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Whenever I think about the feeling of uncertainty, I imagine myself walking on a cloudy path. On this path, I can see my feet and the road that I’m walking on, but I can’t see what’s up ahead. I conjured this image in my mind one night as I thought about how I sometimes feel in this season of my life. I feel uncertain about many things, and most days, I genuinely feel like I’m walking along a cloudy path, not sure of what is up ahead. Have any of you ever felt this way? I’m sure you have. Truthfully, I think that we all wrestle with feelings of uncertainty at some point in our lives. We feel uncertain that we will get into the school that we want. We feel uncertain that we will ever meet a significant other. We feel uncertain that we will ever feel healthy again if we’re walking through an illness. We feel uncertain that things will work out in the way that we hope for. Uncertainty, in most cases, is a part of life. As human beings, we can never be truly certain about everything in our lives. We cannot predict the future, nor can we predict just how things will pan out in life.


Lately, I’ve found myself feeling uncertain that any good can come out of my current circumstances. I wish this wasn’t the case—but, it is. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like this everyday. I do have good days—those days when I am certain that God will use everything that I am walking through for His good and His glory. However, I also have days when I find myself struggling—when the weight of my circumstances bear down on me. As I walk through this season of uncertainty, there are things that I am learning and practicing—truths that have kept me grounded, even on those days when I feel weighed down. I want to share them with you.


1. Uncertainty is normal. One thing I had to accept is that I’m not a bad Christian because I sometimes struggle with uncertainty. God isn’t going to condemn me because I struggle some days. Like I said before, experiencing moments of uncertainty is a part of being human. What I am learning to do in the midst of my uncertainty is take it to God. I talk to Him about it, and I ask Him for help to keep walking along the cloudy path, even though I’m not quite sure where it leads. If you’re struggling with uncertainty, remember that it is normal and you don’t have to bear it alone. Take it to God.


2. You can find certainty and assurance in God’s word. For the past week, I have been meditating on Isaiah 40:8 (NIV) which says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” The more time that I spent reading this verse, God helped me realize that the one thing we can be certain about is His word. Life is uncertain. Things can change in the blink of an eye. However, God’s word will never change. We can always find assurance in His word. We can always be sure that His word is true and it is certain. In the midst of my uncertainty, I am learning to cling to the word. Some days are harder than others to do this, especially when the path of uncertainty not only seems cloudy but also dark. Yet, I still choose to cling to the word. I search with desperation for scripture verses that I can hold onto. Scriptures that will give me hope. When I seek refuge in the word of God in the midst of my uncertainty, I am always reminded that although I am uncertain about what’s next, I am certain that God’s word is true and I can hold onto His promises.


3. Uncertainty prompts you to trust God. I think this is the greatest lesson I have been learning in this season of uncertainty—to trust God in the middle of my uncertainty. To trust that just like the Psalmist David says in Psalm 23, even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil—for Thou art with me. In this season of feeling uncertain, I am learning to trust God despite not knowing what is up ahead. I am learning that I have to hold on to Him and His word, despite how things seem right now. I have to trust that He is who He says He is and that He will take care of me. I have to believe that His promises for me are true and He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).


This season hasn’t been an easy one. Walking through uncertainty is difficult, however, when we take it to the Lord, He helps us. He teaches us valuable lessons about life. We learn to seek assurance in the word of God, and we learn to trust Him more. I still have days when the weight of my uncertainty bears down on me, but I always turn to the Lord. If you find yourself struggling with uncertainty, I want to remind you again that it is a part of being human. You are not condemned. You are not a bad Christian. In fact, God can use this season of uncertainty to teach you, and mature you in ways that you never thought you could.



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Betrayal.


The word itself sounds just as brutal as the feeling. You know how certain words just automatically brings an image to mind? Well, when I hear the word “betrayal,” I see a person left alone on the floor with a knife stuck in their chest. Left to die. A person undeserving. A person who didn’t see it coming. A person outwitted by their eagerness to love and open themselves up to a world that can’t reciprocate such loyalty and care. Betrayal is deep. It’s a pain that pierces your soul. It’s an exchange of trust for brutality. It fractures loyalty in such a way that repair seems almost impossible.


However painful, there are lessons to be learned from betrayal. Working through my own experience with it, I’ve gained wisdom that otherwise I would not have.


1. Betrayal hurts because it always comes at the hands of someone you trust—someone you least expect it from. We expect our enemies to act recklessly toward us. We never expect it from our friends. We expect strangers to treat us with contempt; we never expect it from people who once feasted at our tables. This experience is not unique to you. All throughout history people have been betrayed. It didn’t start with you, and it won’t stop with you. Jesus was betrayed by someone who walked with him throughout his ministry. Someone who saw the powerful things he did—someone who saw him heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the 5000. Someone he broke bread with. Joseph was betrayed by his own flesh and blood. Can you imagine your own brothers plotting to kill you? Can you imagine being sold by people who should be biologically hardwired to love you? Betrayal is not a new phenomenon, so stop constantly asking “Why did this happen”? Instead, recognize that it can happen to not just you, but anyone. As long as human beings exist, unfortunately, betrayal will.


