Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crisis of Faith Part 3

When last we met, I had encountered a crisis of faith when I failed to be offered a job that I desperately wanted and more so believed that God had for me. My reaction caught me by surprise because I immediately began to question God. I wished I had not even made it past the first round of candidates.

But in the weeks following, God reminded me who He is. Not just who He is in my life, but who He IS, His character.

As I went back and forth with God, struggling between what I felt and what I knew to be true in my experience with God, He slowly drew me closer. I knew from the beginning that though I felt distant from God, it was I who had left His presence, not the other way around.

In the meantime, I was about two weeks away from going to speak at a conference that had been set up months in advance. I was asked to present three breakout sessions using my book "10 Things Every Kid Should Know About God" as the backdrop.

This is how God worked. In the time I had to prepare for the conference, He really reminded me of why and how I had come to Christ. I remembered why the Gospel message was important, and what new life in Christ really looked like. He reminded me of how much He loves me, how He has gifted me, and how He has used me.

At the conference, there was such an outpouring of love and support from those who attended my sessions and the folks I interacted with at my booth.

In the weeks leading up to the conference I kept having this overwhelming feeling that God was saying to me, "Just Trust Me!"

After the conference was over and I had a chance to process the weekend, I felt awed and humbled. It was truly a time that I could say that God had used me. That He had spoken through me to encourage His people, and many, honestly, as I spoke, I was being encouraged myself.

Two days after I returned home from the conference, I received an e-mail saying they had heard good things about my session and would I come to speak at another conference coming up in Nashville. I was floored. I just started laughing when I opened the e-mail and thanked God that He showed He is always faithful, always trustworthy.

Have you ever had one of those moments where the words are coming out of your mouth to encourage someone else, but God uses those say words to encourage your own heart in a particular area? Well, that's exactly what God did. As I made myself available to be used by Him to minister to others, that entire weekend God was ministering to me. And by the end, I was on a super high.

I have such a passion for ministering to children and God reminded me to just trust Him. I still can't see around the corner, what's coming next, what God is doing, but I know that He loves me, I know Christ lives to make intercession for me, I know that God is faithful and always provides just what we need, not always what we want.

So I'm learning to be still, to wait on Him, to trust, and to praise Him in the in-between time. In that time where you are between where God has you while He is teaching you, and where God has for you when you are prepared to fulfill the next thing He's called you to. But I've also been reminded in this in-between time that God is much more concerned about my relationship with Him and who I am in Christ, than anything I could accomplish in His name.

So I came through the crisis and as always God used the trial to give me even stronger faith. It wasn't easy, I wasn't very happy about it, but I was reminded today of these Scriptures--Romans 5:3-4, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope in salvation." James 1: 2-4 says, "When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

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