When I was about eighteen or seventeen I had a vison of myself standing in a desert. My hair was extremely short, and brown. I’m wearing a sundress. And I’m all alone.
At the time I thought it meant that one day I would one day return to my favorite place, the American southwest. I took the vision at face value. It gave me hope. Sometimes God has given me glimpses of the future. Sometimes it’s just a moment, a sentence, a beautiful flower, a person, or a future version of myself.
This week I cut most of my hair off. When I was at work the Lord brought this vison back to me. To be honest it had been a long time since I had even thought about it. I realized that I had that haircut, glasses, and that sundress that I’m wearing in the vision is hanging in my closet. It took my breath away. I had been in seriously prayer about where the Lord wanted me to be. I immediately thought that I should book a plane ticket. Now, it was time to go on a mission trip. I knew where I should go or did I?
It didn’t feel right. I didn’t have a God feeling about it. I began to seek what God meant. How could I get to this desert? Because I wanted to be there more than anything? And do you know what He said to me?
Write yourself there.
What? What does that mean? How on earth do I write myself there? Is this an idea for a fiction novel? Will my writing lead me to the desert?
Then I saw this blog.
This is where I will start this journey. Maybe I will physically end up in the desert. Maybe I’m in a spiritual desert because I haven’t been walking as close to God as I should. Maybe I’m in a desert and God’s saying it’s time to come out. Maybe I will be starting a whole new section of my life. The truth is I don’t have a clear-cut idea what this vision means now.
Rarely do I hear from God so clearly. But He has spoken to me and I will obey. Come along with me on this journey.
I’ve been trying to figure out why I struggled with my faith in 2019. I don’t have a good reason or rather I’ve found that my reason is silly. Sometimes things change in your life because of specific circumstances. Sometimes it’s because of multiple interconnecting issues. Then there are times when we just over complicate the simple.
2019 wasn’t a year when I saw much change in my life. I didn’t move. I didn’t change jobs. About the only thing that I changed was my hair color, lots. Much of what caused me to reexamine my faith this year was the lack of change. There were times when I prepared for big changes only to find the same cycles repeating themselves. I felt stuck.
I couldn’t afford a vacation. In fact I got sick in the middle of our short Canadian summer.
I was able to see specialist and rule out MS but I still don’t know why I have migraines. Don’t know why I have widespread pain. I’m on some new medication that is helping which is good.
I did see some good changes at my job. I’m incredibly grateful for the less stressful environment that I work in.
I guess my expectations stopped me from seeing the good in my life again.
When I lost sight of God in the little moments of life I became depressed. I thought that life was about bigger and better things than those little moments. I thought it was about job promotions and big moves. The truth is that we don’t get to those big moments without the little ones.
Being faithful to God starts with daily obedience. It starts with listening to what you feel God wants you to do. Then stepping out in faith and doing it. It can seem scary but as we continue to step out for the little things we will find those big moments aren’t quite the mountains that we originally thought they were.
“But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”-1 SAMUEL 15:22(NIV)
For a long time I thought that if I was to sacrifice more God would do more through me. The truth I am finding is that He wants me to listen more.
This next year I feel will have changes but they are more internal changes. Smaller changes that may cause others to look at me like I’m crazy. What crazy is not being willing to change to become what God wants you to be?
I have lots of questions about faith lately. I don’t have as many easy answers as I once had. Things that I thought were foundational to faith have been shaken. Life isn’t as black and white as I once thought.
What is the definition of faith?
According to the Webster’s dictionary it means:
1a: allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY lost faith in the company’s president b(1): fidelity to one’s promises(2): sincerity of intentions acted in good faith 2a(1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God(2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b(1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return(2): complete trust 3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction especially: a system of religious beliefs the Protestant faith
And how would you define your faith? Is it strong, weak, or somewhere in between. Is it something that defines you? Or just another part of you? Are you waiting on God or expecting God to wait on you?
