Monday, January 17, 2011

Faith and Figuring It Out

This wonderful video is from a blog I love from Ann Voskamp and it is called A Holy Experience.It speaks so much in this video to my Philosophy of Life,my messy perfectly imperfect life.
One of the things that I wanted to do this year with the word Nurture was to begin to Nurture my faith which for about the last ten years has been in a dormancy of sorts so much so that at times I wondered if it was still there but yes it was and still is there and I can feel stirrings in my heart and soul of its rebirth.
I grew up in a family that believed in God but never attended church and with a dad who made fun of me when I attended church on my own and even on the day I was baptized no one from my family was there to see. In the intervening years since I have alternately been active in church and not. In the last ten years I lost my mom,dad and a pregnancy that I had tried all my adult life to have and dealt with moving cross country and very difficult. financial circumstances.I often questioned Why and felt I didn't receive an answer but I think now that a lot of the reason that all this happened is that now I feel that I can identify with so many people who hurt and feel alone and lonely and feel like their heavenly father has abandoned them.
I know that now where I am in my life my faith means more to me now that is beginning to flower again from the dry desert floor of the past decade because it has been tested through the fires of life and survived it all to become stronger.

I know some of you who have read this blog for awhile remember me posting about an event that happened right after I moved here .There was a local blogger who put on her blog that she wanted friends and felt alone so I sent her an email and told her that I would love to be her friend. She wrote me back an email that said after reading my blog she didn't want to be friends with a southerner who was a religious fanatic and a bigot and not open minded. I went back and read my blog and couldn't see what she saw but in a round about way she helped me more than she ever knew because she made me see that the kernel of my faith was still there and that I was okay with that.

So here I am once again a believer who is going to take this year to Nurture my faith. I hope you will come along as I discover things about the walk of faith and myself in this messy thrilling thing we call life.

"Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today...the Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." (Exodus 14:13-14, NLT)


Farm Girl said...

You brought tears to my eyes, oh to have the courage to be able to write that. I wish I knew you when you moved across the country and needed a friend, I would have come. I am so happy that this year you want to nurture your faith. I remember when I could say, "God, I kinda like you, but I am scared of you and I don't really love you." Then I learned it was okay and all I had to do was a simple thing, Seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness all these things shall be added unto you." The only way I knew was to read these letters in a book that HE wrote and some of them I even put Dear Kim at the top so I could make it real to me. Then I began to see how in the Bible there was all of these "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." So more than faith, I began to trust that He loved me and HE didn't make a mistake.( I still get mad at Him and I still do throw fits.)
I think you have just been on a journey, and with all journeys we must all come home. I agree with you in that your pain has increased your understanding of other people and the pain they are in, You have done some very hard things, and walked through them,
too You have come out beautiful and I just wanted to say, so glad you are on your way home.
Hugs to you from me, I only wish I was in person. Thank you for blessing me today.

beth said...

i'll come along with you on your journey and often you won't even know i'm there as i can be quiet and step softly....but when the wind blows, you just might think of me......

deb said...

I completely heart Ann and have been waiting on my book since the day pre-orders were allowed.

I also am touched to know more of your story.
Figuring out faith seems a bit of an oxymoron I think.
In a wonderful way.

Miss Debbie said...

Beautiful video..thank you for sharing it. There seems to be a them this week about being aware and being thankful for the small things. Look forward to seeing what God has in store for you!

Willow said...

Lovely post, Yolanda. Joshua 1: Be strong and courageous!

Faith said...

Hi, I just read your comment on my blog and I wanted to say that I am so thankful and GLAD that you were blessed and encouraged by the post titled VICTORY. YES...nurture your faith...God will blow the little sparks you have into a raging fire for HIm if you let Him! And yes, in difficult times, our pain, or those dark spots, can increase our faith even more....cling to Jesus..He loves you so! pretty blog here...I like the poem you listed a few posts down....

violet said...

I love this line from your post: "...she made me see that the kernel of my faith was still there and that I was okay with that."

There is a verse in Isaiah that says "A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench" (Isaiah 42:3). That's what your thoughts about nurturing your faith remind me of.

It will be an exciting year for you!

Nina said...

Yolanda, thanks for stopping by my blog. Kudos for having such courage in your writing!

ladybug said...

