Jun 17, 2013

"Flexing our Faith Muscles" by Brittany, After His Heart series




 Meet Brittany. 

Our paths crossed last summer in Seattle when a small group of downtown mamas met for play dates in the park.  Her husband pastored the church we were attending, her little daughter immediately took my shy Annika's hand in friendship, and Brittany struck me as someone with a naturally kind heart.  She genuinely loves Jesus and is passionate about the people of Seattle.  Her family is in the midst of change and expecting their third daughter in weeks, so her words come from that very true, very real place of learning and experience. Enjoy!

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"Flexing our Faith Muscles" by Brittany

Recently, our family has experienced a season of major transition. 

From the outside world, the decisions we made didn’t make a lot of practical sense, but we had come to a place in our life, work, ministry, and family where we knew God was calling us to step out, take a risk, and start flexing our faith muscles.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact, just the other day I found myself asking, “Why do I feel so uptight?....Why am I short-fused and impatient?”

The root of it all was my lack of trust in God with the uncertain future of our family. I couldn’t figure out how we were going to make budget every month. I didn’t know how we were to pay for the hospital bills of our upcoming daughter’s birth, where would we be living, medical insurance, where would my husband be employed come the fall, and for the first time in my life- wondering what God has in mind for ministry, church, and community.

All of this is unknown and although I can easily say I trust God, my sinful response was to try and control the circumstances, which has led to my impatience, anger, and stress.

I want clarity, God wants trust.

How do we make our decisions? Do we make them based on comfort, security, money, family, circumstances, emotions, or logic? We tend to trust what we see in front of us, like a padded bank account, news reports, our own ideals, the American dream, other people’s opinions, or the protection of the things familiar.

As you read this you are probably looking for clarity, direction, and answers for life. Who should I marry, when should we start a family, what job should we take, where should we move, what school do we want our kids to go to? 

There is a pressure and stress all around us to be at a certain place in life. The expectations others put on us or we put on ourselves are unrealistic and we can spend the rest of our life trying to find clarity or answers, but what God is asking us to do is trust. Totally give up all our control and trust in Him, His unfailing promises, His character, and the finished work on the cross.

If we spend our life on the treadmill of trying to achieve and live up to the world’s expectations, we will be living in a constant state of anxiety and exhaustion. Instead, choosing to trust our Father allows us to live in freedom and rest through His grace.

Our father has given us no reason to not trust him.

Just as my youngest daughter jumps from the edge of the swimming pool with no reservation, trusting I will catch her, we should have the same response to our Heavenly Father. I am amazed at kids... I can be 15 feet away and my daughter starts to jump in the water long before I am right in front of her. She has confidence that I will be there, I won’t leave her in the deep water, and she knows that I would sacrifice everything (even keeping my hair dry!) to leap out and catch her. 

No caution, no reservation, no concern about what others think, just a confidence in her loving mom.

What an example to us as we relate to our trustworthy God who (unlike me with my daughter) has never let us down.

 “Whatever dark tunnel we may be called upon to travel through, God has been there. Whatever deep waters seem about to drown us, he has traversed. Faith is not merely "feeling good about God" but a conscious choice, even in the utter absence of feelings or external encouragements, to obey his Word when he says, "Trust Me." This choice has nothing to do with mood but is a deliberate act of laying hold on the character of God whom circumstances never change.” --Elisabeth Elliott


3 comments:

  1. This is such a blessed reminder. It is two years since I waved goodbye to my husband as he flew homeward to USA while I waited an unknown amount of time for my visa application to be completed (it turned out be 4 months). The last two years I have been adjusting to life in a new country and now we are stepping out in faith as we try to figure out our next move with the responsibility of our kids schooling a consideration now they have reached that age. I have been learning all along that God is trustworthy and I cannot think of a more valuable lesson.

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  2. So encouraging. This could have been me writing this 5 months ago. We moved from NC to TX without a job lined up or health insurance or very much in savings, or any kind of security, really, while I was 20 weeks pregnant with #3. But we knew He was telling us that our ministry couldn't go forward until we did this. So we did. And then a kidney infection landed me in the hospital right in the middle of all that! The Lord worked it all out...down to the wire, honestly...but we are slowly learning to trust Him more and more. We look so crazy to so many people, I think, because our life doesn't look like it "should." I kept saying exactly what you said- I want CLARITY, but that's not what God is wanting me to have :) Beautiful piece, and so good to know we aren't the only ones! :)

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  3. Oh, how I needed to read these words today. Confirmation of his movement is a wondrous thing. Thank you!

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