My grandmother was a librarian. Each time I visited her little white house she would have a new book waiting for me. From a young age she gave me a love of story, a love of diving into someone else’s thoughts and words bringing adventure to life. To this day, I love getting lost in someone else’s story. I love those beginning chapters that set up the plot, the page-turning chapters when you don’t know what’s going to happen, and then the best part: when it all comes together to a satisfying conclusion.
Recently, I’ve been challenged to think about my own story. What do I see in the twist and turns, the moments of not knowing what is going to happen next, and the parts that could be considered an adventure but don’t always make sense?
A Red Carpet of Faithfulness
At 29, I was a single girl living in New York City, on the cusp of a big life decision. I’ll never forget sitting in a downtown Manhattan office building with a sweet friend seeking her advice on what I should do. I wanted her to tell me exactly what to do (or maybe what not to do). She was the type of friend who could be honest with me, but in a gentle way.
To my surprise, instead of telling me what I should do, she began asking questions about my life. She asked me to recount different seasons of my life when I was unsure of what to do and what led me to take the next step. She sat there quietly, just listening, and then she said something that changed my life in a significant way. In her soft voice she said, “Bethany when I hear your story, it makes me think about a red carpet. As you look back on your life, you see the red carpet being rolled out for you. However, that red carpet isn’t a carpet at all, but God’s faithfulness in your life. Maybe you look forward and see darkness, but if you will walk in faith, God will continue to roll out that beautiful red carpet of your life.”
At that moment I realized I wanted God to tell me what to do before the next step when in fact He was asking me to trust Him.
Years later, I think back on my friend’s advice and cling to what I now think of as “the red carpet of God’s faithfulness.” One of my favorite passages, is Isaiah 42:16, “And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them, I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.”
A Trustworthy God
Through different seasons of uncertainty, including waiting on marriage, walking through infertility, and the uncertainty of jobs and upcoming moves, I’ve often clung to this passage. I’ve clung to stories in the Bible where I see men and women in seasons of unknown and God’s faithfulness toward them.
The one that comes to mind the most is the story of Ruth. She lost her husband; she left her homeland; she followed her mother-in-law to a place that was not her own and yet she trusted. She put one foot in front of the other and experienced the Lord’s faithfulness. It didn’t mean her path was easy, but when the book of Ruth closes you know she could look back and see that red carpet leading both she and her mother-in-law Naomi each step of the way.
Unlike the storybooks and novels my grandmother would give me, our stories don’t necessarily close with a happy ending here on earth. But as we walk with God and cling to him, we can trust in his faithfulness. He is trustworthy. Though we might not be able to see ahead, He will lead us. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:16). He will be our God.
Our stories may take twists and turns that we would not choose and leave us unsure of what to do next, but God knows, and He has promised to be our light in the darkness. When we don’t know what comes next in our story, we are called to take the next step forward. And with each step, we can look back and see that red carpet. We can see that the Lord is with us, and all along the way, He knows exactly where our story will take us.
May you know that you have a red carpet of God’s faithfulness, too. You just need to look back to see it.
About the Author:
Bethany Belue currently works for CDM coordinating the Children’s Ministry Certification program and Established Conferences. Before marrying her husband Dustin, she spent her single years working in children’s ministry at Redeemer PCA in New York City and Oak Mountain PCA in Birmingham, AL. Bethany and Dustin currently reside in Mobile, AL, where Dustin is in full-time ministry and pursuing ordination. They are eagerly awaiting their baby boy due in early July. In her spare time she enjoys going to the beach and writing on her blog, “Dreams and Spaghetti-O’s.”