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Fortified Faith

Jenny LaBahn

Fortified Faith

“A perfect faith would lift us up absolutely above fear. It is in the cracks, crannies and guilty faults of our belief, the gaps that are not faith, that the show of apprehension settles and ice of unkindness forms.” -George MacDonald

Do you, like me, have gaps in your faith?

Are there parts of you – tiny little parts – that do not trust God?

I am such a “ponderer,” and it often gets me into trouble. My pondering in congruence with my inquisitive nature leads to an abundance of question asking. More often than not, my questions do not get answered.

Unanswered questions can be unsettling.

I have faith. Some might even say it is strong. I know who God is, and I believe His Word is True. I try my best to trust Him, even when life does not make sense.

However, there are these crevices deep in the recesses of my soul, where fear resides.

I can envision the kind of faith I want to have. I can foreshadow the kind of woman I want to be . . . but I always seem to fall short. I never meet the standard I have engrained in my mind.

I have a very intimate relationship with God now, but it has not always been that way. Life beat me up pretty bad before I was broken enough to recognize my need for Him.

The beating left its mark.

During my high school years, I went through a season of tremendous sorrow. I went to twelve funerals by the time I was seventeen, and most of the deceased were friends my age.

I had so many questions, and no answers.

Questions like:

  • Why do good people die?
  • Where was God when my friend’s car was hit by a semi?
  • Why didn’t God save my friend when she died after three days of being in a coma?
  • Why doesn’t He stop bad things from happening?
  • Why didn’t He take away my pain?

Frustrated by the lack of answers, eventually I disowned my faith in God and decided I wanted nothing to do with Him.

I became encompassed in the ways of the world, which eventually made me bitter, broken, depressed, and even suicidal.

Thankfully, after several years of living in darkness, God got a hold of my heart. Life without God in it was worse than having unanswered questions. I chose to release my need to understand. I accepted the fact that God allows things to transpire that I will simply never comprehend on this side of Heaven.

I repented of my sin, and He received me back to Him with arms wide open.

That was seven years ago, and by God’s grace I am not the same person I used to be. However, there are times when I lack the faith to believe that God is going to work everything out for my good, even though He promises to do so. Even though I have seen Him do it time and time again, specifically in using my testimony.  

Yes, God redeems, and He heals. I would not be writing this post today if that were not the case. It does not, however, change the fact that experiences have an affect on a person. They shape who we are, and influence the way we think and process things.

Sometimes, the things that have hurt and broken me in the past affect the faith I have in God regarding my future.

I remember the pain of that season as if it were yesterday. There are times when I find myself thinking that maybe God won’t come through, even though deep down I know that is not the Truth.

But He is so faithful. He and I are working through these fears of mine, and we are processing it together.

The pain of that season caused me to demand answers from God. The truth is that He was answering my questions; I just did not like His answers. I still ask Him questions, even now. And His answers are still the same:

My grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The Lord is near the brokenhearted (Psalms 34:18).

My ways are higher than your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Even during the times when the pain and sins of my past threaten to derail me, He is steady.

I am learning to let go of yesterday’s pain, so that I can grab hold of today’s joy and tomorrow’s hope.

Maybe life has thrown some things at you that have affected your faith. Maybe you, like me, need the breath of God to blow on the parts of your faith that have been frozen, so that they may be melted down and fresh faith can be reborn.

A prayer:

Lord, I want to have a faith that moves me beyond my fear. Search my heart and soul; reveal to me the parts of my heart that hesitate to trust You. I ask that my faith would be fortified. That Your Spirit would come, and strengthen me by the power of Your Word. 

Jenny LaBahn is a lover of Jesus, tea, books, writing, reading, and rain. Her greatest passion in life is finding intimacy with the Savior. She has a heart for singles trying to find their way in a world of pairs. She is a hairstylist, full-time college student, and also manages to do some freelance editing and writing on the side. You can read Jenny's blog at www.mydoubleportion.com.

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