My journey of faith
I originally drafted this post in 2010, so I decided to bring it up to present day. I like keeping this list going as it helps me reflect and remember all the things that God has used to strengthen and grow my faith through the years. This list was also helpful in filling out my timeline of positive and negative turns in my Storyline progress. Hope that you can set aside to time to reflect on the things that have led to growth in your relationship with Jesus. It's an amazing experience to look back at all that He has done.
A while back (2009) Andy Stanley taught a series on how there are 5 things that God uses to grow our faith. To quote Andy, "We believe there are five primary things God uses to grow our faith. These five things are not listed anywhere in the Bible. We discovered them by observing how God works in the lives of believers - and even unbelievers. We are not proposing that these are the only leverage points God uses. But every time we hear someone recount his or her faith journey, at least one of these five dynamics is part of the story."
So, the five things are:
- Practical Teaching
- Providential Relationships
- Private Disciplines
- Personal Ministry
- Pivotal Circumstances
After hearing this series, I started thinking back over the major events in my life. I thought that it would be neat to chart out my milestones and see how they laid out against these 5 things.
1994: My faith journey begins
I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and be my Lord & Savior. He gladly agreed.
2000: Providential Relationships
My high school boyfriend at the time invited me to what became my new church home where I made friendships that last to this day.
August 2001: Pivotal Circumstances
Two of my best friends, Jenna & Daniel, were killed in a car accident. It rocked my world.
Early 2003: Pivotal Circumstances
My fiance at the time called off our engagement four months before the wedding. I fell apart.
Late 2003: Providential Relationships
I moved to Colorado to attend YWAM Denver and met some of the most amazing people ever at my DTS (Discipleship Training School).
Early 2004: Personal Ministry
As part of my DTS, I went to Africa to work with kids.
Late 2004: Pivotal Circumstances
I was accepted to the School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. I was ecstatic!
Summer 2005: Providential Relationships
I met Beth Finlayson who invited me to BCM where I became involved and made so many good friendships that will last a lifetime.
Late 2005: Personal Ministry
I helped clean up the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in Waveland, Mississippi.
August 2008: Pivotal Circumstances
My good friend, Miley Duvall, was killed in a car accident. It was so rough to lose another friend, especially in this way.
September 2008: Practical Teaching and Providential relationships
I started attending Buckhead Church where I am being fed practical teaching and building relationships.
July 2010: Pivotal Circumstance & Personal Ministry
I went on a globalX mission trip to Cambodia to meet the 33 precious children of the New Life Orphanage in Phnom Penh and was changed forever.
July 2011: Providential Relationships & Personal Ministry
I returned to those precious 33 faces in Cambodia. But this time we went rogue without a team. It was just Kristy, Rebekah and I making our way through Cambodia to hug our favorite kids. It was even more incredible than the first time, if that's possible.
2011 & 2012: Providential Relationships
I was blessed with an amazing small group of girls from Buckhead Church who I got to live life with for an awesome season. I learned so much from them, and they supported me in so many ways. I was sad that our group came to an end in 2012, but I am so happy to still call them all my friends.
2012: Providential Relationships
During my time at my last day job, I was blessed with a few amazing friends who helped me through a lot of long nights at the office. But more importantly, we built a friendship that has lasted even after we no longer work together. These girls mean so much to me, and I am blessed to have them in my life.
2013: Pivotal Circumstances
I said goodbye to Atlanta and headed across the country to start a new job in San Francisco. It's been an adventure.
June 2013: Pivotal Circumstances
I started getting really sick in May, and by June 5 I found myself having major surgery. It was a rough time, but God was there with me the entire time. He always reassured me that he would never leave me. I learned to have faith in a whole new way during this time. Glad to be recovered but thankful for the things I learned through this trial. And I wouldn't have made it through without one very special personal that he has placed in my life. So thankful for him.
What I said in 2010 and what I still feel today in 2013
Through all of these ups and downs, disasters and joys, laughter and tears, one thing has remained true: God is faithful. He is always there. Whether I am running for the nearest exit or running straight into His arms, He waits patiently and calls me back home to His love. I definitely believe that these 5 things grow our faith, because as I took time to look back on all of these milestones in my life they all fit the bill. All of these things broke me, shook me, challenged me, and pointed me back to the one who is ever faithful. And in the process it strengthened my faith in Him. All of these things have molded me into who I am today, and so with all that I have in me I am willing to go wherever He leads. Because I know that He is faithful.
"God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that." 1 Corinthians 1:9
I wrote these words in the sand of the Sahara Desert in 2004, and they are still the beat of my heart today.