Hope and Faith.

“You can’t go forcing something if it’s just not right.” – Green Day

At times, I wish I had half the faith my brother does. Or that of other family and friends. Or that so many around the diabetes online community and chronic illness communities do.

Hope is one thing, faith is another. Hope is the feeling that events will turn out for the best, faith is belief and trust that they will.

This summer has been rough – not only personally, but on a greater scale of all the bad news coming out of Colorado, this adopted state of mine.

Prayer has been an option for me as I have navigated some rough waters the past three years or so.  I can find comfort in prayer at times like these, I can find hope in prayer at times like these. To grasp faith? That seems out of reach for me.

Does prayer mean anything without a strong faith behind it? Is it meant for those only seeking comfort and a sense of hope? Does it mean anything if church does not feel right?


Posted on July 25, 2012, in Spiritual Growth. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. For me, faith ISN’T trusting that things will turn out for the best. Because sometimes, they don’t. Well, they do, but not in a way that we can understand.

    I think faith is believing that even when things are awful, I will get through it. Believe me, nothing has challenged my faith more than the difficult times in life. It is much easier to believe when life is easy.

  2. Scott K. Johnson

    Thanks for this post Rachel. I know it can be hard to open up and ask questions like these, but they are important questions, and need to be talked about.

    For what it’s worth, my faith started with a pastor (Ron) who played basketball with me at the YMCA. He would bend my ear every so often, and I opened up to what he was saying enough to learn more. He got me a bible and asked that I read the book of John. Nothing more was expected of me unless I felt the pull.

    This also coincided with one of my trips to see George, and the opportunity to attend one of his services (he is the music director there), and it was a very moving experience for me. I wasn’t sure if George’s music was moving me because I am such good friends, or because it was really moving stuff.

    When I got back home I continued to meet with pastor Ron, maybe once or twice a month. I was also reading a chapter of the bible each day. I worked through John, as he asked, then started with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (again)), then the New Testament, and so on.

    I visited Ron’s church, but it didn’t move me. And I didn’t feel guilty about it because if you decide to do church, it has to feel right.

    Pastor Ron developed lung cancer, and within three months was gone. Just like that. During his last days, do you know what his main worry was? That those he was mentoring, those “young in the faith”, would feel abandoned and give up. Through his last moments he was still working to bring people home to Jesus.

    How could I possibly stop the work he had started? I owed him that much, right? So I continued to read every day.

    My bible reading awoke in me a need to find a church that felt right. I shopped around for a long time. I visited many churches, many of them more than once, and felt I was wasting my time. It was very discouraging, and I felt guilty for feeling that way about church.

    With some time, and persistence, I found one where both the music and the messages move me, and I’ve been going there ever since. Most weekends I make it, but not always. And that is Ok.

    Prayer is another tool in my life to help *build* my faith. So yes, prayer means a lot even if you feel your faith is lacking. Pour it all out to Him and open up to what He can do in you.

    If you ever want to talk more, I’d be happy to. I’m still very young in my faith, and by no means an expert. But Jesus doesn’t need experts. Anyone who’s willing to help open the door a little bit further is on the team.

    I love you, sister, and am praying that you find the comfort and peace that you need.

  3. Rachel,

    For me my faith waivers all the time. I believe that there is nothing God puts in front of me that I cannot get through but I forget about him all the time. I run from him all the time. I forget to pray all the time. And I lead the music at my church every week.

    When I am ready and I give my worries and troubles to God he heals me. I can feel it.

    There are no rules about praying. But one thing I have found a lot of comfort and peace in is forcing myself to sit in silence (or walk on a labyrinth) and ask God to fill me with what he wants me to hear. And I wait. Sometimes I can feel nothing and other times I feel my face light up or get the chills. I turn on a radio and I pay attention to a song and I feel like God is trying to tell me something. Maybe its a tree, a kid, the breeze, dessert, a tweet. Who knows, When I look for God’s face I see it.

    I saw a speaker online at the convention my kids when too who seems so awesome. She is a Pastor of a church in Colorado. She started the church because she was not comfortable in other churches. Church isn’t a requirement in my book but staying connected to people who will love you, lift you up in prayer, be there for you, and share a space where you can all worship and praise together is pretty awesome.

    An email is coming with a link to the church, that speaker, and my testimony.

    God’s love is for everyone and he comes to you where you are.

  4. I’ve been thinking about this for a while…wanting to respond but not sure how. Mostly because I’m still not entirely sure where I sit on the whole God thing. So maybe I’ll just change direction a little and encourage you to have faith in yourself. Look at how much you’ve made it through already. You are so amazingly strong and focused and determined. And you still find the “grace” in all the small joys around you. I’m not in any way trying to diminish what you’re facing. I’m just saying I have faith that you will come through it on the other side. Because it’s what you do. And well.


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