Real Faith Is “Though-Faith”

This morning in my time with the Lord, I listened to a commentary on Psalm 46. The pastor mentioned that real faith is not “if-faith”, but “though-faith.” I’ve been pondering this statement all morning long. Real faith is not the kind of faith that says, “If you do this, I’ll believe” or “If this happens, I’ll trust” or “If this never happens to me, I’ll trust that You are a good God.” No, real faith says, “I’ll trust you even though……”. Even though things didn’t go like I wanted, even though my heart is broken, even though things are hard and make no sense. Even though there is pain and evil and hardship in this world.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear THOUGH the earth gives way,
THOUGH mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
THOUGH its waters roar and foam,
THOUGH the mountains tremble at its swelling. Ps 46:1-3

Later during the day this blog post that I wrote one year ago today popped up in my facebook feed. And wouldn’t you know, the post is all about Faith! And a year later, I’m still traveling a road that is leading me through unknown, unfamiliar, unwelcome and often scary territory. And a year later, my companion is still Faith….and Faith is proving to be just the Companion that I need to get me through this journey!

Who Is Your Travel Companion?
03 JUN 2015

For the last 18 months or so, I have felt lost. Like I’m wandering aimlessly, not really knowing where I’m going. I’m traveling a road I don’t want to travel….a road that is leading me through a place I don’t know and I am not comfortable with; unfamiliar territory that is often lonely and frightening. And the really hard part is this: I don’t even know where this road is taking me. I don’t know the purpose in taking this road, this journey.

Do you ever feel that way? Like you’re on a road that you aren’t comfortable being on, but there’s no way to turn around and take another way? The only way to wherever you’re going is down this frightening, lonely, frustrating road. We all find ourselves on these roads at times in our lives. Maybe you’re like me, and the death of your spouse has put you on this road. Maybe it’s the death of a parent, or child. Maybe it’s a failed marriage or relationship that has you on this lonely road; or maybe the lack of a marriage or relationship. It could be difficult financial situations that has you on a road filled with hardship and frustration, or a physical condition that has put you there. Our lives are made of up many of these difficult, scary, lonely roads.

I believe that the only way to get safely to the end of these roads is to travel with a companion. That companion’s name is Faith. Faith to know that there is a purpose, there is a reason, there is an end. Faith to know that we are not alone and that Christ has already gone down this road ahead of us to prepare the way. Faith to know that even though the whole world may seem like it’s against us, He is for us. Faith to know that everything that happens to us is for our good and His glory. Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I didn’t say that our companion’s name is Understanding. Because I don’t understand the purpose or reason for being on this road. Nor do I understand how traveling this road can be for my good. What I did say is that our companion’s name is Faith. Faith to believe all these things, even when I don’t understand them. Faith to believe that even if I never fully realize the purpose of my journey this side of Heaven, one day I will understand.

I was reminded of this in my time with the Lord this morning. I was reading Hebrews 11….often referred to as the “Hall of Faith”. I was reminded of how Abraham was called to travel a road that he knew nothing about and to go, not knowing where he was going. God called him to leave all that he knew and was familiar with. It wasn’t an easy road for Abraham…it was a long, difficult journey. But, Abraham was blessed for his faithfulness. I feel just like that. I’ve been called to leave a place that I never wanted to leave, a place that I loved and was comfortable with and secure in, to go to a place that I know nothing about. But just like Abraham, I am choosing to take Faith as my companion, trusting that the Lord is leading me into the land of promise! I pray that if you are one of the many who are on a road you’d rather not be on and you don’t even know where you’re going, that you will also choose to take Faith as your companion!

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise. Hebrews 11:8-9

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

A New Heaven And A New Earth…I Can’t Wait!!

I just love this time of the year when my home is surrounded by God’s beauty!! His handiwork is so amazing. So intricate. So colorful. So uplifting to my spirit. So unbelievably beautiful! But what’s even more amazing to me is that the beauty that we experience today is beauty that is found on a cursed earth. When sin entered the world, God put a curse on the earth. Things that we experience today are not the way He originally planned them. But yet, the trees, the flowers, the oceans, the mountains…..what beauty!

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One day, the curse will be reversed and there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth. Everything will be PERFECT…just the way it was originally designed. No sin, no death, no decay. Only perfection!! Can you even imagine?? If the beauty that we experience today is that of a cursed earth, I cannot fathom what it will be like on the New Earth!! And I can’t wait!

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” Rev 21:1

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Rev 22:20

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Happy Birthday Greg!

