Sitting in the office of our Women’s Minister, I remember hearing these words: “You may never get to see the reason why some things happen.”
For many years, I was tormented by questions like these:
- What could I have done to prevent this?
- What can I control to prevent this from ever happening again?
- Am I really able to put aside my past, or should I keep it close to me forever in hopes I might get a do-over?
- Will I ever be able to be truly vulnerable?
- Am I put on a shelf forever because I couldn’t cope with life as spotlessly as some?
Recently I attended a life-changing training program for those dealing with trauma, ordinary and extraordinary. I realized for the first time that I am a huge control freak, and I don’t trust human nature, or even God, enough to rest—ever! Maybe, for a few minutes when I am in my beautiful bubble of praise, music, contemplation, study, silence, exercise, or nature, I might relax. But again, that is a bubble that I can control and from which I can exclude the outside world.
To me, having faith in God meant that I obeyed all of His Word with as little error as possible, honestly believing that God’s ability to hold my life together rested almost entirely on my ability to understand and apply Scripture. If someone decided not to prefer me any longer—it was my fault; if someone hurt me—it was my fault; if I couldn’t handle something—it was my lack of faith. Intrinsically, I truly believed I was broken and breaking everything I touched. Instead of King Midas whose touch turned everything to gold, I seemed to turn everything to suffering and death by my touch.
Then, like a lightning bolt of realization, God got through to me. In the midst of the common suffering of humanity, I realized that I was not alone and that control and perfection were not the solution; love and compassion were. I saw how healing was possible in an environment of love and support. I saw how fears melted away when no one was asking me to be further along than I was. I saw my need for control dissipate as I began to see that God really could take someone’s suffering and make it a bittersweet offering that nourished another human back to life and hope in God. I realized how Christ could render the darkness light.
Instead of questioning how a loving and powerful God could allow things so unjust, so unholy, and so damaging to happen, I began to feel again—to laugh, to cry, to feel human again. Beneath my feet there was no longer sand and chasms but the firm foundation of faith—faith that God’s stability has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Matthew 8:26
Faith that there are things I don’t have to understand and things I am not meant to control. Faith that with God, all things are possible – including full and total healing.
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Faith is believing that we don’t escape life’s catastrophes by being better at applying God’s Word but by believing that God knit us together and has a plan for each one of us that includes the dark days He knew would come. Faith is spiritual rest in the good, bad, and everything in between. Faith is I am saved by grace, both in this life and in the life to come.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
About the Writer:
Lyndsay loves movement of most every variety. Some of her favorite moments are going on long walks, runs, or bike rides in some new uncharted territory or exploring some intellectual or emotional space waiting to be uncovered. By day she works at First Baptist Dallas, and in her spare time you will find her enjoying family, teaching mindful movement classes, or serving in some community that has as many questions about God and life as she does. She is passionate about God’s Word applied masterfully by the Holy Spirit’s leading and believes the kindness and compassion of Christ changes hearts and unbinds minds – the most significant movement of any kind.