Thursday, August 16, 2007

All or nothing.

Faith. It has been the one thing in my life that is both the hardest and easiest thing to understand. It has been the most challenging thing to put into practice, and yet it has been the one source of constant security too.
I believe in the Bible as God's Word to us, as people living in a sinful, fallen world. Many times people have asked Chip and I how we 'do it'...meaning how do we live with hurt and grief and have such peace and happiness in life. We have one answer- our faith in God and the commands and promises we claim through God's word.
Forgiveness toward the one who claimed Teagan's and Peggy's lives and altered so many others that tragic day in July '01 isn't easy. But it is a command throughout Scriptures...Jesus said, "love your enemies"...."forgive as I have forgiven you"..."be kind and compassionate to one another". There are more verses like these. Words that are hard to live out- to put into practice sometimes, but true nonetheless.
Our faith gives us hope and comfort and promises us a future where all our trials will make sense. It is this Hope of Heaven and eternity with God that makes the pains of our life bearable. One of the things that has been a driving force in our lives is the reality that we CAN trust God in ALL things.
I know it seems hard to believe, but I fully trust that God is who He claims to be- the Creator of this world; the Way, the Truth and the Life. He has promised that in this world "there will be suffering, but fear not, I have overcome this world". Even death. It is a choice to believe His words and it is a blessing to feel the peace and comfort that comes as a result of trusting in Him.
As Chip and I marked our 12th annivesary and were surrounded by family and friends and memories of where our lives began (including the yard where we were married, and some of the fondest final memories we have with Teagan in our lives) it was a reminder that we have grown and changed and become different people through the years. Life was good and full and held such promise for us. It was easy to live a life of faith that was hardly touched on any given day.
What we knew about God at that time....that He IS love, that He IS goodness, that He died to save us from our sinless state and offer us salvation and the promise of eternal life in Heaven with Him, was true then, but also is true today. We believed in His promises when life was going well. We have chosen to believe them in the hard times too.
While life has handed us circumstances that have been nearly overwhelming, they haven't changed God's love for us. They have made it hard to understand at times, but the choice to believe and trust is still there for us each day. I know from the outside some people have been amazed at the strength of our faith and the choices we have made and continue to make. To love God and to go on in life and seek happiness and joy in spite of heartache hasn't been easy. And yet it has. It's hard to explain, but really it is the one thing that sees us through. The good and the bad. The hurts and the blessings.
My faith is simple really. I see it as believing in God in everything or in nothing. Either He is who He says He is- or He's not. If He's not who He claims to be...if there is nothing more to this life than all we can see- well then life is a cruel and painful joke to our family. However, we have seen far too many 'coincidences' and felt an overwhelming sense of peace in our hearts, and the blessings that have come from our pain just keep flowing out of the choices we make. It seems to me that there IS more to this world than we can see. That's what faith is.
Believing in what we cannot see.
Even when it's hard.
Even when it doesn't make sense.
Even when the questions outnumber the answers.
Even when the future is unclear.
There is One who continues to make Himself known to us time and time again. It blows me away. It is humbling. It is amazing. It is unbelievable...and yet we believe.
To take credit for such faith and grace in life would be unfair. That's why I love to tell others about God and all He has done and continues to do in our lives. It is only because of Him that we are who we are. My hope and desire is that everyone who looks at us can see that. And hopefully it will inspire others to place their trust fully in Him. All or nothing. That's the best way I can explain my faith.

12 comments:

angela said...

Jody,

I love how you write and your messages really speak to me. Thanks for sharing you!

Angela

Anonymous said...

thank you!

~*AMY*~ said...

wow, i opened your blog i was blown away...i just did a post on my blog today about my faith and my strength. girl, you are a total inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing to share the Truth, Jody. The Lord IS good, and He IS faithful...you're right - even when we don't "see" or understand it.

Hope you have a great day!

Blessings in Him,
Jodie R.

Jen Gallacher said...

It's so true. You either believe it or you don't. And although there are little stabs of hurt, and maybe even doubt that start to creep in I take a deep breath and just let my faith wash over me. His plan is real and He loves me and those beautiful children he is now raising for us. Beautiful post, Jody!

Prolix fromla Normandie said...

bonjour!

very bright blog!
giant hugs*

PROLIX

{ThE fReNcH tOuCh}
http://prolix.typepad.fr

SingerMamaMelody said...

Amen Sister!!! I admire your faith very much. May God bless your day and give you His continued peace and strength!

Gretchyn said...

I enjoy your blog so much on any given day, but this post especially touched me today. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you. :)

The Bouceks said...

Your blogs are real, gritty, and addictive! Thanks for doing what you do!

Claire said...

Hi Jody,

It literally brought a tear to my eye when I saw the pictures of Wyndham as flower girl - she is such a little miracle, each and every day.

Claire

Cynthia said...

Jody,

Awesome.

Pam said...

What an incredibly deep yet simple topic. You have given me much to digest today.