Today is the one year anniversary that I accepted Jesus into my heart. I was at my first ladies retreat and my life has been changed ever since that weekend. I was happy to spend the day there yesterday, the place where Jesus found me, with my sister-in-law and two other women whom I love dearly and have helped guide me on my walk with Christ. I have struggled a lot this last week with many things in my life, and my faith being one of them. I found it too fitting that it’s the one year anniversary of the She Reads Truth community, and I’m happy to share more what life has been like for me since finding these lovely ladies to journey with. His timing is always perfect, and here has been what’s on my heart lately…
Sometimes something happens in our lives that will challenge everything we believe in. Events that shake us to our core and make us wonder if we’ll make it out in one piece. Death is one of these things. I have learned in the last month that my dad died, that death truly brings out people’s true colors, as they say. Some people rise up to the occasion and seem to say the right things and step up in ways to support you that you could not imagine otherwise, and others unfortunately fall terribly at the other end of the spectrum and end up disappointing you so much in their actions or lack thereof.
I’m a believer. I make that clear on my blog and more so hopefully in the way that I live my life. When I wrote my testimony on this blog awhile ago, I also acknowledged that I haven’t always been a Christian. I’ve always believed in God – but I had not accepted Jesus yet. I know that talking about religion and faith makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and I was one of them, even when I started dating my Christian husband.
Something happened about a month after my dad died that made me start to question everything. Nobody said anything. Nobody did anything to hurt me – this is all on me and my interpretation of said events. But it got me thinking…
- Do I preach?
- Do I make others feel judged?
- Do I tweet too much about my faith?
- Do I post too much Scripture?
- Do I blog too much about my faith?
- Am I too much?
- Do people want me to stop?
- Should I stop?
Things happened that lead me to either believe, or seriously consider, most of what I just listed. I thought maybe I should stop all the above, especially sharing stories and Scripture that spoke to me and inspired me. I think some of the words I have shared ended up being misunderstood, which is something I never intended. On the other hand I challenge you – if me (or anyone in life) makes you feel judged, ask yourself why. No one can make anyone feel anything. We are in charge of how we feel, so if you ever feel judged in life – take a step back and ask yourself why it is you feel judged.
Then Jay read me the Verse of the Day the night that I was struggling. It was a verse from Acts where Paul and Silas are singing in prison. I did not think that verse applied to my situation whatsoever, but I was oh so wrong.
The prayer that followed spoke mounds to me.
Holy Father, in times of adverse reaction against me because of my faith, I pray that you will make me a loving, respected, and forceful witness for Jesus. I ask this not so that I can boast, but so that others can more fully know your grace and come to Jesus to be saved. In the name of my Savior, Jesus, I pray. Amen.
I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that God speaks to me, and that night he spoke to me through my husband.
I was the ‘adverse reaction’ against myself.
I started questioning my own faith.
I started fighting myself, I let the enemy get in my head.
I have never wanted to be a ‘preachy’ Christian, I have only ever wanted to lead by example as the wonderful people who am I surrounded by have. But, if no one ever talked about God and Jesus and heaven and hope and faith and the Bible…I would not be where I am today. It’s not something that we need to be, or should be, hush-hush about. I am thankful for all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18) because otherwise I would not have been challenged in my faith.
Sometimes it’s really hard to stay grounded with these challenges that life throws at us. It’s times like these when I realize most that I do need God and his endless mercies and his amazing grace. After all, Jesus said “apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
I am a perpetual “fixer”. I cannot stand tension and anger in my life, and even if I am not to blame fully or partially, I cannot stand it. I want to fix it all. BUT, this last week I have been reminded that what is impossible with man, is possible with God (Luke 18:27) and I have been clinging to that. I am also repeating my favorite verse over and over in my head to lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways acknowledge Him and he will set my paths straight (Provers 3:5-6). Sometimes I just have to stop worrying and wait for God to take care of the situation. A good friend reminded me that waiting in God honors Him. If we honor God we will be honored by Him (1 Samuel 2:30). Let’s let God do our battling for us.
I am not perfect and He doesn’t want me to be. For that, I am truly blessed. Thank you to my friends who have helped me get through one of the hardest times in my life – you know who you are and I love you.
I would also like to add my thanks to the ladies, the founders, the Sisters who have given us this amazing She Reads Truth community. You have truly changed my life forever. I feel so at home with this online community. I love surrounding myself with the hope, joy, and peace you bring to me. Thank you SRT ladies, writers, and community members!