For starters, what a great name! Eliza Downer. Eliza is one of those connections that absolutely would not have happened without the hand of God orchestrating our meeting, albeit online. She had commented on a thread I was following on facebook and the Lord pointed His finger from heaven and said, “That one. Ask Eliza to share on Faith Notes.” So I did.
And I’m so glad I did.
What a precious, Godly young woman she is. Eliza has lost it all to find Christ. She is learning the hard lesson of surrendering her dreams with complete abandon to the One she trusts, because trusting Him is all she can do in her circumstances. But Jesus is her sure place and He is great at wiping her tears when they freely fall.
Here’s a glimpse into Eliza’s heart that I found while perusing her blog:
“Three years ago, I cried before the Lord as I hung up my ballet shoes for what I thought would be the last time. Tears streamed down my face as I proclaimed, “You give and take away. Blessed be your name.”
“It seemed as though all my hopes and dreams were being ripped from my heart and shattered before my eyes. However, the Lord had a greater plan and purpose in that pain. Sometimes God crushes dreams only to build them up into something altogether more different and beautiful.”
And now it’s your turn to meet Miss Eliza Downer.
Welcome to Faith Notes Eliza!
Describe a time when you felt abandoned by God or very disappointed in Him, thinking He had failed you.
At the age of fifteen, my dreams of pursuing a dance career crashed before my eyes with a life-changing diagnosis. I felt abandoned by God. “Wasn’t it our dream?” I questioned. I had foolishly taken a dream of mine and labeled it as a God-given dream. When God stepped in to change that dream of mine, I felt as though He had betrayed me.
During this time, how was your faith-walk impacted? Were you angry? Fearful? Numb? Doubtful? Did you turn your back on God for a while, or cling desperately to what you know to be true, even though your emotions told you otherwise?
I swung between anger, frustration, and fear. I attempted to cling to the truth that I knew to be true. It was during these long days of crying, screaming in anger, and clinging to God, that He drew all the closer to me.
What happened to resolve your faith crisis? How did God reveal Himself to you during this time? With extraordinary comfort? Reassurance? Peace that passes understanding?
God revealed himself in the little ways of knowing that He saw and cared. Not every moment was filled with peace that passes all understanding, but in those moments of doubt, I had to make the choice to cling to God.
What scripture became a sure place for you?
“His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” Ps. 147:10-11
Did praise play a part of your faith restoration? What about thankfulness? Is praise a big part of your faith-walk now?
Praise was and still is a hard part of my walk of faith. Each morning I must focus on declaring the Lord’s way above my own and purposefully state, “Your will and not mine.” I am still a work in progress on this.
How do you find God’s peace when you are troubled?
I often turn on worship music and sing my heart out to the Lord. However, I also find that sitting before the Lord with a quiet spirit, waiting on Him, brings a peace of God. The peace of God isn’t always a feeling. It is a clinging to the knowledge that He is faithful, even during the darkest times.
What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of the Lord and why?
Faithful! There have been so many moments in my life where God could have given up on me. Yet each day, He continues to hold tightly to me.
Could you offer some encouraging words for those who may be seeking the Lord, those wanting to draw closer to Him and trust Him more, especially during a painful season?
Keep seeking God. Even in the moments of greatest darkness, keep clinging to Him. It is painful at this moment, but there is a greater plan and purpose in all of this. Cling to Him, for He is clinging to you.
More about Eliza:
Eliza Downer, a teacher by day and writer by night, can often be found enjoying creation or sipping a cup of coffee. She currently resides in Colorado with her parents and 10 siblings.
To read more of her writing, visit her website here: Window Into My World.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,
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I’m quite familiar with the struggle of feeling like my dreams have been shattered and God has abandoned me. Thank you for these encouraging words and advice on how to spend my days praising God and inviting Him into my heart to find His peace.
Marcie, Eliza’s words are so encouraging and heartfelt. I believe the sacrifice of praise is very precious to the Lord.
I agree, it is a struggle. However, in the end it is so worth it.