Friday, February 3, 2012

Growing Faith, Growing Life

For the past year I have been attending a biweekly covenant group at my church.  It's a small group of women of all ages--a couple of us are young moms, a few have school-aged children, a couple have college-aged children, one is middle-aged and childless, and one is a grandmother--and we come together to talk about faith and nurturing our spiritual growth.  If you'd asked the me from five years ago whether I thought I'd ever belong to a church again, much less be an active member of a woman's group AND director of the Christmas pageant I would have laughed in your face.  But I have to say, I really enjoy participating in the church and especially in this group. I finally found a good fit for me.  Right now the group is putting together a devotional for Lent. Each day a different church member has contributed an essay or a poem reflecting on a particular Bible verse. I was planning to just work on the project as an editor, but once I started editing the devotions I realized that I could probably write one, so I took the plunge and volunteered when I realized we still had a few open spaces.  I wrote on Hebrews 11:1, and I figured I might as well post my reflection here.  (Don't worry, this is probably the only evangelizing I'll ever do here. I'm just pleased with how this turned out and felt the need to share it.)    
Recently, I received an e-mail from an acquaintance that contained an image of twins in a womb. Below the picture was a caption that read like a conversation between the two babies: “Hey brother, do you think there’s a life after birth? Do you believe in Mom?” “Nah, I don’t believe these things, I’m an atheist.  I mean, have you ever seen Mom?”

I typically pay little attention to these types of forwarded e-mails when they make the rounds.  But while I reflected on Hebrews 11 that e-mail sprang back into my mind as I thought about my own ongoing challenge to have faith. Oh, for the ability to always be “sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”! I have great admiration for those people who appear to have an unshakable faith in God. As for me, I admit that I cannot yet claim that level of conviction and certainty.  I want to have that constant faith that I perceive in others.  How badly I want to be able to say that I never doubt or question.  Instead, all I can say is that through prayer and reflection and joining a faith community, I am trying. And, little by little, God is blessing me. He is answering my questions and overcoming my doubts and fears.  I can feel my faith growing.

As I write these words, I am eight months pregnant with my first child. I hope that my baby does not share the thoughts of those babies in that e-mailed image.  I hope that he has faith that he has a loving mother, even though he can’t yet see me. I hope that he hears my words and finds them comforting. I hope that he feels safe and secure and knows that I am doing everything in my power to protect him and bring him safely and joyfully into this world he has yet to experience. I hope he is already sure of how much I love him.

As I hope all of these things for my baby during the Lenten season, I also hope them for myself and for all of us.  I pray that we will all be able to hear God speaking to us and find strength and comfort in his words.  I pray that we will all be sure that we have a loving Father.  I hope that we will be certain of God’s presence in our lives every day, even though we cannot see him and must, for now, rely on faith.       

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I was going through my Google Reader subscriptions and stumbled across this one. Hope things are going well for you.