Choosing Trust over Certainty by Emily Fales

January is often embraced as a symbol of renewal in people’s lives. It is filled with visioning, planning, goal setting, scheduling, reorienting, and refocusing. For those who have a clear goal in mind, they are excited to share the story they are hoping unfolds in their year.

I had already been asked the question What is your new year’s resolution? a dozen enthusiastic times but found myself holding back the same answer.

I don’t know.

A standout lesson of 2023 for me was to have the courage to say I don’t know. The farther we walk in our faith, the larger our willingness to say I don’t know, and the more we desire an encounter with God’s guidance in our life.

The questions we face differ throughout the year, but I don’t know was the increasingly honest response. At times, my questions last year sounded like What am I supposed to do after graduation? Where am I supposed to live? Even as those questions were temporarily answered, more surfaced. The concerns of my heart deepened and felt more unanswerable. Am I really supposed to be here? Why would You let this happen, God? and Are you there, God?

So instead of trying to make up an answer or seek a temporary distraction from these questions, I turn and move closer to the One who knows the answers.

Isaiah 43:18-21

“Forget the former things;

do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.

Do you not perceive it? God’s activity among us can be missed. Perceiving isn’t just seeing but an embodied awareness. God isn’t asking us to transform ourselves, but to grow aware of the transformation He is already doing in us.

He also asks us to forget the former things. Sometimes God’s activity in the past can be a stumbling block from our ability to perceive His activity in the present. God is working to do something that God can’t do when we are in our comfort zone.

I am making a way in the wilderness. God works in the unseen. God reminds us that there is light in dark places and hope for those who feel lost.

Because I provide. We can trust Him. God gently reminds us that He has always taken care of us and will continue to take care of us.


God, where am I?

God, who am I?

God, what do You desire for me?

God, what are You asking of me?

God, please stir our imagination of who You are and what it means to be Your people. Both collectively in our shared community of Word Made Flesh and personally. We long for meaningful lives that contribute to the desires you have for the world. Our lives are the materials by which You work and the instruments You use to illustrate Your love. You supply all of our needs, and we will use what You give us to build the vision You placed in our hearts.



As we walk into this new year, I invite you to embrace a renewed sense of the mystery of God. A mystery that lets us choose to have faith in his unseen work and unwavering presence. No matter the questions that remain unanswered or plans that come undone, we choose to trust God.