Journey into 2014: Ready or not, it's on!

Faith-defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something; strong belief in God or in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Apprehension-anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen; misgivings, unease, nervousness, tension, dread, alarm, fear.

Trust-firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

The pathway to full and abundant faith in God is a rocky one. The life of a Christian is difficult. To those of you who are reading this and seeking answers to some sort of void in your life, here is a news flash—I don’t have all the answers and none of us does! I don’t know anyone that would choose to boast such a thing, so my hope is in writing this that those of you who claim to be so full of faith and a “strong” Christian—this is quite possible a moment for you to stop that comfortable thought process and consider that it may be the perfect time for you to be ready for your faith to be shaken and tested. It is necessary, it is certain, and I guarantee from personal experience that you will find it is in those moments, when we think we know so much and have accomplished so much---God is going to do a work in you to break you down. The greatest danger in our journey of faith is when we become comfortable in our faith walk. We must be so cautious and sensitive to how subtle this level of pride can slip in and take up residence in our faith. Faith, it is defined as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”, “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof”. You know that place you reach in your faith walk when you are uncertain, filling with doubt because of a particular challenge you are facing, suddenly or over time your trust has been rocked---that is the point when a whole new level of faith begins!

Apprehension—we all deal with it on some level. Some of us are more inclined to a more debilitating level of anxiety in our psyche. My husband and my daughter both deal with this on very serious levels and so it is a balancing act, considering through the day to day what is the best way to manage it. Thanks to therapy and some healthy resources we have found over the years, we are able to find that balance and work through it one day at a time. Still, there are moments when it comes slamming down on one of them, and I find myself in a position to consider with caution and loving sensitivity both to their needs and to what God is calling me to do to handle it, how to work through it and help them come out of it. An anxiety disorder is not something that you can get rid of, it is not something you can get over like a bad cold or virus. Anxiety is a condition that for many is a lifelong battle within themselves. It is like a monkey on their backs—always there, ready to create havoc in their lives at any given moment. I struggle with understanding how best to help my loved ones work through it and find peace, but there comes a point when I realize I have to trust God will take care of them, meet them on the level I cannot reach, take them by the hand and help them walk through it.
I am going through a terrible trial right now in my life, battle raging in our marriage and primarily due to financial garbage that threatens to undermine what is most precious: trust. When trust is broken, when we are at the bottom, holding on to a thread of what may be left and wondering how are we going to weather this storm---well, I am doing the only thing I have strength left in me to do. Cry out to God, to have mercy and come meet me in it! God, I am so weak and so brokenhearted, I just don’t know how to get through this because I don’t know if I have the desire enough to get through it?! How do I recover from this, how do we recover?!
You know, for me, and my constant need for things to be organized, planned and perfectly in order, there’s a choice I must make daily and throughout my day to grasp gratitude. For by that gratitude, when I can breathe, calm my mind and heart, and lean into my Father God and thank Him for being bigger than all of it, I realize He’s got something to teach me and I better listen and learn. If not, I will be consumed with overwhelming, with fear, with desperation, with doubt and crippling uncertainty.

We have a choice, to recognize we can be defined by our anxiety or not. We can allow it to twist our pathway into a direction we didn’t really want to go, or we can make the painful and difficult effort to step into God’s grace and take a chance He has something far more abundant for us!
How far are we willing to go to live in full and complete trust in our God? Stop your tunnel vision, and consider it from God’s view. You can’t see it and you must trust only what He can see and knows is so much better for you. This is the mark of a faith-filled journey, a trust without hesitation, a life right with God. Join me on the journey. I’d love to hear your thoughts, your experiences along the way.

Psalm 46:1, NLT--God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
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