So this weeks project over at At The Well is to Be Authentic. To be authentic about our struggles, our sins, and our victories over both. To be honest, I really didn't think much about this project because I didn't really think I was struggling with much of anything. Yes, I do have a bit of a short temper, but I'm working through that and I'm the first to tell anyone about it.
But then God literally shook my world and showed me the HUGE cracks in the foundation of my faith. On Tuesday afternoon I was sitting in my living room feeding my 2 month old son, my 10 year old daughter sat next to me on her laptop, my 6 year old son sat on the floor watching TV, and my 8 year old daughter and 6 year old niece were downstairs playing a video game - when the earth began to shake beneath us! At first I thought my daughter was kicking the sofa and I was about to yell at her when I noticed her feet weren't moving. Then I thought, maybe it's a truck (we live by a street where lots of trucks go down & the house will shake a bit with it), but the shaking just didn't stop. "What is this?" I said out loud... and then I realized it was an earthquake. I calmly called up my daughter and niece from downstairs and we all gathered at the front door of my house. I felt completely alone and helpless - a mother/aunt with five little children all depending on me for guidance and safety!! And I will be completely honest and transparent - Jesus was not the first person I thought to call on. How can that be? How can a professing Christian, who has been saved and baptized, goes to church every Wednesday and Sunday, volunteers at church functions, and so on... how is it that I didn't seek God first during a time of distress? Yes, eventually I called on Jesus to keep us safe as we went outside to gather with the neighbors and figure out what had just happened... but how was He not the first thought in my head?
Then after we came back in & everyone was settled down again, my hands began to tremble with fear that it might happen again and here I was alone with five kids! A fear began to take control of my being - a paralyzing fear that I would not be able to protect my children & keep them safe. Later that evening I received a phone call from a sister from church and we talked about our experience. She told me that she was laying in bed with her own 14 month old daughter when the earthquake hit. My sister in Christ sat up, realized it was an earthquake, then just layed back down and continued her rest. "What's the worst thing that could happen?" she said. "I die and meet my saviour!" She had no care in the world about the earthquake and even in the middle of her talking about it just broke out in prayer that this would move people to know that life can change in a second and they need to get right before God. She prayed that our church would be so packed on Sunday that the regular attenders would be asked to give up their seats! And there I sat on the front steps to my house, listening and thinking - something is not right with my faith. I realized right then and there that I was one of those Christians that Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 3:5 "having a form of godliness, but denying it's power". Pastor preaches that message constantly, and I NEVER thought it was me.
So that night I got on my knees and called out to my saviour and prayed and prayed for Him to come into my heart again and give me power from on high that my faith be made stronger than ever! I renewed my commitment to Him again and praised Him for sending an earthquake to shake up my faith and open my eyes to the lie I was living. It was a wonderful night of prayer and reflection. Jesus met me that night and truly strengthened my spirit and cast my fears aside. Amazing how God is always true to His promises - which are always yes and amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20)!
So today I stand "naked" before you - being authentic with you all. I thought my Christian walk was fine, but God loved me so much that he shook up the entire North-East to show me that it wasn't, to break me down, and then meet me and strengthen my faith and my walk!!
Praising My Saviour!