unsettled – lacking stability; not yet resolved

I have a dear friend who is smack dab in the middle of a house renovation, and as if that amount of disruption and unsettledness wasn’t enough she also made a change into a new ministry role. As I read a recent text from her about how stepping into the “reno and role are kicking her butt” I found myself praying for her unsettled surroundings, physically in her home and emotionally in her new job, and the Spirit grabbed my attention. 

“Unsettled surroundings” are words, with feelings attached, that we all identify with. This can describe some very personal experiences, cultural shifts that are affecting us, hardships people we love are walking through, and even the ever challenging goal to walk like Jesus no matter the circumstances.

And it seems like right now, in this moment, everyone I know is experiencing unsettled surroundings in more than one area of their lives. So many faithful Christ followers I know have described the last year as the hardest year of their lives. I am right there with them. 

19 months ago the world shut down and life changed drastically. With that change came disruption, confusion, fear, anxiety, and discontentment. But it also created space for us all to slow down, unplug and lean into what God is saying and doing. I don’t know about you but I have done a ton of soul searching in all the unsettled surroundings I walk in every single day. Add into the mix of my own personal journey a husband unexpectedly diagnosed this year with a brain tumor and we have the makings of the perfect storm. 

I live in Florida, hurricane alley. For anyone who doesn’t live in a state where hurricanes don’t roll by or through every year the thought of experiencing one is probably terrifying.

The same is true for me when I think about experiencing a tornado! I imagine it to be awful and that I would be gripped with fear at the threat of one. But have you ever seen those crazy people who chase twisters? They love them! They stay as close as possible, just an arms length away from the danger as they stand in awe of their power… I bet they would say they are magnificent and beautiful.

Well, I would say the same thing about hurricanes. I love loading my family up in the car to head to the beach while the wind is howling, the rain beats down, and limbs are flying. Together we stand barefoot in the swirling sand in awe of the powerful waves churning in the ocean created by the hurricane. Most would call it unsettled surroundings but Floridians would call it beautiful. And every hurricane that we experience reminds us of God’s greatness.  

Those storms have taught me a lesson that has spilled over into the last 19 months of my life, there is so much GOOD to experience within our unsettled surroundings. 

Here is what I have learned from my own perfect storm full of what can only be described as unsettled surroundings;

  • It is undoubtedly hard.
  • No one really understands exactly what you’re walking through.
  • Allowing yourself to feel all of the emotions is the only way to give God access to align them with his nature. 
  • Some days are easier than others. 
  • There is good in it all.
  • There is beauty to behold.
  • There is transformation to welcome.
  • There is God right in the middle of it all. 

So if you’re one of the many who would say this has been the hardest year of your life or you find yourself amidst unsettled circumstances, I want to encourage you.

You are not alone. I pray you find great comfort in knowing that there are many of us right there with you. Your own circumstances may look different than mine but all of the feelings created by the unsettledness are the same. And the good news is that we have a God who never sleeps. He is always at work for your good and his glory, he never stops. And when your soul feels downcast and is in turmoil within you amidst your unsettled surroundings, put your hope in God and praise him for your salvation (Psalm 42:5-6). When you can’t seem to lift your head remember Psalm 3:3.    

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,

my glory, and the lifter of my head.

He will carry you. 

He will sustain you. 

He will make a way. 

He will refresh your weary soul. 

He is able. 

He is faithful. 

He loves you. 

Author, Carrie Williams

Founder and CEO, The Truth Republic

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