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Faith

in Faith

What to Do When You’re Having an Existential Crisis

Or a crisis of Faith. Call it what you want. As a Christian, a crisis of Faith can feel very much like an existential crisis. If we were created by God for His purpose, and for His worship, then lost faith in God means lost faith in our very reason for being. A low point when you begin to question the very foundations on which you have built your entire life and planned out your entire future cannot BE considered anything less than existential. Such an existential crisis can present itself in many forms. Most times in my life, those seasons of doubt have been led by seasons of great disappointment, when God didn’t come through for me like He said He would or like I thought He would. Other times they come when we feel like we have been giving God and people our everything and receiving very little in return….

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in Faith

A Flower Isn’t Afraid to Bloom

I am the only woman in my family who drives, and it wasn’t until I turned twenty-four that I found the courage to get behind the wheel.  (Feel free to laugh, I won’t hold a grudge.) I can tell you the exact moment I began to fear navigating a vehicle. I must have been five or six, and my father was attempting to teach my mother how to drive. My sister and I sat in the back, excited at the prospect of soon having two parents to chauffeur us around. My father drove to a back road out in rural Maryland, got out of the driver’s seat and handed the wheel over to my mother. She must have driven all of twenty feet when she realized there were train tracks approaching. Immediately she hit the brakes and refused to move. My father assured her there was no train in sight,…

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in Faith

Whose Dream Is It Anyway?

I can only ever remember wanting to be one thing as a little girl. Some children had been told by their parents that they would grow up to become doctors and surgeons, and so they spent their playtimes checking the health of their teddy bears with colorful stethoscopes, or dismembering Barbie to see whether or not they had the skills to put her back together. Others turned recess into an opportunity to play ‘house’, or donned tiaras hoping to find their Prince Charming. Not me, though. I was never impressed with the coveted doctor’s bag with the plastic scalpel. All I ever wanted to be was a dancer. Of course, this dream didn’t just materialize out of nowhere. It was borne from a cassette recording in which a pastor would stop in the middle of his sermon to prophesy about the little girl sitting on a woman’s lap. He told…

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in Faith

A Time to Bloom…

If you’re active enough in the Pinterest realm, you’ve probably encountered this popular quote: Grow where you’re planted. It’s basically an admonishment; one that encourages us to see every place and stage in our lives – no matter how bad or unexpected – as an opportunity to learn and grow beyond our current standing. If you’ve been attending any millennial church consistently enough, you’ve probably heard a different version: You grow where you’re planted. The premise is pretty much the same. When you intentionally commit yourself wholeheartedly to a space or place, and develop roots there, you will find the sustenance you need to grow into a better version of yourself. Both versions are true. Both are valuable and applicable to our everyday lives. Both are essential to the Christian walk. But I have come to realize that neither will get you very far when it comes to maximizing your…

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in Faith

The Pride Challenge

Joseph’s biggest problem in Genesis 37 really isn’t that he has jealous brothers… No, Joseph’s biggest problem is that he’s a braggart. Let’s take a closer look: Joseph’s story starts out by telling us a little bit about him: “The story continues with Joseph, seventeen years old at the time, helping out his brothers in herding the flocks. These were his half brothers actually, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought his father bad reports on them.” A 17-year old tattle-tale? Already we can’t stand him. But oh, it gets worse: “Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was the child of his old age. And he made him an elaborately embroidered coat. When his brothers realized that their father loved him more than them, they grew to hate him—they wouldn’t even speak to him.” So not only is…

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in Faith

Knowing God’s Heart

Have you ever doubted that God cares? I definitely have. It’s like you know He’s there, and He’s all-powerful, you just doubt He’s as concerned about what you’re going through as you are. The break up. The loss of a family member or a friend. An unemployment situation. An empty bank account. We know He’s all-knowing, but somehow He seems ridiculously absent and uncaring in those situations. We ask, if you really cared so much, why did you let this happen? Why put me through this? Why let me follow you all this while and still allow me to have to endure this? In our minds and our hearts, we see God as removed from our problems while they’re actually happening – as someone who either comes in to save the day, or not. Sometimes it’s hard to fathom in our storms that God is moved by what we’re going…

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in Faith

#BLESSED

Dear (Insert Your Name Here), I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be blessed. I think it’s a word we like the sound of and a concept/state of being we all want for ourselves as Christians – and on some level even as human beings in general – but I don’t quite think we understand what it means TO be truly blessed. Somehow, we have made the mistake (I believe) of attaching ‘blessed’ to material gain and social standing as Christians. We hashtag #blessed on our Instagram photos posing by our new cars, or use the word when we tell others about the rare opportunities we get. ‘Blessed and highly favored’ is one we frequently use to describe ourselves even in anticipation of some sort of wealth or social gain. And I get it – we all want the blessings of God. And we know that…

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in Faith

Saying Crazy Yeses (RTBP Week One)

If you grew up going to Sunday School, you probably spent several Sundays learning about Noah and his ark, and all the cute animals that he gathered into it when the rains came to wash over the earth. Now that you’re older, you probably have some good questions: “Why did God choose Noah?” “Why an ark?” “What is gopher wood?” “How big was the ark really?” “How did Noah get the kangaroos on the ark?” “Wouldn’t the lions have eaten the sheep… and Noah?” “Where did you find a giraffe in those days?” “How loud was it on the ark?” “Why would a good God destroy His creation?” Of course, the answers to some of these questions are much simpler than others, and I will not be attempting to answer all of them today. What I do want to do is get you thinking about two things that stood out…

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