Clinging to His Promises

Written by Kelley Hessig

When I was invited in January 2022 to share a time when doubting God grew my faith, I only had one answer. I knew that I would be sharing with you about growing up in the Catholic church, going to mass every weekend, and attending religion classes each week and not being sure that God really existed. I knew all about God from those years, but knowing about God is not equal to believing in Him and having a personal relationship with Him. After I left home for college, I no longer attended church or gave God too much thought at all.

A season of grief over the illness and eventual loss of a beloved Uncle drew me back to church looking for answers and hoping this faith I had been taught was real. I began to pray and ask God to show me. At my Uncle’s funeral, I had a moment where I finally knew there was definitely something greater than this world and God was indeed real. I was praying, and the only way to describe what happened is to say that the “peace that passes all understanding” washed over me, and I heard in my heart God tell me that He loved me. I have never doubted God’s existence since that moment.

In January, I was comfortable in my faith journey. I was attending worship, facilitating Bible study, and living life. Looking back ten months later, if I am truthful, I will admit that my faith was lukewarm and I was complacent about wanting to be more involved or being more committed to serving Him in the church.

I want to believe and have faith in the promises I find in scripture. I pray that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). I hope that the scripture “For his anger lasts only a moment but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5) is true. But much like we see Abram doubt in Genesis 15:1-18, I have doubted how I can trust and know He will do these things in my life.

Since April of this year, I have been dealing with grief over the illness and death of my mother and the end of my 14-year committed relationship amidst deep hurt and betrayal. I consequently had to give up my plans for the future and life I had imagined with my partner. I moved an hour away from the day-to-day life I was used to and the home I loved. This season has been one of great grief, sadness, fear, anxiety and doubt. This season of doubt has left me with many questions of what is to come and how I can know it will be okay. The pain of this season has caused me to press in and seek God’s presence through prayer, worship and study more intentionally and more regularly.

I take encouragement from the words God spoke to Abram in Genesis 15:13-15 after Abram asked Him how he could know he would take possession of the land he was promised.

13Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. “

At first glance, these verses don’t seem very comforting. God is telling him for the next 400 years his people are not going to have it great. But He tells Abram to “know for certain” because He is going to do it in His perfect timing and His perfect way.

This scripture reminds me also of the words Jesus shares in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So, while I doubt and question what is to come and what will be as the current circumstances do not look or seem promising, I press into Jesus and “know for certain” that “He has overcome the world.” I cling moment by moment to the promise he gave in Matthew 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” I trust He is meeting me right here in this place of doubt growing my faith in Him and renewing my desire to serve Him and His body, the church.

4 Responses to “Clinging to His Promises”

  1. Jaclyn Heeke says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Kelley! I have always appreciated your honesty & vulnerability. Great message!

  2. Bonita Cadle says:

    He uses our painful, broken seasons to strengthen others. All the while we are persevering, growing stronger and closer to Him. I love you Kelly Hessig!

  3. Rhonda Boyd-Alstott says:

    Thank you for sharing Kelley. I know God is with you on your journey and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for your life❤️I love you

  4. Melanie Riddle says:

    Beautifully written from your heart.
    Many who have traveled your similar path will find encouragement from your written word.
    May our Lord abundantly bless you as He continues to work in your life.
    You are one of the most spiritual persons that I know.
    I love you, Kelley.

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