Monday, August 3, 2015

Exploring Faith (SmallWonder Link-Up)

This week I'm grateful to share a guest post by Dolly Lee.  Her writing always brings a gentle, clear perspective and an invitation to rest in God's love.  Dolly just finished her first e-book, A Soul Care Manifesto, which you can receive for free by subscribing to her blog.  Visit her website, Soul Stops, to find out more.


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Welcome to the first post of my series exploring Faith.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I walked and talked after dinner. Tension accompanied us with each step as we fumbled with words; it was as if we each spoke in a foreign language.

Faith here looked like inviting God into our conflict and seeking in love to listen to each other share his/her heart.

We didn't know how our disagreement would resolve.

Faith meant we obeyed God by not stewing in anger. Instead we shared our feelings with grace (for the most part...keeping it real). (Trying to practice those "I feel..." statements vs. "You are...")
We listened to each other (imperfectly but we persevered) so bitterness couldn't take root in our hearts.

Afterwards, we agreed we'd fought a battle for our marriage of almost 24 years and won...for now.

If you've figured out your "faith walk" perfectly, read no further.

But if you take two steps forward and one step back, on a good day, please join me.

Faith in God seeks to follow God's way even when the outcome is unknown.

In an earlier post, I invited you to explore a question with me: How can I remember God's bigger story of redemption and restoration in the midst of my smaller story?

Some of our smaller stories include marriage with or without children, some are single or divorced, others are retired, and others battle chronic health issues.

Some of us work outside the home, some within, and some do both.
Whatever our story, we can learn about faith from Abraham's life.

We're introduced to Abraham's smaller story when God invites him to join God's larger story of redemption (Gen. 12:1-4).
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called out...And he went out, not knowing where he was going."- Heb. 11:8 ESV
HFF - Open Field Edition
Photo used with permission of Flickr User: Nana B Agyei

Sometimes faith asks us to leave the known and travel to an unknown place.


Faith and obedience to God's call intertwine like a braid. God can speak through feelings but sometimes I let them boss me instead of letting faith in God lead.

Faith obeys God's call into the unknown because faith trusts God knows.

I wonder if Abraham felt scared as he left, at age 75 (!), his home, country, and everything he knew to go to an unknown land God promised to give him (Gen. 12:1-4). I wonder if he ever missed his home or a favorite vista.

By faith, Abraham wove his smaller story into God's bigger story.

Sometimes the unknown that God calls us to is a new way of thinking, believing, and/or living and relating to someone, including ourselves.

Some of us may have grown up in families where we learned unhealthy ways of relating (e.g., screaming; hitting; unfaithfulness; stuffing feelings/issues). For some of us the unknown is to learn new emotionally and spiritually healthy ways to relate to our friends and family.

Some of us need to leave the land of self-condemnation and hatred and learn to walk in God's unconditional love for us.

In his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Pastor Peter Scazzero learned a painful but valuable lesson: he couldn't grow spiritually without also growing emotionally. Peter had to change how he treated his wife and his family.

He didn't learn it easily or quickly and I appreciate his wisdom.
Faith always moves at God's invitation to move. But faith stays when Gods says, "stay."

I take comfort knowing Abraham's faith wasn't perfect; he doubted God's promise after waiting for 12 long years and decided to "help" God. It didn't end well. And I can relate.

Our faith is imperfect but God is always perfectly faithful to keep His promises.

Faith trusts God enough to obey and move into mystery.

What does faith in God look like for you today?

Where is God inviting you to move, whether literally, or in how you view someone or something?

How have you seen God's faithfulness in your life?

Thanks for being here.

In my next post, we'll continue to explore more of Abraham's story and what we can learn about faith.

Read more of Abraham and Sarah's story at Hebrews 11:8-16.

Try reading the passage aloud several times to see how different words or ideas stand out for you.

If you like to journal or create art, see what comes up for you as you read Hebrews 11:8-16.


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Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  

You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.  



8 comments:

  1. Dolly, so nice to meet you here and to read your words about faith. I've been looking into my own heart on this topic as well, and shared my post here at Small Wonder. Blessings to you!

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    1. Michele,
      Thank you for reading. Just visited your blog and appreciated your thoughts :-)

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  2. This here was so good > "Sometimes faith asks us to leave the known and travel to an unknown place." A wonderful reminder to what I read recently from "Living Faith" > We want a blueprint for omniscience when God gives us the blueprint for "intelligent obedience" which is following Him one step at a time as He reveals His will to us. So grateful to have read your words this morning, Dolly!

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    1. Joanne,
      Wow, I really like that: "intelligent obedience"...I confess I often want to know it all but then I wonder if I really do ...thanks for sharing that nugget of wisdom :-)

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  3. I always love hearing Dolly's wisdom and how she keeps it real. I'm challenged today to think about traveling to the "unknown" that God calls us to in some small way almost daily. I know where he's calling me today--to visit a friend in ICU under very sad circumstances. Praying for grace to obey his call! Thanks for the encouragement here to do so.

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    1. Lisa,
      I pray God will give you grace to visit your friend in the ICU...it is always hard to see a loved one suffer...((hugs))

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  4. Some times I think that "new way of thinking" is really just the unfathomable gift from God that we refer to as "free will". To seek His wisdom is divine. In the end regardless of where we come from... we find it... the "I AM!!!!"

    I always appreciate your humility in the journey... proof that He's in the process...

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  5. Floyd,
    Yes..."unfathomable gift from God"...Thanks :-)

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