Strengthening Your Faith

Have you done it as well?

Have you ever prayed to the Lord that He would do whatever it takes to strengthen your faith?

And then He sends the perfect faith-building scenario?

I have! Here’s my story. But first, a little background about me.

I am ambitious. Perhaps a little overly ambitious. I have very high standards for myself that I hardly ever live up to – but I keep trying. I have incredibly lofty goals for myself, my future, and especially my children. I strive every day to reach these goals. And I am learning to strive only with His energy, not my own (Colossians 1:29)… but that’s a different story for another time.

One of my life’s callings has always been to worship. I love to sing and play guitar, and I love worshipping my Lord. I’ve always dreamed that someday, maybe, the Lord would use me to bring Him glory through worship.

I know that, in order to make this goal (and other goals) for my life a reality, it is important to make a little progress every day, simply by being faithful in every day’s little choices. The ones that sound a little like this (at least in my head) –

Should I use this time while my kids are napping to watch that TV show? Or should I read my Bible and talk with the Lord about that issue that’s been eating at me? 

I really should get some exercise today. But I’d rather just stay here and eat some more chocolate. 

My little ones want Mommy to read just one more story…

Those three friends asked for prayer, but I don’t feel like praying right now.

Here comes that old familiar temptation to sin again. Oh, how much damage could a little sin do? Maybe just this once… 

And thousands and thousands more. Every day! I don’t know about you, but I can easily get overwhelmed by the never-ending stream of them! And what happens when I make the wrong choice? The one I am SURE won’t get me to where I need to go? The one I’m sure does not please my Heavenly Father? I beat myself up. Terribly. To a pulp! And the voice of condemnation fills my heart, and I allow it to reduce me to a nearly lifeless mess of tears and shame. But the Lord has been so kind. He allows me time to process it all, then gently brings me back to where I need to be. His voice is never one of condemnation, of rubbing your face in your mistakes, of pointed shame! He is the voice of encouragement, of understanding, of “you have it in you!” and “I’m so proud of who you are and where you’re headed!” With Him by my side, I’ve been able to make the right choices a few more times every day. And when I fail, I fail! And I pick myself back up, dust myself off, and try again.

Woman jump over canyon

He knew, without a doubt, that this was a lesson that I MUST learn before He could take me on the next adventure of my life.

So, back to my leap of faith. On March 20th, 2014, the Lord gave me clear calling to pick up guitar, singing and songwriting again. He said that it will most certainly be used in the near future to build up His church. Imagine how honored I felt! He gave few details – only that I was to start practicing a little each day, as He provided the grace for it, and to just wait on Him for the next step (Psalm 27:14).

So I did! Each day, as was possible with all of my other responsibilities, I practiced. And waited. And practiced. And worshipped.

Then He brought me an opportunity.

To be brave and sing boldly for my hubby, without fear.

So I did, and He saw me through the nervousness and the questions – and my faith in Him was strengthened.

Then He brought another opportunity.

To be brave and sing boldly in front of our friends at cell group, without fear.

So I did, and He saw me through the nervousness and the doubts – and my faith in Him was strengthened.

Then He brought me yet another opportunity.

To be brave and sing boldly during practice with the worship team at church.

So I did, and He saw me through the nervousness and fumbling – and my faith in Him was strengthened.

Then, this past Tuesday, He brought another opportunity. One of greater risk, greater nervousness, greater fear involved. To be brave and sing boldly in front of the church for Sunday worship. Not backup singing, but leading a song.

So I will.

Will He let me down now?

If, at every step of this adventure, He has proven Himself to be faithful to me, to only ask me to do what I am capable of, and to simply trust Him with the rest, will He let me down now

He. Will. Not.

Next week, I will be writing another post, and I am confident in my Lord, no matter what happens, no matter if I make mistakes, no matter if I even choke in fear – next week, this is what I will be writing:

“So I did, and He saw me through the nervousness and the fear – and my faith in Him was strengthened.”

So like that little goldfish in the picture above, I’m taking my leap of faith. I don’t know what the bigger fish bowl will be like. Is the water too hot? Too cold? Will I even survive? But he has called this little fishy to jump. So jump I will!

This is my story, my current walk of faith.

What’s yours?

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Psalm 55:22

Oceans by Hillsong

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Forward In Faith written on the road

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