surgery that took a LONG time to heal from (I wasn’t even allowed to put weight on my one leg for 6 weeks). That’s what it took for Him to get me simply to “be still” in His presence and so that He could have my undivided attention. I look back on that time and now I see why that was so necessary. Learning, albeit usually the hard way, not to run ahead of God but to trust His holy timing. Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Advent blessings,
    Bev

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    • It’s amazing the lengths God will go to get our attention. He just cares that much. I’ve had a few seasons of that sort of forced stillness and yes, it’s the hard way, but like you, I’ve come to find the goodness and necessity in it. And hopefully I’m better at reading the warning signs now too! Thanks for sharing in the conversation, Bev.

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  6. Oh, Tiffany! This spoke volumes to me today. I needed it…I especially loved the last part where you said, “There are places we will soon walk that God has not yet revealed because He hasn’t fully prepared us for them.” This gives me hope as I continue to wait in the “holding tank” that has comprised my “still waters” for the past over five years. Surely, I feel “shelved” many days, but I must trust that God has a plan, and it isn’t over yet. Thank you for this encouragement, my friend.

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    • I’m so glad you found hope here, Cheryl. It can be so hard to believe when we are in that holding tank, to trust that God is in the wait. But He is always where we are and so it is in our hardest seasons. Praying He would reveal His presence in fresh new ways, friend. xoxo

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  7. Oh, Tiff your heart here so resonates with mine because I did this at every church I attended, trying to find my worth and feel like a part of something bigger than myself, before I really just soaked or let myself just be. Before I really got to know people. And than I would get overwhelmed and it was a repetitive cycle…it is part of my story…so I truly feel ya, and I thank you for sharing this. I am so thankful you are able to sit in His presence and let Him fill you with all His good things as He prepares for the next. Blessings!!

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  8. Tiffany, this is such wisdom. Speak it. Because the times I’ve run ahead of God have painfully taught following God’s timing will always be for my best. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

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