Dedicated to the fearless truth-speakers in my life:
my dad, Mark Thomas, and my dear friend Whitney Gross.
Thank you for not accepting the things I accept too easily.
~ the dedication of The Field
Happy, happy, happy 23rd birthday, friend!
I know your birthday is not technically until tomorrow, but I was thinking of and praying for you on my drive home today. You’ve been a fearless truth-speaker to me during some of the roughest seasons of my life, and I am so thankful for the times you have given me the eyes to see beyond what is right in front of me. You are such an incredible person, and I sense that you need those eyes back tonight, so let me see if I can be a fearless truth-speaker to you.
God still has something big in store for you, but don’t despise the day of small things. I know this season has not turned out the way you had hoped and planned, and I know how disappointed and frustrated you must be, but God is not done with you. Although unexpected circumstances have come, God is not reduced or lessened in your life. He has something He is doing for you, in you, and through you. As in, right now. And maybe He’s doing it in the thing you’ve overlooked as not a big deal or insignificant. Our God is both a big-picture God and a God of intimate detail, so keep seeking Him in the small stuff, and the big things will become clear.
Don’t be afraid to pray specific prayers and remain open. After a door slams in our face, a door we deeply desire, it can be tempting to stop praying specific prayers and say, “Whatever, God.” You had gone through your door, you were living your prayers, and I know being snatched away from that is disheartening. God has given you your heart for this world and for the people in it, so keep asking and seeking and knocking for the deepest desires of your heart. No, God’s call doesn’t always look the way we think it should, but He’s given it to you for a reason, and He intends to bring it about in your life. Keep trusting Him and remain sensitive to His leading, even if it could lead to more frustration, disappointment or discouragement.
These things will change, so find joy in where you are at and what you have now. Our lives consist of seasons. Some good, some bad, some long, some short. I think God does this so we remember the impermanence of our lives here on this earth. You are not going to be where you are at forever, or even for the rest of your life, although it may feel that way now. And this season? It’s giving you what you will need at some point in the future.
I love you, dear friend, and am praying for God’s very best for you in the coming year. I pray that He shakes up your life in ways that grow you closer to Him. I pray that He gives you continued direction and purpose. I also pray for the people you love in the country you had to leave.
Mostly, though, I’m just thankful. Thankful to have had you in my life as a fearless truth-speaker, as a fellow-adventurer on this life journey, and someone to just laugh and cry with when life gets to be too much.
I’ll leave you with this verse: “Forget the former things and do not dwell on things of old. See, I am doing a new thing, even now it springs forth. Can’t you see it? I will make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
Again, happy birthday, dear Whit!