Friday, November 4, 2011

A Lifetime of Faith

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Faith is a tough subject.

Growing up until about the time that I was 22, I was a very religious person.

Don’t get me wrong, I believed in the Gospel whole-heartedly.

However, I never believed the bible held anything for me except old stories, and something to read out of on Sunday mornings.

God loved me. God saved me. Jesus Christ died on a cross for me.

Because of that, I went to church every Sunday.

I didn’t do the things I wasn’t supposed to (for the most part) and I did the things I was supposed to (for the most part).

I never really understood why I did the things I did, or why I didn’t do the things I didn’t.

God’s grace prevailed even in times I didn’t understand, and saved me from myself.

One day, my eyes were opened. I woke up and I just realized who God was and what it really meant to be a child of God, and I knew what it meant to believe and to have true faith.

Once you realize those things, there is no going back. 

"And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

Somewhere deep down in my heart, I have always known that my life would be different.

I have never really felt that I fit in.

I have come to realize that God has set me apart. 

That is the name He has called me: “Set Apart.”

But living a set apart life… requires a ridiculous amount of faith.

Faith has been a struggle these past few years.

It has also been the greatest gain of my life.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1

The last week of my life, I believe I have learned more about faith than I have in the past 24 years.

This past week, a very dear friend of mine lost his mother to cancer.

This woman was probably one of the Godliest women that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

There is a not a time that I can recall in my life that she was not singing praise music, taking us on church outings, or praying.

The last few months, she suffered greatly from her illness.

Yet her family has told numerous stories of her faith during those times.

She could not sit up very well, she could not eat, she had a machine that forced her to breathe.

But every single day, she took time to worship the Lord.

That was the desire of her heart, to worship the Lord and give Him praise, even though she faced a certain death.

What a faith she had.

I am in awe of it.

The example she set for her sons, her daughters-in-law, her husband, her grandson. Really, to her whole world that was watching.

God is good. All the time.

Even when the hurt doesn’t go away, even when the sickness isn’t healed, even when death is certain…

God is good.

That is faith.

She committed herself to the unique path that God laid before her and the will that He had for her life.

I am humbled. Greatly.

There are days that I wish I had a different life.

There are days that I wish I could give up the single life for one spent with my future husband.

There are days that I wish I were skinnier, prettier, happier, had more money, had more time, etc.

I forget to look at God.

I forget to see what He has done, what He is doing, in my life.

He has called me “Set-Apart”.

Set Apart.

Different. On my own, unique path. Following His will, not my own.

The key to being this person that He has called me to be, is faith.

“The Lord goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

I doubt so often what God is doing in my life and wish that I was on a different path or that He would just speed things up.

But after losing someone who was a mom to me, after seeing the impact her faith has had on her family and those around her… my greatest desire is to have the faith of a woman who can stare death in the face and not be shaken. one. single. bit.

I want to be the woman who takes God at His word. With no hesitation.

I want to be the woman who stands up for what she believes in. No matter the cost or consequence.

This life is short. Too short in many cases.

At the end of the day and at the end of this life, I want to be able to stand before my God and have Him say to me:

“I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a young bride, how you followed Me in the wilderness, into a land not yet sown.” Jeremiah 2:2

I am in the wilderness and I will sing God’s praises louder than I ever have. “Sing like never before, O my soul..”

I want to be a woman of great faith. Not just a woman of faith.

I want to be a disciple, a mentor, a leader, an example, a daughter of the King, and a life that leaves a mark of faith.

I want to be the woman who fights the good fight.

I want to be the woman that finishes the race. Strong.

I want to be the woman who keeps the faith.

I will fear no evil for my God is with me. Always.

This is the woman God has called me to be.

“Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.”  Matthew 15:28

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