One Tiny Step Is All It Takes

Within the Church, the word ‘faith’ is thrown around pretty often. We are told to have faith for provision when we are facing financial pressures. We need faith to be healed when our Oncologist calls with bad news. We need faith that our families will be reconciled after years of brokenness. 

And maybe it’s just me, but I feel this weight of responsibility that if I don’t have faith, then my prayers are not going to be answered. People tell you to have faith because that pleases God (Hebrew 11:6), but how do you have faith when, quite frankly, you’re struggling to trust God?

There are times in our faith journeys when we are holding on to a thread of hope that God is going to answer us. We live in such a broken world surrounded by rejection, death, and disappointment that it can become difficult to believe God will answer us. Honestly, it can get exhausting to muster up any ounce of faith.

I was recently reading Hebrews 11, the chapter of the bible that explores the faith of the Old Testament heroes. Noah had faith to be ridiculed and yet build an ark (v7), Abraham had faith to leave his home (v8), Sarah had faith to birth Isaac when she was in her nineties (v11), and Moses had faith to cross the Red Sea (v29). As you study the lives of these people, they all had moments of disbelief and struggle, but as I read this passage, I initially felt pressure to have some kind of colossal faith. I mean, their faith must have been MASSIVE, like the size of an ocean, to see all that they saw in their lives. And you know what, sometimes my faith seems to be more like the size of a small puddle.

In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 

Hmmmm, just the faith of a mustard seed? This seems like a stark contrast to what we read in Hebrews 11 because I assume that Noah, Abraham, and Moses had a lot more faith than me!

Matthew 25 gives us another perspective on faith. You may be familiar with the story - Jesus describes three different people who were given a certain number of ‘talents’ by their boss before he went on a journey. One was given five talents, another two talents, and another was given one talent. The five-talent guy went away, took a risk, invested his talents, and made another five talents. Likewise, the two-talent guy went away, took a risk, invested his talents, and made another two talents. But the one-talent guy played it safe, and just buried his talent to make sure he wouldn’t lose what little he had. The first two guys were rewarded and described as, “good and faithful”, but the one-talent guy, who said he was afraid that he would lose his one talent, was punished for being wicked and lazy.

In our messed-up world, too often we behave like the one-talent guy. It’s not that we feel like we are being lazy, but we are paralyzed into self-preservation. To step out, to be vulnerable, to have faith seems too risky. So we bury all that we have in order to play it safe. You were fired, so why have faith that you will have another fulfilling job? Your parents divorced when you were a child, so why trust that God will give to you a faithful spouse? You miscarried multiple children, so why risk believing you can be a mum when you are still grieving the loss of your babies?

As tempting as it is to compare ourselves to spiritual greats, the truth is that God honors our small steps of faith. Yes, Noah, Abraham, and Moses accomplished huge things, but they also wrestled with their own fears. These heroes kept putting one foot in front of another and did not stop trusting God. And God came through for them because He honored that mustard seed faith that seemed almost insignificant. 

God is pleased when we step out just a tiny bit. And for each one of us, the step looks oh so different. For some who have lost jobs, sending out resumes feels like you are baring your soul for all to see. For those feeling lonely and rejected, Facebooking an acquaintance and inviting them for coffee is terrifying. Your step, your faith will be manifested in an unique way, but never discount the courage it has taken for you to get out of your comfort zone and dare to believe that God will come through for you.

You’ve got what it takes. You have the faith of [insert your name here]. And when you choose to step out, when you choose to believe God over your fears, your doubts, and insecurities, you will see that you can move mountains. It just takes one tiny step.

I believe in miracles - my first blog

In the words of the 70’s pop sensation, Hot Chocolate, I believe in miracles. The Bible is filled with amazing supernatural stories that stirs my heart to see how big and loving God is. He parted seas, raised the dead, and (my personal favorite) turned water into wine. Knowing that my God has done this and so much more, builds my faith. If He did these things in the past, He will do them again today!

Recently I realized that I was not always walking in faith. I had become what I now call, a spiritual smart a*se. I was living my life believing that as a Christian, God would always come and save me, answer my prayers and do what I asked. And I mean, why not? I pray. I serve others. I worship Him. I try my best to live my life as the Bible shows us to live. Don’t judge. Show mercy. Take care of the lonely and the uncared for. I give money to the church. I do my part, so God will do His.

Now don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t trying to manipulate God. I just thought this was the Christian life. Do what He says and life will be ‘awesome’ or ‘amazing’.

But for the last 12 months, my doctrine has been tested. Last year was tough. Josh and I lost two babies in the first trimester of pregnancy. The first we lost at 9 weeks, which resulted in surgery. And the second miscarriage happened only the next month. It was a difficult time in our lives, but we got through it together.

We both want to start our family, so every month we hoped to conceive. And on July 1st, I peed on a stick and found out we were expecting!

I cut out wine. I started to tell a few of our closest friends. I began my wish-list at Babies R Us. I was choosing the color I wanted Josh to paint the nursery. I was nervous, but I chose to trust a miracle working God and everything would be OK.

We saw the little peanut at 5 weeks. All was well. For the next few weeks I was nauseous, exhausted and totally off all meat. These were all good signs! This baby was growing!!!

But at an 8 week ultrasound, the little one only measured 6 weeks and her heartbeat was weak. My heart sank. “Could this be really happening again??” I thought. But like a good English girl, I kept calm and I carried on.

For the next week, sweet friends would call me or text me trying to encourage me not to give up. Someone I worked with said, “You are in the place where God can give you a miracle”. For a moment, my heart leapt. “Yes!!” I thought. “God is a miracle working God. He can give life to this little one!” So I prayed at many different decibels over my belly. I drank lots of water and dandelion tea to help clean my blood. I prayed more. I worshiped. I kept the faith….

But to no avail. The following week there was no heartbeat. There had been no ‘miracle’ to speak of. No seeming intervention of God. And this miscarriage did not end quickly. I waited 5 weeks to pass the baby, and in the end I had surgery to remove all the tissue. This was far from a miracle. This was a nightmare.

As I have begun to heal, my eyes have been opened. I have experienced love and support in ways I could not have imagined. Sometimes the miracle is not the miracle we expect. The miracle is found when your seamstress won’t charge you for a dress fitting, because she says that no woman should have to pay for a fitting because she lost a baby. The miracle is found when a friend sits with you for 8 hours so you are not alone as you prepare for surgery. The miracle is found when the heavily pregnant friend comes with her active toddler, to your house, just to pray with you and give you dinner. The miracle is found when the busy mum and grandma from church stops everything so they can be there when you wake up after surgery.

These are my miracles. And I really do believe in miracles.