His Presence


{There’s something special about feeling the wind blow gently against my hammock, learning to simply “be”, and knowing that God is present (Psalm 46:10).}

Two months have flown by and I still find it surreal that I’m studying in Spain for an entire school year. Excitement, apprehension, and confusion have been some of many feelings that I’ve felt. So much has happened, such as taking new classes, confusing myself with Spanish verb tenses, and building new friendships. But it hasn’t been all fun and games, especially the first week of school when I was missing everything and everyone I was familiar with. Something I have learned about myself the past few years is that I love new adventures but I am resistant towards change. Ironic, I know right? New experiences are great but being away from family and close friends is hard. Anyone else in the same boat?

*My thoughts during the first week of school*

(1) Spain is so much fun, but I wish my close friends from Southern were here to share these experiences with me.

(2) I want some close friends here to have deep conversations with.

(3) Somehow, I need God to say He’s got me.

Little did I know that even though I was craving words from God, what I needed was His presence, simply His presence. Later that week, I looked around my room and saw my hammock tucked away on the bookshelf. “Time for a Jesus date” I thought and smiled to myself.

After a quick hike up the mountain by the dorm, my friend and I set up our hammocks. It was the perfect place, my spot to simply be. Settling into my hammock, I looked around and saw the most breathtaking view. Orange trees on the hills, blue skies, and green shrubbery made up the idyllic landscape. I started writing out my thoughts to Christ in my prayer journal and it just flowed. As I felt the gentle breeze blow throughout my hammock, it reminded me of the Holy Spirit. It was then that I felt God’s presence, when He hugged me with the wind. Even though there were no audible words, I knew what God was saying with the hug: “I’ve got you Sonja.”

There’s something special about feeling the wind blow gently against my hammock, learning to simply “be”, and knowing that God is present (Psalm 46:10). Feeling at peace, learning to be still, and knowing God’s presence is all part of a relationship with Him. It’s not an easy process, especially during the silent periods. Slowly yet surely He has helped me shift my prayers from “God, fix this, fix that…” to “Your will God, not mine. In the meantime, let Your presence be enough for me…” Sometimes my own brokenness has held me back from spending time with Him. But broken or whole, Jesus tenderly calls me to run into His loving arms time and time again. He’s present and ready to hug us, when we are present and ready to receive it.

“Well God” I thought as I walked down the mountain, “I guess this isn’t my spot anymore, but our spot.”

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10)