This past week I found myself frustrated as I listened to a Christian Sister lecture me about faith. I do not usually like to engage in controversial conversations and often hear myself "agreeing" just to avoid conflict, but I had to take a stand this last week. I am increasingly becoming tired of Christian rhetoric and bad advice that's often hurtful from fellow Christians. It's been a pattern I have encountered for 4 years now, that started with strange and hurtful advice during the years I was sick. Thankfully, no one that I know that reads my blog or goes to my home church has ever said these types of things so I can safely share my thoughts here.
My husband will know in a few weeks how "bad it really is" in this economy as the final numbers come in and the plan is put in place that will undoubtedly reduce our income to an unprecedented low. They actually told them at their staff meeting last week, "don't panic yet, as you don't know what to panic about. You will know on Feb 25th."
StudHusband and I aren't ones to panic but we are ones to plan. If we experience the kinds of cuts that are predicted, one of the options to navigate that lack of money would be to make cuts in areas that we currently are spending in. Logical. So, when I shared why my heart felt heavy this last week to this friend, she began to lecture me that I need to have a spirit of Faith and not Fear. Somehow, sharing to her that it is possible that with these potential major cutbacks coming our kids might not be able to continue at their tuition based Christian school was being "fearful" and not "faithful".
I took this hurtful conversation with me on my run today and chatted with God about it. He impressed this very clearly on my heart: you are to have Faith in ME, daughter, and not faith that the outcome of this situation will be what you are wishing it will be. I am not Santa Claus, I am GOD.
Will you still have faith in me if the future is hard because you have to work more than you ever have, to have the same amount of money you currently have? Will you still have faith in me if you have to cut back in ways you never dreamed you'd have to? Will you still have faith in me if your tomorrows, for a time, are truly challenging?
Or is your faith one where you tell friends, "I have faith that even though these major financial cutbacks are happening, I believe that God is a God of miracles therefore, we will get to continue on as normal because God will do a miracle..."
I absolutely believe with all my heart that if StudHusband's salary cuts are as bad as predicted that one of the potential futures could include miracles that keep things as they are (we keep our house, our kids get to stay in their Christian school, we get to do things we want to do)...but my faith is not going to be proclaiming that I have faith in that particular outcome...I will proclaim a Faith in God...period. Come what may, we will still Love Him and strive to Give Him Glory even if the future that I want is not what future I am going to get.
This "name it and claim it" stuff is turning God into Santa. Instead, I choose to simply proclaim, that :
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, a]">[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Come what may, we know that we will be walking this valley with God, and that's the Faith that I will talk about.
Does that make any sense?