I was sitting in a dining room when I (thought it was safe and) told a man who had taught Bible class that I felt I’d be speaking on stage.
He tilted his head and patted me on the shoulder, “Yeah… but if He’s not….”
I was only asking for prayers. That’s the only reason I told him. It was a small group meeting and – prayer is part of it, right?
But when he didn’t believe me, I was faced with another situation entirely: A test of faith.
Did I actually believe what I was saying I know? Or did I not?
I looked at him (not aware back then of his condescending tone) and after deep thought a minute, I said again, “But… He is.” I just …knew.
And again, this faith-lacking, prideful, young Bible class teacher looked into my eyes, shook his head and said with a smirk (clearly now I realize it was proof he didn’t believe me) and patted me again on the shoulder, “Yeahh….but if He’s NOT….”
What I read from Genesis to Revelation is that God has always used lesser known messy people with messy lives to carry out His Divine purpose.
I’ve had something like 7 years to think about that moment. He didn’t seem to believe God would choose someone like me (clearly nobody in this man’s eyes) to share God’s Word, my faith, and my story.
It’s funny how some moments seem to last so much longer than others.
I believe God allows and purposely tests our faith with moments like these.
People everywhere are constantly demanding field- and factory-tested products but they are the same people who tend to shake their fist in defiant anger when anyone tests or challenges their beliefs.
That’s a bit of a double standard.
God humbles and tests us, refines us, and He says He will finish what He starts.
And it turns out it doesn’t matter who else believes what He’s doing with you but you.
If someone isn’t tested then how will he or she stand when things seem unfair?
What about when things seem to take a long time? (“Too long” according to people watching your life. Too long? Oh my word! What does that even MEAN when The One we serve is The Author of time, itself?)
What about when other people mock your faith?
What about when it’s people closest to you who mock your faith?
People don’t like flimsy products.
Oh! How much MORE does God not want a luke-warm follower?!
Two things just happened.
This past month AS the final legal procedures of my second divorce happen, the doors have been opened for more platforms to share my faith – and my story.
Share my story — every messy broken part of it.
Yes, you read that right… second: one marriage was 7 years and one has been almost 19 by the time divorce is final… though possibly both were broken from the start. But I’ve learned a lot. And forget divorce! What about the hundred other ways God has had to be sad about me? There are so many other things! But God!
Imagine a redeeming God who uses messy people’s messy lives to share in HIS purpose?!
The thing is I knew you’d be reading this. It’s not a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. But I knew somehow in my spirit a few years ago that I’d be here writing about this someday.
I had told my kids I felt someone would come ask me to write with a group of other Christian writers.
This just happened.
Jennie Louwes, who felt God lead her to start MomPro – Teach The Way, contacted me to join her along with several other writers.
I also knew I’d be speaking on stage at some point. This also isn’t good or bad. It just is.
I was actually afraid to ever speak back then.
Mostly I was afraid because someone too close to me kept telling me in so many ways that I was never going to be enough.
The beautiful Truth is that God takes what little I have to offer and HE makes it – and He makes me – enough.
But what ever would I speak about exactly? That part wasn’t clear at that time, which again is why I had been asking for prayers already all those years ago in that small group meeting.
This just happened too.
Last week I was asked to speak at an event. I believe this is the first of many.
And guess what? I’m not afraid anymore.
In the mess…in the questions…in the middle, God gives a firm place to stand in Him.
That’s really why I’m here today: to ask you.
What do you do when your faith is tested?
Do you recognize when it happens?
When people tell you something isn’t… but God shows you it very much IS, perhaps that’s a test of your faith.
What you DO with each test of faith is up to you.
God likes to know what you’ll do and He tests you and allows you to be tested. Because… well, maybe He also wants YOU to know what you’ll do.
Do you complain?
Do you immediately go to Him in prayer for answers and to praise Him out loud?
Do you get mad and let pride grab a place in your spirit?
I believe what you do in that moment IS a part of the test.
It doesn’t matter what someone else believes. It matters what YOU believe.
Want to have some fun? Just watch God use something that someone meant to harm you, instead for HIS good. He is a good God! NOTHING is wasted. HE makes beauty from ashes. I believe in you, you believe, and God believes. THAT is already a cord of THREE!
Even when nobody else can see what He’s doing, He STILL does it. And THAT is some Good News.