My senior year in college, I had to write a paper on what faith meant to me and how you would describe it to someone else. Of course at the time, I went to my husband (not married yet, but we were dating). I asked him to help me. I wasn’t standing tall in my faith pants just yet, and I needed some help figuring out this assignment.
What he said to me was this.
Imagine a tight rope. Imagine a man with a wheel-barrow walking back and forth across that tight rope. He pushes his wheel-barrow up to you and invites you to get in. He promises to take you to the other side of the tight rope.
Faith is getting in the wheel-barrow.
Last week, I decided to resign from my job.
I won’t go into the details of why.
At the same time as dealing with my job, my husband and I discussed what was happening at home. We needed to decide the next step was for helping our tween daughter deal with things happening at school that was causing great distress for her and her teachers.
So as you can imagine, I’ve been totally stressed this past few weeks.
I knew that I could walk away from my job with my family’s blessing, but I wouldn’t ever walk away from my daughter. Not when she needs me the most.
Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing.
It requires us to walk by faith.
I thought through all these things that I would have to learn to walk by faith.
Then, I asked myself what kind of shoes does one wear to walk by faith?
Was there a special brand? A certain color?
And then I thought: Where would I go for this walk?
I know some people like to walk in the mall, or down to their favorite coffee spot for their morning caffeine each morning. Or some go to the outdoor trails or inside tracks. But where do you go to walk by faith? It’s not like they God puts up this sign for us that says “walk by faith trail.”
This past week I got together with my wonderful Saint Davids Christian Writers friends. It seems as if the time we spend together is never enough and I always look forward to our annual fall and spring board meetings to see everyone. It took one of my Saint Davids Christian Writers friends to say, “You’ve been walking by faith all this year. Your faith is so strong…”
It took faith for us to get through my husband’s trails of unemployment. It took faith through the first few years of my daughter’s birth and dealing with her health concerns and adapting to motherhood. It took faith going back to work again after many years of staying home with my children. And it took faith to address the issues at my job and with my daughter’s school to seek positive results for our family.
Some of you might not think that it is faith at all, but courage. And I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m a fearful person. I don’t often speak my mind as often as I should. I’d rather say nothing at all then to speak the truth and make others angry. But this week, I felt myself being cornered by situations that I felt I had no control over in my life. If I couldn’t control the outcome of these situations I needed to at least control my reaction to them.
For many years, we were the proud owners of a pot bellied pig. He lived in our home and was a member of our family. If there is one thing about pigs that I respect is that they will try to avoid fighting at all cost. Yes, they run away. But if you corner a pot bellied pig, they will defend themselves and often it is the pig that walks away unharmed.
God didn’t give me sharp tusk, but this week I found that I didn’t like feeling cornered any more than a pot bellied pig does. I had no where to flee, so I stood up for what I knew was right. (If you can hear clicking — that’s my knees still knocking).
I don’t have a pair of special shoes. I don’t have a map of the path I should follow drawn out for me. But as I walk by faith, what I do have is this sense of peace.
Peace that whether I have a job tomorrow or that everything will work out for the best.
Peace that soon we will find the resources needed to help my tween daughter learn to handle situations at school that cause her stress and keep her from making friends as easily as other tween girls.
Where has your faith taken you today?