Dear readers — When I created this series, I didn’t know what I would be getting myself into by revisiting the tender age of thirteen. Frankly, I think I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to erase all memories from that time, but with the help of my siblings, I’m reconnecting the dots and allowing those memories to resurface . . . for the sake of authenticity, and more importantly, for the possibility of healing . . . So here it is, the first installment of the This Is 31 series at Every Page. Today, I’m talking about faith. Enjoy and comment.
Growing in Faith
faith : /fāTH/ : noun : complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
If I think about the things that happened to and around me by the age of thirteen, my mind drifts to some pretty dark and lonely places — where broken relationships ran rampant and, in some instances, nearly pushed me over the edge.
In those days, I didn’t have much faith in family or friends. By then, they had already proven themselves incapable of meeting my deepest needs, and I was far too young to put that (and its implications) into words. Ultimately, I learned to hold people at arm’s length, build walls, and shut down . . . Not the healthiest response to disappointment, but what else could I do at thirteen? Looking back, I know this created far more problems than it solved, but it marked the beginning of my faith journey, and eventually, led me to Jesus Christ.
Despite the hardness of my heart, I could see how other people’s faith in Jesus enabled them in the fight for love, joy, and peace in their relationships . . . More specifically, in the midst of pain brought about by unthinkable circumstances. I didn’t know it at the time, but I wanted to experience that same sort of fight in me and free myself from the sting of disappointment that would follow me throughout life. . .
At the age of thirty-one, I still struggle with this reality: that sometimes, because we live in a broken world, the people closest to us will say and do some of the most hurtful things, and sometimes, without a single thought, or an ounce of remorse. There’s no way to predict when and how this will happen, but it most certainly will happen when we least expect it . . . So what’s the appropriate response?
My faith teaches me over and over that if I place complete trust or confidence in others and never expect to be let down, I’ll set myself up for a fall. At the same time, if I allow myself to be ruled by the sting of disappointment, I’ll never experience true freedom. This is why it is so important to guard my heart in all relationships and surrender my fears to my Creator. I know that He sees (and desires to mend) the brokenness; and if my faith is in Him, I won’t be overcome by it.
In closing, I can say that the truest mark of my faith in Jesus and what He has accomplished on my behalf is in how I choose to respond when people — be it family, friends, or foes — hurt me, and vice versa . . . I’m still growing in this area, and I most certainly need all the help I can get.
Thanks for reading.