I wasn’t born with great faith. NO.
I had to LEARN it.
I had to have it GROW.
I had to EXPERIENCE life with and without it.
If faith is a journey, then BOLD faith is an epic journey.
Six and half years ago my husband came home from work, he was a senior pastor at the time, and he said, “I really feel like we should study the sovereignty of God as a church next year. So as a family, we started first, studying and learning as much as we could. Challenging ourselves to really ponder the vastness of sovereignty. The end result of our initial learning phase- God can’t be half sovereign. He either is or is not. That’s it.
The series on sovereignty was to begin the next February. January was already full with a conference and the expectant birth of our daughter. Only God could know how to kick start that journey, and bring it from ordinary to epic in no time flat.
That January, our daughter died on the day of her birth. Expectations came crashing down. It was like a mac truck of emotions. Questions from our children were insanely large. Like, “How come, mom, when you were so healthy and made good choices that Jocelyn died and our brother Joel, whose mom was a heroine addict and prostitute, lived and defied all odds of health?”
We knew then, and still fully believe that THAT was the epic beginning of our BOLD faith. Did we REALLY believe that God was 100% sovereign? How would we respond? How would we lead? The journey to study God’s sovereignty starting in February still went forth. It was divinely appointed.
God had NOT made a mistake. We knew it. We trusted it. So we needed to change our response. We needed to push ourself to find purpose and glory in this. In John 11 Jesus tells us, “Didn’t I tell you if you believe you would see the glory of God?” Not if you see the glory first, then you believe. Oh no. That’s NOT God’s order for those that know Him. He said— BELIEVE and THEN you see the glory of God.
Then, as if an eye blinked in time, we found ourselves years later transported across the country. Sean was working for a non-profit, and we were on the adoption journey again. This time one child turned into 3 children. Some of whom come from abuse or neglect in their past, and although they had very loving foster homes, they past was still a HUGE part of their present.
We went into their adoptions knowing what we were choosing. Knowing it would be so very hard. Knowing that we would surely be surprised by many challenges along the way. Even though we knew that we would grow from this journey, we couldn’t anticipate HOW MUCH we would grow in faith and character. How much our weakness would boil to the surface. How much every single choice we made had HUGE and LASTING impact on our children. Every single one of them were counting on us, in different ways, but they NEEDED us to lead. They needed our faith to be BOLD, so they could grow in faith too.
And so it was, that every single day Sean and I woke early. Very early. To pray. To read. To ponder and reflect. To talk it all out. To drink lots of coffee. and pray some more.
What was God teaching us? We could not fail to ask ourselves this question every day. Should we change our responses or should we stick to our guns?
If we thought the death our daughter was hard, then this was 10x harder. For us.
So as our most recent adoption came with serious attachment disorder, behavior outbursts, anger at lies and anger at abandonment– it was then, holding our raging daughter day in and day out on the bathroom floor as she vented her anger at the top of her lungs. Holding her until she could rage no more. Holding her until she somewhere deep inside began to find peace with reality. It was there, that our faith grew. It was there that the sovereignty of God was tried and proved to be true and pure. It was there that every single thought or knowledge of faith became so very real all over again.
There was NO mistakes. We couldn’t second guess ourselves. Even though it was very. very hard, it did NOT mean it was a mistake or somehow God wasn’t in charge. It just meant…. well… it was hard.
You can not trust your emotions in these times, it will weaken your faith. You must trust what you know to be true. This is where faith grows.
My friend, your trials aren’t there to bring you down. Your trials are there to build you up. They change you. They mold you. Sometimes they force you to your knees. But I would rather be on my knees with God then walking alone.
I’ve also shared this post on Salt and Light here.