This is my first post in a while… since we’ve added Joyful Christine to our family! Joyful is now almost FOUR MONTHS OLD!!! It’s so hard to believe! She is a great little baby and a delight to all of us! Her big brothers, David and Joshua, also love her very much. I literally am living my dreams right now.
My darkest time began around 2009 and culminated in 2013. In those years, I battled strong depression and multiple times asked God to end it all. I had some circumstances that were difficult, I was not healthy, I was chemically addicted to prescription drugs, I had some false beliefs I’d not yet conquered, and none of my dreams were coming true. I hung on for dear life to the One who just wouldn’t let me go. God literally lifted me up and carried me through all my darkness until the tunnel ended in a pool of sunshine light bursting before my eyes. God walked with me through my valley of the shadow of death. He comforted me and prepared a place for me. Then he led me to still waters and restored my soul.
In 2014, my dreams continually unfolded before my eyes. Blessing upon blessing continued to pour into my lap. I met my best friend who became my true love. We got married and moved into a beautiful home, he provided well for me financially, freeing me up to be a stay at home mommy to our twin little boys. We had the daughter I’ve always wanted, and our lives are full of love and trust and true acceptance. My heart has all it has ever longed for.
And yet, it’s been some of the toughest few months we’ve been walking through just recently. Of course having three children under the age of three is very difficult. But on top of this, we’ve had one thing after another hit us this past few months. Most of it we have chosen to keep personal for right now. But we have been walking through a lot! We still have more blessings than I could ever deserve! But life got hard during this last stretch. We are ready for 2019!
Most people would never know this about my family. On social media, all we ever show is snapshots of our highlights. That’s how most people are. We show the great moments of victory, and we oftentimes hide many of the difficult trials. Some of this is simple wisdom. It’s wise to be careful what we share and with whom we share it. But sometimes, like now, it’s good for people to be honest. Life is hard sometimes. Sometimes we face difficulties we don’t think we deserve. Sometimes circumstances feel unjust. Sometimes it seems like God is mocking us or has abandoned us.
I’m preaching to myself right now and to anyone who wants to read this: God is faithful! True faith—beyond the superficial surface faith—is born in pain. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Wow! We must not only believe God exists and is real in the moment. We must believe that He will reward those who are truly seeking him!
What does God want us to seek? Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” All these things includes our needs and our heart’s desires. As we are seeking God and who he is, he will cover us to shield and protect us, and he will provide for us.
My job is to seek God. When life is easy, I am not reminded to seek God. I coast through life and look to my own strength. Only when I am weak do I remember to tap into my God-given, supernatural strength.
In God’s timing, as I’m walking in his ways and seeking his heart, he will accomplish his GOOD will. When Jesus was in a boat with his friends, a storm came. And they got terrified and felt that Jesus was apathetic toward their plight. Here is what happened: “He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” (Matthew 8:26)
What is faith? Faith is just a cerebral concept until one goes through a trial. The Bible’s definition of faith is, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) The Greek word for faith is an action, “faithing,” to be exact. Are you faithing, or are you looking at the storm? Faithing is looking to the One who can calm the storm, and trusting that despite what we see around us, he is going to generously reward those who seek him.