Wow...I would never have seen you as anything that that woman described...I too celebrate my faith in non-traditional ways...but that does not make it any less. In fact I feel more connected than I ever did when I walked through the motions that I thought I should. I struggled for a number of years thinking that I had lost my faith and my connection, only to find it firmly in place and the foundation that kept me standing during times of joy and sorrow.
I'm grateful for my journey, and for my questions and my means that I'm alive and aware.

Blessings my friend!

tea said...

I found your post so encouraging. I too have had my faith tested, and I know it is not an easy thing to walk through. I am always amazed and thankful for how unstoppable God's love and mercy is. When I have felt my lowest, somehow, he always pours out the love and acceptance I so desperately need.

My life is messy and perfectly imperfect too. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm praying you will find the nurturing of your faith that you so desire. ♥

ellen said...

Yolanda, may each day bring peace and joy to you. May we all truly recognize that each day is a miracle and may we always remember to give thanks and to CELEBRATE.
Best to you, Ellen.

jojo said...

I just happened by here tonight, or so I thought, and read your beautiful, painfully honest, post. I have struggled with my Faith and have been tested in too many ways to count...I still think there must be a reason, right?
I would love to come back and walk with you as you take these steps back into Faith...stay well dear one.

I also have a perfectly imperfect life!

Desiree said...

What a wonderfully authentic and inspired post you have shared with us today, Yolanda! It takes great courage and strength of character to open your heart to strangers. Unfortunately, not everyone will respond kindly.

It's interesting that the woman who declined your generously proferred invitation of friendship called YOU a bigot. It seems to me to be a definite case of transference viz we see in others what we don't want to acknowledge in ourselves ;)

From the very short time I've been following your blog, I can clearly see your heart and soul are very much in the RIGHT place! You are shining a light into the world, Yolanda. Stay as sweet and humble as you are!

A Hint of Home said...

I really enjoyed your post and hope that each day you will feel God's grace. He says it's sufficient everyday.
So sorry that lady responded so unkindly toward you.
Thanks for your visit today!
Blessings to you!

Barb said...

Hi Yolanda,

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog ~ like you, I love to meet new friends. And I do love that "Rat Pack" music, isn't it wonderful?!

I love the word NURTURE, what a great way to start the new year, by nurturing your faith! I think in this day and age, faith is something we all need a little more of, we all need something to cling to. We truly are all imperfect, but striving to be more like, Him. I love the scripture you quoted from Exodus, it really hits home with me. One of my favorites is ~ "Be still, and know the I am God. . ." Psalms 46:10


Holli said...

First of all, I think the most important thing in life is to be true to yourself and what you need and want out of life and so striving to find your faith and to get it back when it was lost is a fantastic way to grow.

Secondly, how rude was that lady to say that to you? Wow! So judgmental... I'm not a fan of that at all....

Tracy said...

Grace & blessings to you on this new phase of your journey of faith, Yolanda! I will gladly be here along with you. Life can be hard, the can be so many things we don't always understand but in time do, time & love great healers. My own spiritual path is Buddhism and yoga--through body movement and mindful meditation I commune with the Divine. Thank you for the courage to share your heart & soul here :o) ((HUGS))

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Keep sharing HIM my sister in Christ. If HE be for you, then who can be against you.

Pamela said...

Such hard life happenings you have journeyed through. You speak of your faith underneath it all and it brought to mind a purple crocus poking its head through the snow. Nurture is such a good word and one we could all use as a goal.

Jodi said...

Hey Yolanda, sooooo nice to meet you! I'll be back to read more.

Neil and Susan said...

Thank you for visiting today. You and I have much in common. I lived in Eugene,Portland and we had a house in Long Beach Washington. I miss the Pacific Northwest but can now visit you. Love all your photos and your gift of expressing. :)

Elena said...

Yolanda, I am so glad you visited my blog. I look forward to reading your posts and getting to know you:) Blessings to you, Elena

Cora said...

I am so glad to hear you did not let that person get you down...instead you rose to the occasion and grew from it! It's amazing how people are placed, even for a moment, in our lives to better us and make us grow! You are so strong to have overcome certain ones in your life putting you down...thats a strong faith right there. Nurture and Grow through your journey...we'll be right here for you!
Blessings to you!

Carolynn said...