2. There’s always a lesson to be learned from instances of betrayal. Allow yourself time to mourn, but don’t let it leave without gaining something from the experience. What have you learned about yourself? What have you learned about the kind of people you want to be surrounded by? What have you learned about boundaries? Sit with your betrayal and garner wisdom from it. It will pass and time will heal, but you want to take that wisdom with you as you continue your journey throughout life.


3. Forgive and move on. Yes, sometimes people do things unintentionally that end up hurting us, but it’s their response to what they do that matters. If the person is unapologetic, then that’s really not someone you’d want in your life long-term, regardless. Maybe the betrayal was a gift. If that’s what came out of them, imagine what’s inside of them. Deep stuff. Forgive and move on with your life. There’s really no desire to stay there long-term. There’s really no desire to demand justice. There is an entire life to be lived ahead of you. There’s life after betrayal. Learn the lessons and love on. You resolve to be a better person. You resolve to not treat people the way you were handled.


Ultimately, if you’re dealing with feelings of betrayal, remember that betrayal has a price. God honors loyalty and faithfulness. It’s all throughout scripture. Vengeance isn’t ours to give though, God is the judge. God is a just judge. He never wants us to get our hands dirty or to be burdened by what another human deserves. Cast your cares on God and accept His peace and freedom instead. You can do this by simply shifting your focus. Instead of ruminating over what happened, focus on the good in your life. Instead of staying stuck in that place of disappointment, flip the script and focus on what you’re grateful for.


Betrayal is a vile thing. It is so important that we treat people how we would like to be treated. We must always remember that the seeds we sow will always bear fruit. Ensure that you live in such a way that the fruit you reap is sweet and juicy. Sow good seeds.


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Guest Article Written By: Lashanté Stubbs


Connect with Lashanté on her Instagram account at "shantestubbs"




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Pain.


This is something that I have become somewhat of an expert on in the past two years of my life. We all know the sting of pain, whether it be emotional pain, or physical pain. If you’ve ever been injured or had to deal with an illness that causes physical pain, then you know how uncomfortable it is. You understand the frustration and the sadness that dealing with the pain oftentimes brings. In the same way, dealing with emotional pain can be just as difficult. Any sort of trauma like grief, depression, or even disappointment can spark a fire of emotional pain that can sometimes burn away at your peace of mind and sanity. The point I am trying to make is that pain is hard to bear, no matter what shape or form it comes in.


I’ve been thinking a lot about pain lately, and how God wants me to process it as a believer. In this season of my life, I am often prone to chronic physical pain that causes a lot of discomfort and frustration. The physical pain that I often deal with ultimately causes emotional pain, and I often find myself struggling to grapple with the intensity of it all. In moments like these, I attempt to negotiate why it is that a good God would allow such pain into my life? Why is it that I have to walk through something so difficult, when I know that He can bring healing to my body and my circumstances? Have you ever asked this question? I think, deep down, we all wrestle with questions like these, and that’s okay. Walking this journey has not been an easy one, but God has taught me, not to accept that the pain I feel will always be a part of my life, but to see it through a different perspective. When you’re walking through something hard, it’s easy to focus on the bad. It’s easy to meditate on everything that is wrong, or everything that can go wrong about the situation. We all do this at times, however, God has taught me that in moments of pain, instead of focusing on what’s wrong, I must look at the situation through the lens of scripture. What does God’s word say about it? What promises do I have access to as a child of God regarding my situation? Whenever I turn to God’s word amid my pain, my hope is renewed and I am reminded that despite how things may seem in my life right now, God’s word is true and once I continue to believe, the healing that I am praying and believing for will come.


In the midst of my pain, God has also taught me that instead of allowing pain to push me away from Him, it should make me pursue Him even more, because only He can truly provide the sort of comfort that I need in the midst of it. I know what it’s like to deal with painful situations that cause you to drift away from God. You become so disappointed and confused that the only thing you know to do is focus on things that distract you from your pain, and often, these things are not what God has in His plan for us. If that’s you, I understand—I’ve been there. However, in the midst of your pain, cling to Jesus. Cry out to Him, pray to Him, ask Him for the strength that you need to overcome it. Whenever I think about the importance of turning to Jesus in the midst of pain, I remember the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5. She had been suffering for twelve years, and experienced not only the physical pain of bleeding, but the emotional trauma of wasting all of her money visiting countless doctors who could not help her. If you ask me, this woman had all the right to turn away and stop believing, however, she didn’t allow her pain to plunge into hopelessness; instead, she pursued Jesus. She pushed through a crowd and fought until she could touch the hem of His garment, and in the end, she was freed from her suffering. In the midst of your pain, cling to Jesus. Do all that you can to remain close to Him. In Him is the healing and freedom that you desire.


There’s so much that walking through pain has taught me in life. The journey is definitely not an easy one, but I am always reminded that in the midst of it all, God has a plan, and it is for my good (Jeremiah 29:11). The same is true for you. Whatever pain it is that you may be walking through right now, whether it be physical or emotional, remember that peace of mind is available to you in the midst of it. Pain doesn’t have to control your life. Remain in God’s word and remain close to Him. It is only in Him that we can find true peace and the healing that we need.


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