Yesterday was Greg’s birthday. He would have been 52. We were sad that we couldn’t celebrate with him, but…we still chose to celebrate! The day that Greg came into this world is certainly a day worth celebrating. The world is a better place for Greg having been here….even if only for 49 short years. He impacted lives. He brought joy and laughter to those that knew him. He loved and was loved. He made a difference.

I thought all day yesterday about what to post and just couldn’t find any words other than what I had posted on Greg’s last two birthdays. Then I saw a post that Jacob wrote yesterday morning and decided that he said very beautifully what we all were feeling. So I thought it fitting that I share his words here.

Happy birthday Dad! Although happy will be hard for me on your birthday I will try my best because if I know anything about you it is that you would do anything for me to be happy. I love you Dad and I miss you more than I though possible. But I’m glad I have the opportunity to miss you. I’m so glad you were a good dad and that I get the chance I think back on all our memories with love. That is way more than a lot of kids get. Even though some people may call me unlucky for the hand I’ve been felt I consider myself blessed beyond measure! I’m not lucky because you’re gone but because I got to spend the first 14 years of my life with who I genuinely believe was one of the greatest men God has ever created. So today I choose not only happiness but thankfulness. Thankful for every second I had with you. I’m thankful for having a dad as awesome as you! Thank you Dad! I love and miss oh so much!
Your number one son,
Jake

For the last two years our family has gone to a Braves game to celebrate Greg’s birthday, but this year there wasn’t a game in town. We decided to just all go out to dinner and spend time together. Here are a few pictures from last night.

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My niece, Amanda with her husband, Ryan and son, Zachary

My niece, Amanda with her husband, Ryan and son, Zachary

Greg's parents and sister

Greg’s parents and sister

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Happy Birthday, Greg! We love and miss you more every day and can’t wait until we’re all together again!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

So Excited!!

I just found out that the book I gave away this morning, The Light Between Oceans, is being made into a movie that will be released in September!! I can’t wait! I know the movies are never as good as the books, but this is such a great story…I’m looking forward to the movie!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Winner!!

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The winner of the book give-away is……Gina!!! Congratulations Gina! I’ll get the book in the mail to you this week!!

Thanks to those of you who left a comment to enter! The winner was chosen using Random.org. Have a great Monday everyone!!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

She Did It!!!

Well….she did it!! And I cannot begin to express how very proud I am of her! Katie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Point University last night with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies and a minor in Youth and Family Ministry!! She has worked so hard these last four years, striving for excellence in her studies. She struggled through some very hard, emotional times as she grieved the loss of her father. Yet she persevered and graduated with a 4.0. And although I am extremely proud of her academic success, I am even more proud of her heart for the Lord and her desire to teach others about Him.

It seems just like yesterday that Katie was walking across the stage at Crossroads Church receiving her diploma for graduating from Pre-K!! The days are fleeting, and we must make the most of each one. The Lord humbles me every day as I reflect on the fact that He chose me to be the mother of this amazing young lady! And not just Katie, but Emilie and Jacob too. I am triple-blessed!! My heart overflows with love, joy, pride, gratefulness and thanksgiving today!!

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth. 3 John 1:4

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Waiting to see their sister graduate!

Waiting to see their sister graduate!

Greg's parents came to celebrate with us!

Greg’s parents came to celebrate with us!

That's one proud Mama and sister!

That’s one proud Mama and sister!

Waiting her turn to walk in!

Waiting her turn to walk in!

Receiving her diploma!

Receiving her diploma!

Officially a college graduate!

Officially a college graduate!

She was SO happy!!

She was SO happy!!

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Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Three Things That Are Bringing Me Joy This Week!

This life can be hard. But no matter what’s going on in our life, there IS joy to be found! I think it’s important to focus on and be thankful for the things in life that bring us joy. So, here are three things that are bringing me joy this week.

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Katie couldn’t be with me on Mother’s Day, but she was here on Saturday night and brought me these beautiful flowers! I love having fresh flowers in the house….they not only brighten the house, but they also brighten my mood!

thru the word

A sweet friend shared this Bible App with me. I am using it alongside the read-thru-the-Bible plan that I’ve been using this year and I love it! You just choose whatever chapter you’re reading and can listen to a brief 4-8 minute commentary on that chapter. It is really enriching my time in the Word! You should check it out!

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This boy got his license a couple of weeks ago! I know the kid always experiences a newfound freedom when they first get their license, but for this Mom…..oh what freedom!! It has been so nice to not have to play taxi service multiple times a day! Another benefit might just be that my prayer life has increased since he is out on the road alone! :)

Have a great Friday and don’t forget to choose JOY!!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

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