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franklin county times

When faith becomes real

Yesterday was my forty-sixth birthday. Forty-six. No doubt about it, that’s grown-up territory.

Last week I was talking with one of my aunts about how different my life is now than when I was in my late teens and early 20s. I was pretty much a disaster for about four years. If there was a bad choice within miles of me, I was sure to make it.

It’s odd to think about that rebellious young woman. Filled with insecurities and fears, she looks very little like the person I am today.

Oh, on the surface, we don’t look that much different – I’ve always been active in church and managed to look like I was confident in my faith. But back then, my faith was fake. And when the realities of life were painful, unexpected and difficult, that faith didn’t have any strength, anything to hold it steady and firm.

As my aunt and I discussed the way my life has changed, I told her it was rooted in one thing – my faith became real.

No longer was I going through the motions and acting a part. I reached a point when I had to make a choice. And I determined to believe God’s Word is true.

Real faith hasn’t made my life easier. But it gives me an anchor when real life is full of storms and winds.

When confronted with opportunities and decisions, I’ve leaned into the wisdom of God (James 1:5). When life has brought crises and heartache, I’ve found God is a faithful refuge (Psalm 62:8). When health scares have come, I’ve learned God is truly the Great Physician (Psalm 30:2). No matter the situation or circumstance, I have “tasted and seen” that He is good (Psalm 34:8).

Life brings real joy and real pain. Real life isn’t unicorns and rainbows. But there is a very real God who invites us to abide in Him (John 15:4). And our faith (Hebrews 11:1) opens the door for us to know the life to the full He promises (John 10:10).

That 21-year-old girl I was 25 years ago knew a whole lot “about God. She knew how to fake her faith and even fake her way through life. But now, at 46, I have found the deep joy and peace and hope that comes from knowing God and having real faith even in my very real life. My deepest prayer is that you know it too.