I’ve discovered something I think of as “Fairy-tale Faith”. It’s a type of faith where you believe that no one should ever suffer. Every one should be healed. Life should be a Utopian.
Where is the biblical evidence of this?
From what I’ve read it sounds like God is more interested in the internal parts of you. He wants you to have a right heart. Not a perfect worldly life. Yes, God is the ultimate giver of good gifts and He knows when something is too much for you.
In part I’m writing this for those that tell me that any time that I talk about not one day being healed that I shouldn’t say that. That being around those that are realistic is somehow affecting my chance of healing. Yes, they are right it is important to remain positive but I’m not waiting on “my healing” to start doing the Lord’s work for me.
I’m not some princess waiting to be saved. I have been saved. I’m set free from this World and from myself. Now I can fulfill God’s will for me. I accept that His will may be for me to be sick for the rest of my life. I also wouldn’t mind if He healed me today. I will be content with things as they are.
Saying that everyone will be healed is dangerous. Promising to new believers that if they accept God it will unlock all they have ever dreamed of is unhealthy. It leads to faith that is easily chocked out by the hardships of life. I want faith that is strong because I’ve been through hell on earth.
I’ve suffered some and I’ve learned that I have so much more to learn. God wants us to cling to Him and He will allow us to go through hardships to grow closer to Him.
When I felt that I needed to prove to everyone that following God would led to only good things I needed to look like I felt happy.
I just don’t feel that I need to project something that I don’t feel. I still try to remain positive. I think that it is important to hold onto to the good in this life. It can help you through the difficult times. It’s more import to be joyful and focus on the internal peace that God offers. This will allow you to feel happy more often.
When your fairy tale faith makes you think that everything has to be good, you miss out on the areas that you need to work on internally. Areas that the Lord wants you to work on for your own good. Yes, it hurts to look at the parts of you that aren’t Christ-like but it leads to real growth when you do.
For me finding joy is something that I have to actively search for. I’m someone who see’s the good in others but I often miss the good in myself. I’m someone who has been clinically depressed and doesn’t want to go back there. For me God is what has gotten me up on mornings when I would have rather just stayed in bed.
God doesn’t promise that it will be easy. He promises that it will be worth it.
I believe in this statement. I have faith that God is real and that His son died for me. I will try and change to become the new creation that God wills me to be. Rain or shine, sick or healthy, rich or poor, I pray that I will be strong enough to complete His will for me. This is my messy definition of faith.
I believe that as Christians we should be as kind to others as possible. There is an argument that we are supposed to be kind only to like-minded Christians. I would rather be inclusive.
I believe that we are supposed to share among the body. If you’re Brother or Sister in Christ lacks a basic necessity then it is the body’s job to supply that need.
We are supposed to look like a family of believers.
Just because you disagree with your Siblings on issues of faith doesn’t nullify your duty to them. I am sick and tired of the fighting. We will debate a comma for hours. Then we leave someone without help in their time of need because we think they are over exaggerating. When this is the reaction from the congregation, no wonder no one speaks up for help.
We are supposed to give sacrificially. That means that sometimes it’s gonna hurt. I would rather hurt now, than face my LORD in heaven and tell him why I missed out on the gift of blessing someone in need.
I’m sorry if I come off so angry but I’m heartbroken. I didn’t grow up in church. When I came to Christ all I had was my Mom and Dad and my bible. I don’t understand the selfishness that I see in the church.
We have someone who is retired in our church. He is on a fixed income and he doesn’t have enough to buy his medication and food. People in my church don’t want to help him because he smokes.
The people in my church would rather spend their retirement on cars, vacations, and homes, then on their heavenly retirement.
I wonder if we get so focused on Christ coming back that we miss all that God has for us in this life. We commit ourselves to Christ and then we wait. Then we die.
If all it means to have a relationship with God is to commit ourselves and then wait I feel like I missed something. I thought that being a Christian was life changing. I thought that it was supposed to be evident to those around us.
At least I hope that in my life, people see that I’m different.