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quiet : faith proved genuine

with a zealous heart i welcomed the new year with hefty resolutions, thrusting myself into the arena of daring greatly.  i was also inspired to choose a word for the year.  a word and image to guide my year and what i wanted to work on.  my word was renew, because i realize how many of our days hinge on our attitude or mental processing of what is happening around us and to us.  since january, i’ve wondered numerous times why i didn’t choose a word like fun, instead.  easy.  lighthearted, maybe.  i don’t know if i was quite ready for renew.  perhaps i got in over my head.  because sometimes life has a way of getting us down.  dreams derail.  circumstances loom.  fear and anxiety spiral us into depression.  relationships, marriages, raising kids, careers, finances, illness and pain.  we go through times that seem harder than others.  darker.  more quiet.

since i was a child i’ve experienced God in a very tangible way.  real.  close.  present.  my mom tells stories when i was a child and the things i would say, the connection i had.  He’s always been so near.  but it’s a new season.  it’s quiet.  disconcerting at times.  and though i know He walks with me i cannot feel Him, sense Him, or hear His voice.  without Him, i realize i do not know my own voice.

as i reflect on this silence i realize that my faith is being tested.  a testing i believe goes hand in hand with stepping into the boundaries of our fear.  for much of my life i’ve relied on feelings.  emotions.  the very real and tangible stirring in my heart and soul.  but as i look for Him, talk to Him, i hear no answer.  and i recognize the shallow parts of my faith being stripped away.  the ones based on what i see and feel and hear and know with my finite capabilities.  that what He longs for is a deeper, more intimate relationship where i abandon trust in my own resources, abilities, and {flawed} reasoning.  surrender control.  rely instead on His promises, provision and measureless love.

it’s easy to say we have faith.  we believe.  i think each of us would say that fairly quickly and easily.  but this season has challenged what once seemed a very simple, obvious statement.  because faith is not defined by an inner attitude.  faith requires action and it proves itself genuine by obedience.  through trial.  through testing.  through the stripping and sifting of those things we cling to for security and safety in this world.  when we’re brought face to face with our deepest insecurities, fear and anxiety.  when we resist the raging desire to flee.  when we press IN to relationship and pain and hurt instead of pulling back in isolation and fear.  when we continue pushing forward, one bold step after another, toward the realization of our dreams.

a broken past is healed only by holding unswervingly to the hope of an assured future.  believing that He who promised us is faithful.  a journey of strength and steadfastness, charted through the treacherous territory of setting firm boundaries, gracefully walking away from toxic or unhealthy relationships, and pressing in to loving, safe people who encourage and spur us to love freely and with our whole hearts.  who redefine acceptance, grace, forgiveness and love in a world overflowing with bitterness and pain.  who build us up and push us to find the best that is in us.  the strength that lies hidden beneath your fear.

with hearts made for eternity, often it’s hard to live in this world.  in your times of trial, confusion, silence and pain; do not throw away your confidence.  do not fall prey to the lie that isolation and protectionism will save you.  persevere.  press in.  lean on safe, loving relationships.  walk shoulder to shoulder.  carry each other’s burdens.  seek relations where grace, truth and forgiveness are the standard.  cultivate and practice your faith.  do not merely rely on emotion and feeling because the heart is deceptive above all things.  those who believe in Him and trust in His faithfulness will be rewarded.  we were not made to simply withstand the trials of life.  to exist in them until the darkness lifts.  to shrink back and be discouraged and destroyed.  we were made to persevere.  to stand our ground in the face of suffering and triumph over darkness.  against all odds.

FAITH.  is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  and though i cannot see Him, i cannot feel His presence or hear His voice; i know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He is closer to me than breath.  the righteous will live by faith {romans 1:17}.  believe.  whatever trial is testing your faith.  fueling fear and anxiety.  stealing your joy.  refuse to give in to its perceived power.  infuse truth, the trump card we have over darkness:

love of Christ

we are more than conquerors.  we are God’s children; heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.  born into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  and we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.

it is in the quiet when we prove our faith genuine.  do not lose heart.  do not grow weary.  press on through your fear.  through the pain.  one bold, brave step at a time.  He will meet you there.  in fact, He’s already waiting.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Rychelle May 1, 2013, 4:31 am

    Oh my friend… As I read through your post scripture after scripture popped in my head. Your vulnerable humble voice couldn’t be more powerful when coupled with the truth of Gods word. I hear echos of genesis. Deuteronomy. Jeremiah. Isaiah. The psalms. Malachi. The gospels. Romans. Corinthians. Ephesians. Colossians. Hebrews!! Peters letters. Titus. JAMES. The sentence “the broken past is only healed when held unswervingly to the hoe of an assured future” mmm! Indeed a good and powerful word. I love you so.. Keep writing my friend! And keep pursuing Him in “the quiet” … Lord, hold fast to your child and keep forming her into your perfect image. On a side note: one of the things that I learned this weekend from Dr Robert Mulholland was that in this process of being formed into the likeness of Christ we experience what he termes as instability. & disequilibrium… Uncharming if you ask me.. but this is the process of being made whole… We must cooperate. trust. surrender to a love. the only love worthy and capable of such care and holding. SO THAT we might be reflectors of his glory (instead of our own)… & Reflectors of his divine nature FOR THE SAKE of others. This is the desire of the most high God… And this is what I see your blog to represent: A life desiring to be transformed for the sake of Christ and the world.

    • Krista May 1, 2013, 4:36 am

      For the sake of others. Love that Rychelle. Can you start blogging please too? 😉

    • Tammy May 1, 2013, 5:04 am

      hmmmm…uncharming for sure. a life process i know well! i love everything you write here…and it is my desire to be a life transformed for Him and others. that we do it together. by grace. by love. through hope and faith. thank you for walking the journey of life with me. you make me better.

  • Rychelle May 1, 2013, 4:33 am

    *hope

  • Krista May 1, 2013, 4:35 am

    Faith….deeply rooted faith, based on what we know to be true, though we don’t see. Loving you through the journey. XOXO

  • yvonne May 3, 2013, 5:03 am

    Wow…my WORD for the year is FAITH…and your blog definately described my life this year….loved this!

    • Tammy May 3, 2013, 5:28 am

      i’m so glad yvonne! enjoy this FAITH journey! may you be richly blessed.

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