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Faith. Trust. Hope. These are beautiful words that adorn many walls in Christian homes these days. But what do they really mean? Are they rub-your-back, feel good, pretty words, or do they imply something of much greater substance? A gritty, raw, time-tested stamp that is branded into your heart? I believe the latter.

They journey into walking with our Lord starts as an act of faith. Though the reasons for handing our hearts over to one who loves us more than any other can are as vast as the night sky, the bottom line is the same. We recognize our utter insufficiency. We have chosen to step out in faith into the unknown. It is the most important step we can take, yet it is just the first of many we take to truly walking with Christ.

It has been an incredible two plus years for me. INCREDIBLE. It has been scary, ugly, raw, joyful, trusting, painful, glorious, restoring, healing, lonely, beautiful, sad, grieving, redeeming. I have been resurrected and couldn’t be more grateful for the glorious grace of a sovereign God. But I have chosen to seek His face, and allowed Him to pursue my heart.

We live in a world of instant gratification. We want something, and want results right now. ON DEMAND. Consistent effort and steady commitment towards a goal seems to be a foreign concept in this culture. We want to be fast-forwarded to a close, intimate relationship with Jesus. But alas, it is not so with God.

I can tell you I would be a very wealthy woman if I had a dollar for every time I prayed for a neon sign to direct my path, an airplane banner to tell me what to do. Guess what? I still have a mountain of student loans to pay.  And I have an even bigger mountain of faith because I have chosen to keep my eyes turned towards Him.

The building of one’s faith requires a daily, often moment by moment choice to allow ourselves to acknowledge God’s love for us, choose to seek His guidance, and to let Him seep into every fiber of our being. Really, He already is in every detail, every fiber, even each molecule. We just must choose to allow that knowledge to overtake our thinking until we get to a place of such deep trust and peace that cannot be shaken or taken from us. Sometimes this is easy, but often it feels like a wrestling match with God.

I have never doubted that God is here for me. I just didn’t have experience in allowing Him to truly move in my life. No real practice in praying, asking, waiting, and then experiencing the outcome He brings me. And sometimes the praying is pleading, and the outcome is most often so far from what we were pleading for. Because of His infinite wisdom, He gives us what we need, when we need it. Whether we agree with it or not.

Understanding isn’t always for us to have. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” I could dwell a lot on the why nots, hows, what ifs. And believe me, I do spend way to much time dwelling among those joy stealers. But when I choose to stop, give thanks, and stop trying to figure everything out, my walk with Him becomes a moonlit walk for lovers. Exciting, mysterious, secure and filled with anticipation. With the lover of my soul who wants nothing more than my heart, and to give His best to me.

Peace,

Erika

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