Becoming a person of faith was never a choice, it was already chosen for me at a young age. I always envied those who were introduced to their faith at an older age, like big time influencer, Sazan. Her faith seemed to burn like a fire within her. People like her are brave and new. They possessed that “thing” that I wanted but never seemed to have until I neared my thirties. Now I know that this post is about what I learned in my twenties (with an emphasis on faith) but what I learned then wasn’t applied until recently. What I know now, in my heart, is that I had zero faith (or faux faith like I like to call it) up until then. Maybe you feel this way too. Maybe you also envy those who seem so on fire in theirs. If you do, I encourage you to read on and hopefully you can spark a fire in your journey to find FAITH.
Now some people are deeply rooted in their faith and it shows. They posses all the signs and follow with their word. They speak, live and abide by it. Their lives are rather peaceful and they’ve no doubt kept it that way because of their diligence. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t. Or at least I was severely unaware of how faithless I was. This is in no means a stab at anyone who witnessed my life first hand. No jab at my family and friends. It’s as simple as I was naive. I just thought faith was something we said. Like, I always had a hard time digesting “God’s will” and “pray that XYZ falls through.” I would just pray and normally things would happen. Oh this faith stuff seemed easy. Until it wasn’t…
Faith in God is the purest form of trust. Real trust in God means you don’t get all the answers in the beginning of the journey, that would not require trust.
I think we were either singing along to a song or laughing at a morbid joke because that’s how we did life. We owned the world, my friend and I. We were in our early twenties, making way too much cash, sleeping in and eating out and on this particular night, coming home way to late. As we slowly pushed our doors open in our usual “I’m so tired” effort, we were met with two masked men, hiding something resembling guns in their sweaters. My friend was able to get away and get help but I wasn’t so lucky. After a struggle and some bruises, I was free of the man who only wanted my money. But he made off with my dignity, my security and left me with the illusion of faith that God would come through for me. That God would punish them but what really occurred afterwards was the opposite. Instead, I suffered a long spell of victimization, self loathing, self punishing and a faithless walk with my creator.
I lived years trapped like this, seemingly unable to free myself but eventually I climbed out with the help of family and friends. I was scarred, jaded and empty but I masked like the masses, with productive days and a picture-perfect front. I went on to have kids with my best friend who became my husband and I thought I had beat the odds. I had escaped. I was physically in tact. No one could hurt me anymore. I had never stopped to think that the hurt could come in a different form. A twitch in my hand after a poorly chosen movie sent me spiraling in to a darkness I had experienced before. I was in the midst of an anxiety battle with my health. And no, “pray about it” or “read this verse” was cutting it. It was like I was metaphorically bleeding out and trying to perform surgery while reading “how to perform surgery for dummies.” It was a recipe for disaster. It took so much time but eventually I crawled out once again. I thought I had faith when I was held at gunpoint. I thought I had faith when I miraculously escaped being kidnapped. I thought I had faith when my house was burglarized by my own friend turned enemy… After all that, I thought, “man, I have so much faith. Never once did I blame God..”
But I wasn’t utilizing my faith muscle. It was like I was in a car trying to drive but on an empty tank. Jesus take the wheel only applies if the car runs, guys.
Instead of praying for the wicked’s punishment, I had to stop punishing myself. (Guys, I’m crying writing this. It hits home.) God created me and you perfectly with the right tools to create the most beautiful life. Because we are with him doesn’t mean we escape pain, discomfort or sadness. It means he is with us when we fall and that he will carry us when we can no longer move. I loved the declaration from Kobe Bryant as he said this exact thing in an interview on how he got up in the morning with the difficulties he had faced. But here’s the thing, you are not saved by faith, but by the want of it. I wasn’t practicing my faith as I should have in my twenties and even in my thirties. I didn’t want it and my life reflected that. The great CS Lewis said this:
Life with God is not immunity from difficulties but peace within difficulties. – CS Lewis
I have found this to be so true and It’s my hearts desire to share it with you. My twenties tought me that faith is not inherited but a foundation you build upon. Mahatma Gandhi said it best when he said: “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” Don’t get me wrong, I still worry, but it’s controlled and manageable. My journey here was a long one that I will be slowly revealing so that you can get a better idea of the catastrophic damage I was able to sustain. For me, faith in God is the purest form of trust. Real trust in God means you don’t get all the answers in the beginning of the journey, that would not require trust. I hope that you enjoyed this post… I also hope I didn’t freak you out! I will always keep it real whether it’s a terrible joke or a life changing message. I know this is part of my journey. Leave me a comment and let me know if you experienced something similar.