This month is ticking away, but thankfully isn’t finished yet. And today, I have another guest here to share some words about faith.
I met Laura Martin through the Clumsy Blogger course I took this Spring.
When someone posted a question about where we all live, I learned she lived in Arkansas, not far from my parents. So one day I messaged her saying I’d be passing through her area, and asked if she would be able to meet for lunch?
And she was brave enough to take me up on it! We enjoyed a good Smash Burger and exchanged some stories in person.
The reason I asked Laura to share here is because they are in the process of adopting a son from overseas. Talk about faith!
Thank you Laura for sharing your words here! We will continue to pray for you as you await the finality of this adoption.
“Tell me about living in faith,” her message reads.
And I sigh inside and out. A deep heavy exultation of carbon dioxide that empties my lungs, allowing me to take in a larger amount of oxygen with my next inhalation. Maybe, this exchange will somehow shake down the confusion that surrounds my daily faith and magically let a clearer picture emerge.
People ask me about faith sometimes, okay, more than I would have thought possible just a few short years ago. They sidle up to me privately at baby showers. They text me at 3am with heartbroken words, and they whisper their impossible burdens with dropped eyes as they pick up their prescriptions at my pharmacy. They ask me how this faith thing works.
How do we live this life with God in the everyday when our everyday seems overwhelming?
How do we believe that God will come through for us when our own families never seem to?
What do we do with the doubt?
More specifically, haven’t I ever questioned Him?
Occasionally I get expressions like, “you seem so strong in your faith. “ I have to tell whoever happens to be expressing this misguided perception about how I cried all the way to work that day because God hasn’t moved in weeks and I have no current tangible proof of his existence.
For almost five years our family has struggled through the waters of international adoption. I won’t bore you with unnecessary details, but let’s suffice to say that most days have felt like we were drowning in those waters with no available lifeguard in sight.
We finally received a referral several months ago and are currently waiting for a court date, but the process has been an absolute nightmare. And at every turn it felt like folks were encouraging us to walk away.
“No one would blame you.
It’s taken forever and it’s been such an expense.
God will call you to other things.
Don’t worry; no one will think less of you”
And I have to admit there were moments when we talked about it and it was tempting to consider dropping the work at the Master’s feet with the hopes that someone else would pick it up. Month after month we prayed about whether we had misread God’s instructions to us.
We doubted in the dark periods what God had shown us in the light because it was an easy thing to do. Many times it felt I did not have a whisper of belief left in me. I begged for God to intervene and he was silent.
I bargained with God but he did not move. And so I sat there at his feet time after time, day after day, with no concrete proof of whether he would deliver on his promise. And I have to tell you what five years of working with the Father has taught me.
Faith is hard.
Faith is the hardest thing I have ever done. It was the loving him that came easy.
But the blessed thing about it is no matter how small my faith has been throughout this process God has honored it by continuing to walk this journey out with me. He has endured my questioning and crying, my screaming and my fussing. Over and over He has borne my demands for confirmation of his existence and of our calling.
And he has been faithful.
But I have been woefully unfaithful.
And he loves me anyway.
And it’s this love that keeps me coming back. It’s this love that keeps me one ounce more faithful than terrified when our first adoption agency falls through and we lose our money.
It’s this love that keeps me upright when people write me nasty letters criticizing my choice to be obedient to the Father’s work with orphans in other countries. It’s this same love from him that flows through me and forgives the hand that typed the letter.
It’s this love that keeps me sane when I close my eyes at night knowing my son is half a world away starting his day as I’m ending mine. It’s this love that allows me to rest in the truth that is spoken through Paul when he assures me that every event, every slowdown, every lost moment is because God is working everything out according to his will. (Eph 1:11)
It’s always about the love of the Father.
On the days I cry behind my sunglasses on the way to work, on the days I lose my footing with those around me, on the days I think I cannot hold onto him for one more moment, I lean into the belief that if he loved me enough to redeem me with the body of his own son then surely he will not forsake me.
Surely this love that surpasses all knowledge will be enough to sustain me even when I look down at the water I’ve been walking on and begin to sink. (Eph 3:19)
And so I choose to trust in the love of the one who created love.
I choose to point my feet in his direction and step even when I cannot see where he’s leading me. I choose to trust that when I enter the King’s throne room with all my baggage of fears, doubts, and insecurities he will not turn me away but instead will help me unpack each one proving once again that he’s the best example of faithful there ever was.
Laura Beth Martin is a writer, a blogger, a speaker, and a pharmacist. She lives and works in her hometown at the far end of Southwest Arkansas with her husband and three children. She is faithfully stalking her email for news of her son in Ethiopia. She’s a Southerner who writes about how faith and life collide in the everyday moments around her. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog at lbmartin.com.