Long ago, I remember just when, I was reading this little book and one line stood out to me. It has stayed with me all these ten years. It was right on the cusp of our burgeoning home Bible study turning into a full-fledged church.
It was this line, this question:
What in my life takes faith?
Oh, and it stopped me in my tracks. Because, you see, I like all my ducks in a row. I like all my t's crossed and my i's dotted. I like money in the bank, assurance of a positive outcome, and very little room for error. I still like these things, but I have asked myself this question over and over again the past ten years.
What in my life takes faith?
If I am working so hard to make sure everything is just right, what am I leaving up to God? And what am I missing out on?
Leaving our home church to start a church, that took faith.
No regrets, though.
Staying there through several job losses when we had the chance to go, that took faith.
Finally leaving home and mother and father and church and the best people in the world, that took faith.
Homeschooling these children.
When the economy is bad and getting worse, and what makes financial sense is to go to work and put these kiddos in school so we can put them through college and put braces on their teeth.
When my fourth grader still doesn't read at grade level and the girls' bickering drives me mad and the loneliness mounts up and up and up.
By faith, I still choose to homeschool.
Praying for a year for a baby and believing that despite that last miscarriage 3 years ago that wrecked my hormones, that despite my age (a geriatric 36) and my husband's (a youthful 39), that even though it may seem absolutely crazy, God has promised it. And we step out on faith.
And baby is here, within.
When my only friend says she is moving away, not losing heart takes faith.
Stepping out, deciding I am the one God is calling to start a homeschool co-op in my town. Seeing my mediocrity as a mom every day through my own eyes and these crazy kids and my own inability to do even one successful thing on my own... and yet following through, in faith. In perfect peace. Despite minimal interest, I proceed.
There are many people who have made greater steps and sacrifices of faith than me. But I am so thankful they are not my measuring rod. The Lord God says that without faith, it is impossible to please Him. And he knows my frame, He knows I am but dust, and He sees these baby steps as giant leaps, and He is pleased.
I've been considering how often I let fear stand in the way of even small steps of faith. I recently posted a picture of me with my baby bump on Facebook, finally announcing our pregnancy to the outside world. I hemmed and hawed and stressed and fretted that I should A. post the picture and B. announce the pregnancy, even after hearing the baby's heartbeat for the second time. All these thoughts went through my mind. I could still lose this baby. Is it really safe to tell? Is it okay to post this picture? Will people think I'm showing off? Will my bare arms offend someone?
I tend to be a very private person. Except perhaps here, I am more transparent. After all, I have a readership of about two (hi Moms!). I rarely post my writing on Facebook. And it's often fueled by fear. Fear of offending, fear of being transparent. So posting that picture and that announcement was just a huge step of ... faith. Checking my heart. Why am I posting this?
Because I am overwhelmed with joy! And the fear is always trying to steal my joy and this one time I just want to banish it and be brave and tell everyone, no matter what they think, that we have cause for joy.
And that is what I see when I look at that picture.
The faith God has given me. The joy He has put in my heart. This journey He has us on, to walk by faith and not by sight.
To give Him room to do incredible things, even if it means scattering all our ducks.
So right now, when I look at my life, and ask What takes faith?, there is much. And I can't wait to see what the Lord does with my little mustard seeds.