The Consequence of Change Series – The Faith to Change
Faith is strong or unshakable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence. (dictionary.com)
I believe that somehow, some way, things will always work out. I believe in having a positive attitude. I believe in God and Jesus, that is Faith, too.
In this series, I want to focus on the Consequences of Change and the impact change has made on our lives. It has been my faith, both definitions, that has enabled me to make changes in my life. Some were a bit radical, others expected and a few just literally fell into my life and I accepted them.
After I graduated from College, I accepted a teaching position at a High School. I was excited to start my new job and also a little nervous about teaching High School kids. I was assigned a “mentor teacher” who, although very nice, had been teaching for 20+ years and wasn’t really accepting of all the “new” teaching techniques I learned in College. After my first year, I was asked by my Principal to be the JV Cheerleading coach. Those that know me will find this hysterical! Those who don’t should know that I was and always will be a tomboy. I played volleyball, basketball and softball in High School. NOT cheerleading. My experience in this area was ZERO. By Christmas of my 2nd year, I was done. I was not happy with my job, I was still with the 20+ year mentor teacher and I was coaching something I had no interest in. I needed to stay and finish out the year to earn my full teaching license (I was in a two year provisional at the time). At the end of the year, I resigned. No, I quit. I almost left teaching entirely. I had no plan, no job lined up. I had FAITH that everything would work out ok. I made the change in my job situation on faith that something, somewhere would become available. That’s right, no plan B, just faith. The following school year, I started a new job at a different High School and found a job I loved! My faith become a little stronger.
When I met my husband, I knew instantly that he was my “One”. We lived five hours apart so we had a long distance relationship. He was not able to relocate to my city due to his job but I could relocate to his city. After all, I could teach anywhere. However, I was NOT too willing to give up a job I loved, living close to my friends, basically my entire life I had created to move to a new city to “see if things would work out” with the relationship. So what to do? Well, we had a serious discussion that was NOT an ultimatum but WAS a leap of faith. If we were committed in marriage, then I would feel better about moving. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him very much, but I also loved the life I had created in my city. A few weeks later, we got engaged and we were married the following year. We met and married within seventeen months. Many people thought I was crazy, some even told me it would never work out. I had faith that it WOULD. I mean, why wouldn’t it? We both loved each other, had the same morals and values and the same opinion on the commitment of marriage. So what if I we didn’t know favorite foods, colors, movies, idiosyncrasies, etc, etc. We would figure all that out. We both knew we were meant for each other. I knew I had to change locations in order for us to see each other everyday. I had faith that it would all work out ok. Essentially, we got married and then dated. We have been married over twelve years and have two boys. Everyday, I am reminded of my leap of faith and how that faith has gotten us through the ups and downs of marriage. Our faith is stronger.
With the arrival of our boys, thirteen months apart, came another kind of leap of faith. The leap of just being able to bring another life into this world. It’s a HUGE responsibility! I had to have faith that I will be a good enough mom, faith that I can handle being a wife and a mom. The faith that through sleepless nights, constant worry, always being “on” to make sure they didn’t get hurt, or run out the front door or mistakenly hurt each other that it would all be ok. Parenting is a leap of faith everyday – did I do the right thing? say the right thing? make sure developmental milestones are met? Its constant learning, constant questioning. There is no plan on “how to be the best parent ever”. There are too many books to learn and ideas to read to learn all that. My faith enabled me to fully understand that God gave me these two boys because He knew that I would be the best mom for them. Some days are better than others but I have faith that all the moments spent parenting will become evident as the boys become young men and then adults. I teach them faith and their faith is becoming stronger.
Faith is also about discernment.
Do I have faith that I am doing what God wants me to do?
Do I have the faith that making changes in my life are the RIGHT kind of changes?
I have learned through experience that I can have ALL the faith in the world but it doesn’t do a darn bit of good if I am doing something that is NOT in God’s plan. Nothing will “go” right, there will be too many obstacles, trying to work a plan that is not His plan is too, too hard. A constant uphill battle every step of the way. THAT is how I have learned discernment. Sure, some things like marriage or parenting are hard and there are days that I face an uphill battle but its not every single day. It’s not constantly too hard. That’s how I know that I was meant to be married and meant to be a mom. I took those leaps of faith because I really felt like they were the right thing to do. I mean, really really felt it. I have learned that this is what “a calling” feels like. Although, it would be easier if I just got an actual phone call.
Hi Melissa, it’s God.
Oh! Hi, God, how may I serve you today?
I need you to do _______________. Can you do that?
Oh, of course God, I mean you called me and asked me, so of course I will do that.
There is an expression that I hear a lot, “God placed _______ on my heart”. I am learning to recognize and discern THOSE thoughts and feelings.
The times that I have failed at things I felt called to do and I felt like I had faith were times that I did not take a moment or two for discernment. To discern my really, really deep down feeling. Sometimes, I would ignore that deep, deep down feeling and take a leap of faith anyway. I am sort of impulsive like that. It never worked out. My faith was not strong enough to make it work out because it wasn’t His plan. Every time I realized it was His plan, I always have had strong enough faith. The more I discern and follow His calling, the stronger my faith becomes. The consequence of proper discernment in making a change has been stronger faith.
My latest calling was that of helping others. Through time and reflection I finally figured out that my true passion is helping others. Life circumstances and experiences led me to the point where the only way I could truly follow my passion was to start my own business. I literally woke up one morning and felt like this was really the right thing to do. That I HAD to do this. I had no idea how to start a business, but I knew I had to do it the right way. I realized that there were already people in my life who could either help me directly or refer me to people who could help. This is not a coincidence. This is proof of His plan.
I have had the typical “new business” issues and I have had a lot of times where I had to learn new things. There have been a few uphill battles but I can say that they are typical “start up” business problems. Not problems that would lead me to believe I am not following His plan. I took a big leap of faith to start something that would not fail. So far, so good. My faith is stronger.
Faith is believing in that which we do not see. I do not see the future. I do not fully understand nor can I imagine the full consequences of changes I choose to make.
But if the consequence of following His plan is a stronger faith, then I am all for making that change.