There has been a lot of discussion in my church lately on the importance of personal testimony and how individual stories can impact the world. Giving testimony on one’s faith is empowering and gives honor and glory to God because we are relaying the story of how He saved us. Peonies ‘n Mint, though loosely based around random discussion on what Life brings to the table, has grown to include more and more discussions on faith and belief as well. I do not usually dive into topics that may cause conflict, as I’m sure anything centering around religion may, but when it comes to my faith, I’m going to choose not to be afraid and go there…
Excuse me while I get philosophical for a moment…
Today my church’s sermon was a discussion on the beginning of the world and what belief in how Life began pertains to your life in the present world. The discussion led by Pastor Dave was one which moved me so completely that I actually brought out my phone during the sermon in order to take notes for this post. This is something I can honestly say I’ve never done before; I have never felt the desire to actively scratch comments on a sermon so to better understand, remember, and reiterate at a later time.
Today is my 24th birthday, but before you feel the obligation to wish me a happy day of birth, let me stop you. There is no need. I’ve walked into today with no feelings of excitement or anticipation. Instead, I look at it as just another day in the routine of life.
Now, I’m not saying this with any sort of disdain or ill-feelings towards my birthday. I am glad that I was born, after all. As every year passes, the special ambiance once felt as a child regarding my birthday dwindles. The presents become more scarce, their usefulness more logical, and becoming another year older just means you’ve gained more experience than what you had last year.
This experience is the only reason I have a spark of enthusiasm as my age ticks another number higher. This past year was one for the books. I had so many new experiences and unexpected twists and turns as a 23-year-old that I look back over the last year and marvel at the person molded before me in the mirror.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1
I know I have mentioned this before, but I’ll make the statement one more time: I was raised in a Lutheran home. I also attended a Lutheran grade school and high school, and Christian university my freshman year. I was taught the Bible since preschool; Biblical stories are more familiar to me than nursery rhymes. I know the principles of my religion, the do’s and don’t’s of good Christian living. However, I still find myself learning something new every day about my faith, and I still question certain aspects.
Today has been a very emotional and self-agonizing day. The date marks the one year anniversary of the happiest day of my life, and also the saddest. I tried to keep my mind busy for the majority of the day with a nine-hour work shift, wedding anniversary dinner for my grandparents, and a girls night of movies and wine with a great friend. However, now I’m home, in bed, and my mind is racing…
One of the most difficult facts of being a Christian is that you are not immune to life’s trails and tribulations. Surely a good and loving God would not allow for His people to go through death of loved ones, financial hardships, heartbreaks, worries, or fears, right? I mean, doesn’t Him loving us mean He wants our lives to be easy and comfortable? I’m sorry, but no, it doesn’t. However, God does love His children enough to continually “work all things together for good.” (Romans 8:28) This means that the trials and tribulations God allows into our lives are part of a divine purpose.