Wowza, is this world a hot mess right now. Violence in our schools, deadly mass shootings, incredible natural disasters, government scandals and corruption—and that’s just on the national scale. Every day it seems we are faced with some new challenge in our own little worlds too: Challenges to our belief in goodness, our belief in humanity, and even our belief in a loving, ever-present God.
In one week in October, we had two deaths in our family. One was a long life well-lived, yet still came as a surprise. The other was a life sadly cut short, but was anticipated after a five-year bout with cancer. I’m the first to admit it’s hard to make sense of it all.
In times like these I turn to an encouraging phrase that came together for me one morning in prayer journaling. After reading the day’s gospel about Peter who tries to walk across the water to meet Jesus and then takes his eyes off Jesus and starts to sink, I wrote, Move forward in faith. Not just move forward, passing through the tragedies and the illnesses and the unfortunate events we are forced to deal with. There are millions in this world who simply move forward. The trick is moving forward in faith. Not turning away from God, or being paralyzed by fear, or losing hope, but letting Jesus accompany us through our grief and confusion, allowing him to fight our battles with the evil one, and inviting him in to tend to our physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Moving forward in faith means keeping our eyes on Jesus as we attempt to sort out and sift through life’s chaos. It’ the only guarantee we have against outright sinking.
Forward in Faith has helped me hand off my adult son to God this year, when the mom in me was desperately trying to hang on to my role (can anyone else relate??). Forward in Faith has helped me leave a close-to-my-heart, part-time job behind as I make room for better things. And Forward in Faith has helped me slog through the grieving process and comfort others along the way.
I wrote this a few pages later in my prayer journal:
Jesus, you tell me: “Take courage, It is I. Do not be afraid. I am with you. I love you and you are mine.” So… Forward in Faith we will go together. Help me to be unafraid and always willing to move forward in faith with you.
Don’t try to go it alone, girlfriends. Focus on Jesus and go Forward in Faith!