He patiently holds out his hand and waits for you to place yours in it. So glad to hear you're rediscovering your faith and connection to God. So sorry to hear that you've been on the receiving end of small minded people. It says so much more about them than it will ever say about you.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

Christine said...

What a powerful story you have. I , too, grew up not attending church, and my father and sister are outspoken atheists. It's always been a challenge swimming upstream in my family, but my faith has survived mountaintops, valleys and everything in between. I love your focus for this year- nurture. It brings to mind tender shoots sprouting up to greet the sun. They are delicate but also can withstand a lot if given the right environment in which to grow. God bless your journey this year.

And I just ordered Ann's book too. I'm sure it will be a blessing to all.

Meri said...

Just keep walking the path that you feel called too. Others might not like your choices. . . so they're free to make different ones. They don't have to like yours (but they could be a little more kind. . . ).

Leslie said...

You've really been through a lot of loss in the past decade. Both the fires of suffering and the dryness of the desert. And I think the word "nurture" is a very good choice for your future journeys...

Lili said...

Hi Yolanda, Thanks so much for posting that powerful video. I was so touched that you took the time to respond to a blogger that needed a friend. No matter the outcome though, you have a very kind and giving heart. I celebrate your resolve to nuture your faith and continue on the path of a spiritual journey. ~Lili

Tami Boesiger said...

My word for the year is SEEK. Similar to nurturing your faith, don't you think? I'm sorry you have to feel the pain from and of others, but am confident He uses it as you described. You keep being YOU friend.

susanna said...

Oh wow. I'm sorry to hear that you received such a negative response after reaching out to a stranger who wanted a friend. I think it says a lot about you that you would consider her words (how many of us would simply say "whatever!"), look at your life through these blog posts and through her eyes no less, and see, like and accept that you are a good person.

You and I may differ when it comes to religion but I am glad that you have found friendship and strength in what you believe.

Sandy said...

Hi Yolanda,
I will be with you on this journey.
I too, like everyone, have a faith
that wavers. It's human nature.
I have experienced many hard times
in my life. Coming from a large
family of ten only my mom,sister,
and I were believers in Christ. It
is still the same only Mom and my
sister have gone on to be with the
Lord. I am raising an autistic son
with my husband and that in itself
makes for a very difficult life.
I know with Jesus Christ by our side we will come through this hard journey as victors, and so
will our son.

Jayne said...

I am reminded of my favorite writing about faith:

"When you have come to the edge of all that you know,
and are about to step off into the darkness,
FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen:
You will find something solid on which to land,
Or, you will be taught to fly."

It's just *knowing* all will work out and be well. When you subscribe to this way of thinking, you ACT in ways that lead you towards that... truly. It's pretty simple really.

Blessings to you on your journey my friend.
So glad to have made your acquaintance. :c)

Adrienne said...

Dear Yolanda, dear friend -
My eyes are brimming over with tears as I read your words and hear your heart. I am so thrilled that you are finding your faith and growing it again. Yes, I want to walk this journey with you and I will be here again and again and again. Thank you for sharing this beautiful video today - it's just what I needed today!
From one believer to another,

Sue said...

Your post has touched me so much, thank you for sharing your heart, and of your journey beginning anew.
I have not figured out why some people can be so mean and hurtful, if they don't like what someone writes or their beliefs, just don'r visit, I am so sorry for this very hurtful experience here in blogland,
Truly leave today encouraged.
Thank you for your visit and for taking the time to comment, I so appreciate getting to know you.

Joanne said...

Thank you Yolanda for visiting my blog recently. I had meant to go back to say "Hi" here but let time slip by.
I just wanted to leave a comment now to say:
That was beautiful and so well-written!
I am so excited for you and know that God will hold you in the palm of His hand.
You have so many supporters here!
God is so good!
Joanne at Seasonal Hearth

Cheri said...

just found your blog and I have to say...thank you for posting that verse, I really needed to read that today! I copied and pasted it and just emailed it to myself ;) so I can read it again and again!

GraceGal said...

Oh, my word! This is incredible. I wish I could watch this every day in my heart.

Better is Possible said...

The journey is never boring! Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to hearing more!

Mary Smith said...

What an outstanding video. This is the second blog post I've seen tonight on that book. It seems to be a really hot seller. Praise God!