As a child, I had perfect faith; that unquestioning, never-doubting love and trust. It was the innocence of a perfect world wrapped in God’s warm hug. Light was everywhere to be my guide. Sure, sometimes I skinned my knee and cried, but I was safe… always saved. I heard whispers of caution from the angel by my side, “Stop. Wait. Go. “I was able to foresee mishaps and prevent them. By my twelfth year of life, I was convinced I was invincible. Until one moment, I wasn’t.
That one day, it all came down to a choice: trust my gut or trust my friends.
My gut was my conscience, my angel, my voice of righteousness, my connection to God. My friends were foolish twelve-year-olds who didn’t seem to know God, let alone your basic rules of right and wrong; common sense to a serious kid like me. The choice was clear.
However, in true preteen fashion, I forgot the covenant of my youth. God was warning me of imminent danger through whispering winds and crashing waves, “Turn back! Don’t go,” but I shook it off and drowned it out. I assured myself I would be okay, and that nothing could hurt me. Why would anyone even want to hurt me?
How nonsensical my rationale had been. I voluntarily gave up God’s protection and that single moment altered my life forever. People, even children, can be cruel, callous, and cold. Scared, sad, and lonely I had separated myself from God.
How could He want me now? I was ruined. As I look back, I understand which path I had taken: the one of willful disobedience to my heavenly Father. First I blamed them… then I blamed Him. I’m the victim! It couldn’t have been my fault!
Twenty miserable years later I had become jaded, although I called myself “realistic.” I had endured one too many traumas including my tenth miscarriage. After visiting my 10th doctor to find out why, I was informed (rather coldly) that if I should become pregnant again, to come in immediately during my next miscarriage.
Although I had arrived at the office only hours after this loss, the doctor couldn’t tell me why it had happened. I was then given a standing appointment for every week thereafter. Imagine being told to plan on feeling the greatest loss you had ever felt, for the eleventh time on purpose, while still grieving.
I broke down and cried, screaming all of my wrath towards the God I had long ago stopped talking to, thinking about, or even believing existed. I was enraged about the tragedy and loss I, and countless others, so undeservedly had suffered. I wanted to know why he had forsaken me.
He brought a memory to me of the moment I had first ignored the caution of my conscience; His warning. In one moment, I chose to throw myself into that spiral. Remembrance, guilt, then sorrow flooded my spirit.
One by one, the memories of my rebellion came to bring me understanding. Repentant, I begged for God to forgive me. I bargained with Him for a chance to be good. If he would give me a baby, I would teach the child about Him and give my child back to Him through service.
He forgave me, because He is merciful and loves me.
That feeling of knowing in my very core, in the fiber of my being, is faith. He faithfully delivered me and gifted to me a beautiful baby when no one else could. He blessed me and kept me, giving to me four more tiny blessings. He has protected, fed, clothed, and housed us in ways that defy explanation. He revealed Himself to me in the most magnificent of ways. He has opened my eyes after a nightmarish sleepwalk through my young adulthood. I saw God’s face and he kissed me. He filled my soul with innocent wonder and a childlike spirit. He showed me truth and has been teaching and trying me. Often, the challenges seem to be more than I can bear in my limited patience. He has always carried us through, changing curses into blessings. I love Him more every day.
I testify, through faith, that I have seen miracles which show God’s loving kindness. Even when my faith turns to doubt, I find myself praying to Him to strengthen my resolve. And He does. I share my faith through my beloved gifts: my children. I tell them of their loving Father above and what He has done for us. I ask them to pray, believing, to see what comes next.
Never how we imagine, God fulfills, promise after promise.