Redemption, by Sierra Almy

God is good, all the time. A constant lesson in my life, but the conclusion I have come to every time.

I always thought I was really good at trusting God. From a young age, I saw the Lord work out what I thought would be horrible situations into good things. I experienced His goodness first-hand and never really had a reason not to trust Him. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and worry, though, this was always quite the contradiction. I came to realize that I didn’t fully trust God as much as I thought I did. My biggest stumbling block was people - I always expected people to let me down, do something terrible, ruin everything, etc. I didn’t always trust that God was bigger than the mistakes humanity would make.

Fast-forward to the end of 2018. I’ve had about 24 years of learning what it really means to trust God in various ways, but I was experiencing something new - I was completely trusting God (or so I thought) in various situations, and I was continually let down. Things weren’t turning out the way I was certain they should. This is where I had to learn a new lesson on patience as well - some things weren’t working out WHEN I thought they should.

Enter 2019. Overall, 2018 was a pretty great year for me, but I was really stuck on feeling let down by God. I decided in this moment I had a choice - I could go on believing God wouldn’t work things out, or I could continue to trust God and believe that He was good. I determined I needed a shift in my own attitude and beliefs. I knew with my whole heart and mind that the God I’ve seen work miracles in the past was the same God with me now, and I knew that I could trust Him. I decided this was a great lesson for me - to realize that I had the option of trusting God or not after feeling let down. I figured this was good enough, and was happy to continue the rest of 2019 walking in this new truth! But God had other plans for me, He’s just too good.

During the first night of our First Fruits services, I was working through all of the above-listed problems, and came to a place of peace with my decision. I heard the Lord tell me that we was going to prove Himself worthy of my trust again. Even though my feelings were my own fault, God wanted to redeem what I felt was lost. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much (which is not fully trusting in a good God, by the way), and decided to humbly go with “it’s okay, God. I love and trust You. That is all”.

This is where things get kinda crazy (in a good way). As I was driving home on the second night of our First Fruits services, I heard a contest on the radio for concert tickets. Radio stations have contests all the time, and I usually don’t pay much attention to them, but this one really caught my attention. The artist is the favorite of one of my best friends, and I really wanted to win for them, so I entered. I didn’t know much about the contest at the time, but I had this crazy feeling I was going to win and that this was going to be the first way that God proves Himself good. I quickly brushed that thought aside because I felt it was contradictory to the lesson I just learned about trusting God was good even if things didn’t work out. Entering the contest was very anticlimactic - I didn’t know anything about it, and wasn’t entirely sure if I had properly entered. The next night, the same contest was still going on. I realized this was going to be going on for several days, and at the end they would choose a winner. So every night that week, on my way home from church, I was in the car at just the right time to enter the contest. It was easy to enter and didn’t require much of me, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to enter every night. I didn’t realize that this would go on for a few weeks. I still wasn’t entirely sure I was doing it right, but I continued to listen and enter every night.

Finally, one Sunday in January, I hear that they are choosing the winner on Monday afternoon! I was mostly excited about not having to wait anymore - learning patience has been a big part of the trust journey. On Sunday night I entered one last time, and on Monday I kept my phone close to me all day, hoping for a phone call. Monday came and went, and I didn’t get a call. Since this month had been all about learning to trust God anyway and to always believe in His goodness, I knew this was just another lesson in trusting God. I determined He was still good and honestly felt grateful for the lesson, as I knew it would be invaluable in times when something more difficult than not winning a contest comes along in life.

BUT GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME. EVEN BETTER THAN WHAT I THOUGHT! Tuesday morning rolls around and I’m at home enjoying the snow day when my phone rings. I figured it was someone trying to sell me a car warranty or health insurance or something of that sort, but I answered anyway, just in case. Aaaaand I WON!!! I screamed of excitement, and when I got off the phone, I called and texted people to tell them about how good God is.

I still think the lesson about choosing to believe in God’s goodness (even when it isn’t super apparent) is important, but learning to trust what I believe God promises, no matter how silly or unimportant, was such a happy surprise lesson. God has been good to me, but I believe I’m walking into a season of seeing and experiencing just how good He can be. I’m excited to dream with God about all that is to come!