Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Faith Pants

I don't know if this is normal for everyone but I go through periods of time when I'm really happy, things are fine at home, I feel like I'm sailing down the path God wants me to be on....and then just as easily I find myself in a period of insecurity, emotional chaos, filled with doubt and worry and fear, wondering if maybe I got lost somewhere on this crazy path that all of the sudden seems foreign and scary. The up and down of my journey seems as frequent as the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide. I have reoccurring dream that I'm falling. I don't dream it very often but when I do dream it, it's always the same dream. I seem to be flying and then all of the sudden I'm falling. I have no idea if this dream connects to my spiritual journey or not. But I tend to believe that perhaps in some strange way, it does. I fear a lot about falling with out anything to catch me when it comes to my life as a whole. But I don't understand it, not directly. Sometimes I have so much faith that God will bring me to where I need to be if I'm not already there at any one moment in my life and other times I am feeling like there's no one directing my flight and no one to catch me when I land, all as I fly through life by the seat of my pants.

The past few days have been a little rough for me and I seemed to have lost faith a little. Most of it lies where my husband is concerned, my worry for him and his own issues, how it affects our family and my inability to grasp how to deal with it all. I pray for him every day and most of the time, I know that in His own beautiful time, God will answer these prayers but sometimes, I am doubtful and then my worry begins. What if things don't ever change? What if where we are right now is where we're always going to be?

Another reason for my faithlessness is my own scrutinizing of my abilities, which I write about often so won't detail much further here. I am just continuing the struggle I face practically every day and some days, I know I allow it to overrun my confidence and blind me in my battle to keep my faith where my motherhood is concerned. Yet another reason for my seeming lack of faith is just a general persistence in my mind that there's something bigger I need to be doing, something I'm missing, a request God has made that I just can't seem to hear (or perhaps I am suffering a case of selective hearing, not sure which).

In analyzing what I perceive to be the path of my faith in God as it has presented itself lately, I have really seen the unsteady nature of it. When things are pretty decent around here and we have a little bit of extra money and we're not dealing with extended family drama and the kids are being good and our relationship seems to be close, my faith in God is like putting on my favorite pair of blue jeans. It eases its way into our life like those comfy jeans smoothing themselves along my legs. Thanking God for the good times and trusting that things will continue to be OK, taking comfort in the familiarity of that faith is just like relying on the worn seams of my pants to strongly hold together as they have so many times in the past....

But then there are the times when things aren't exactly great. We're struggling to meet due dates for bills, we have family members nagging us, the kids have been crazy, my husband and I have been arguing... Those times. And it's not the first thing I think to do to grab a hold of my faith and fly with it like I do when things are good. While I may come around to doing that at some point, I often forget to do that first which is what bothers me. Instead my first thought is often "why are you letting this happen, God?" I know I need to rely on Him through good times and through bad ones, trusting in Him and having faith that no matter what is going on, He's always going to carry us through.

I think about an idea that hadn't really occurred to me before. My favorite pair of blue jeans are like a symbol for my faith. Let me explain. I realized that I rely on them even through the "bad times" like when I have gained a few pounds or whatever.. I ease myself into them and have faith that regardless of the few extra pounds of weight, they will stretch a little to accommodate and still remain strong at the seams. If I can put such faith in some stupid pants, why not in my God?

So where does that leave me in my thoughts? I've come to the conclusion that I just need to work on this. I need to pray more and strengthen my faith in God through all aspects of my life. I need to remember to continue to thank Him through the good times but I also need to accept the bad ones. And regardless of what's going on, if I'm going to be flying through life by the seat of my pants, it might as well be my faith pants.

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