Faith for the Journey — Vivienne Solomons
A monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.
In recent weeks, I have been reflecting a great deal on faith, more specifically my own personal faith journey, especially as it relates to what the future may hold for me and my family, for we live in a time of not only wonderful opportunity but also great uncertainty.
Faith is often likened to a muscle in our bodies (that needs to be exercised in order to develop) and without which, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). It is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” — Hebrews 11:1. As believers, we know that we are called to a life of faith. Indeed, we are called to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
But have you ever found yourself in a place where you doubt God and His plan for your life? Even just a little? I certainly have, and on more occasions than I care to remember … and it usually happens when I find myself in what I call “uncharted territory” (when I am doing new things or when I realise new fears and especially when I come face to face with the possibility of failure).
The good news is that God is always at work in me, enabling me (often in spite of me) to will and to work out His good purpose (Philippians 2:13), if not in plain sight then most certainly behind the scenes. Not only that, I have the assurance that He will work everything together for me because I love Him and I am called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
But what are we to do when we feel our faith is fading? Typically, I do two things. First, and most importantly, I immerse myself in the Word of God, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Secondly, I choose (sometimes it is a choice as it doesn’t always happen automatically) to remind myself of my journey with God, how far He has brought me and what we have overcome together (1 Samuel 7:12). Often, I find myself going back to the beginning, to where it all really started for me. I was 17 years old at the time, a student at the University of Cape Town, away from home and everyone and everything familiar, when one night after I had said goodnight to my roommate and as I lay in bed going over the day’s events, I heard a still small voice whisper in my ear. His was a new yet strangely familiar and comforting voice and I found myself responding to Him. So, there I was, talking to someone I couldn’t see and there was nothing crazy or unnatural (at least to me) about it! In an instant, I knew that I was valued, that my life had purpose and that I was loved unconditionally.
Hope for the future
Needless to say, our nightly conversations became the highlight of my day. For the first time in my life, I was filled with hope for the future and an assurance that no matter the road ahead, I would be ok, for He was with me. This despite the fact that I did not know Him and could not see Him. Looking back, it was a defining moment in my life and the beginning of an incredible faith journey.
Since then, there have been many (and let’s be honest here, often unwelcome) opportunities to exercise my faith, challenging experiences that have marked my life and changed me forever. To highlight just a few – my marriage across the race, culture and language divide in the face of doubt and some opposition; the birth of my first son after multiple miscarriages and a difficult pregnancy; the addition of my second (adopted) son to our family after years of waiting on the fulfilment of God’s promise … I could recount many more. Even today there are specific things that my family is trusting God for, that we are expectant for, and these are our faith stories in the making.
Do you record your own personal faith journey? If not, I hope that sharing mine has inspired you to do so. I have found it to be a wonderful way in which to encourage myself, whatever stage of life or season I may be in, that God is always at work on my behalf and therefore I need not fear the future or what it holds.