Someone recently asked me the question, “How do I have faith? I believe in Jesus, but how do I build my faith?” This was one of the most humbling questions I have been asked. I have definitely been in this place recently and I do believe the only way to know Jesus better, and to know the person He created you to be, is to strip yourself down to the rawness of how do I grow my faith?
A month after Emry was born, my nephrologist gave us the ultimatum of: have more babies or risk kidney transplants. It was a pretty big pill to swallow, but after battling, conquering, and being healed of kidney reflux and other renal problems, we decided on no more pregnancies. I was only 26, Chase was 27, with all of our closest friends not even being married yet and here we were having to make the choice of not being able to have another pregnancy. So, yes, I definitely hit a wall, a pretty huge one, and asked myself that very same question of “Where do I go from here?”
Sometimes I think being a Christian can be tricky. You believe in the Lord. You believe he can heal you. You may have even seen these miracles and healings take place in your life, but holding onto that faith when you have reached your human limit of all you can take can be downright exhausting and leave you asking how?
When I was five I overheard a surgeon tell my parents if I didn’t have double kidney transplants by the age of six, I simply wouldn’t live to be six. We were also told, I wouldn’t survive through puberty without double kidney transplants, and also told that pregnancy, if at all possible, was going to be extremely tricky. The miracle I have seen in my own life over and over is I have reached all these “milestones” (as I like to call them) alive and WITHOUT a single kidney transplant. It gives me tears in my eyes just typing that. So, I’ve seen miracles and the faithfulness of God, yet still hit a point in life where I was so empty inside the only thing I felt was pain. I had reached a place in life where my faith had to grow. I had to learn how to trust God in a whole new way.
So, this is where I think the tricky part comes in. This is where, I’ve learned through therapy and the Word, the enemy loves to sneak himself in. He sneaks in when we are hit with a major blow and our natural self doesn’t even know what to do with the information we were just given. Our plan or idea of life just had a major curveball thrown in it and the enemy thrives on it! He wants us down, hopeless, and most of all, he wants us distracted.
Through this journey of picking myself up (I’m on year three), I have learned the devil cannot take away the calling Christ has for you. He can, however, distract you from it and he can fill you with lies upon lies that eat away at every truth you’ve ever known. So, what do you do? What does Jesus say to do?
- “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28 There have been times where the only word I could form was, “Jesus” and you know what? That was enough.
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all WITHOUT FINDING FAULT, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 This verse is beyond beautiful to me because no matter what dark place I am in, the Lord does not find fault. If we ask for wisdom, He will graciously give it.
- “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 This might be a verse people read and think “yeah, okay… everyone says that” BUT when you have hit your wall, knowing you can do anything at all with the Lord, really sparks hope.
- And my favorite during this time, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 No matter what may seem confusing, unfair, or heartbreaking you have to remind yourself that the Lord knows you better than you know you. He has every single step of yours planned.
There is no quick fix or three step formula to growing your faith. I recently heard Dave Ramsey say, “The only way over your fears is through them.” And that’s pretty much how faith is. You have to hunker down with Jesus and go through whatever it is you are battling, together. The Lord desires to be near you, not to be shut out. It is no surprise to him that you are hurting. No thoughts you have are a secret to him. So, go to the One who can grow you, heal you, and show you love like no other. If, like me, at times all you can say is “Jesus” while you are lying in bed, or repeat scripture to yourself or listen to ‘Reckless Love’ by Cory Asbury on repeat, then do that. Take a step at a time, grasp onto hope, seek wisdom, remind yourself of the good and kind Father you have, and watch as the Lord develops a faith in you that cannot be shaken.