C: Let me just say that I have LOVED watching God develop His vision in your life and I am SO excited about Big Picture Cafe! When would you say your faith moved beyond just knowing God to experiencing God?
Rebecca: When I was in fifth grade, my older brother and sister went to church camp. They came back and recited stories about how they met God in a way that they’d never met Him before. I was jealous because I wasn’t old enough to go. So, I talked to God about it. His response was, “I can meet you right here.” My life has never been the same.
C: I love that..."I can meet you right here." What is one thing God has been teaching you this season of your life?
Rebecca: I went to a wedding last weekend. The day started out a little crazy. As I was backing out of my parking space, I barely tapped the side of the gate and my entire front bumper fell on the ground. I ended up carpooling with someone I didn’t know, but we hit traffic and construction that stretched a 3.5 hour ride into 5+ hours. I found a place to get dressed and ran out of the car 30 minutes to prepare for the wedding. I opened my backpack… and I realized I forgot my dress. I was wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts, didn’t have my car, and didn’t know what to do. But, God already knew that I was going to have a crazy day and need some help. My friend packed an extra dress and pair of shoes in my size. They fit perfectly and looked way better than my original outfit. If God can take care of me in little details, why would I ever doubt him in things that truly matter?
Because I can trust God and know that He takes care of me, I have the freedom to take big risks. I failed miserably last week in regards to a relationship. It still really hurts. But, I’m going to be better because I was brave and willing to take a chance. Big failures trump living without risk. And, if you’re really taking risks, you’re going to get hurt! I can put myself out there because I know where my roots are. I’m grounded in Christ, and no amount of failure can change that. Will we still experience heartbreak and pain? Yes. Is God still good and trustworthy? Undeniably yes. As I seek his kingdom first, he sorts out the details. He is so loving and full of grace, and he understands that I make a lot of mistakes as I run toward him. He loves that I desire to know him.
C: Ahh...taking risks...not everyone's favorite thing to do but you nailed it. We are taken care of and God isn't going to risk his reputation on our mistakes. How do you keep your eyes fixed on God when storms come your way?
Rebecca: When things get hard and I feel stuck, overwhelmed, and frustrated, I remind myself that God is for me, that he loves me, and that He knows what is best for my life. It's not easy for me to keep this mindset; I have to be intentional. I listen to songs on repeat so they get stuck in my head (current list: Pressure by Jonathan McReynolds and Good Good Father by Housefires, Letting Go by Steffany Gretzinger). I write quotes and verses on art that I hang around my room ("Is everything sad going to come untrue?" -J. R. R. Tolkien and “you are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” C. S. Lewis). Most importantly, I spend time in prayer and reading my Bible. Prayer is not just airing out a list of what I want from God; prayer is the place where I sit with God and he reassures me of his presence and love. He speaks to my heart and comforts me.
I also get by with a little help from my friends. God said it isn’t good for us to be alone. Faithful Christianity happens in community. We need each other, and we need people who know us deeply and can remind us with specific examples from our own lives of God’s grace and consistency.
C: Community is definitely a gift. What are some verses that you often cling to as a reminder of His goodness?
Rebecca: The theme scripture of my life is Isaiah 61. Go read the whole thing because it is much more important and beautiful than anything I have to say. If you're reading this, you have internet access. Seriously-Google it. This blog post will still be here when you get back.
C: Amen! If you could encourage those out there who are fearful of letting go and trusting God, what would you say?
Rebecca: Oh! I love this question!! Fear is the worst. Nothing steals destiny like fear. Fear will freeze you, overwhelm you, and convince you to quit before you try. So, I focus on two scriptures: “Perfect love casts out fear” and “God has not given us a spirit of fear but has given to us a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a sound mind.” When I’m grounded in love, I’m not worried about letting go and trusting God. He’s good. He always has been and always will be. I read it in Scripture, and he proves himself faithful over and over again in my life.
Think about this: God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and completely loving. In light of those core truths, how could I lack trust? My life is a beautiful adventure; Caren knows this because we’ve been friends for such a long time. God and I have so much fun. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. Story after story comes to mind of the incredible ways God comes through for me. When you live a life of faith, you need God to be faithful. And, I can tell you that he always is.
The more my faith grows, the more I know him. And the more I know him, the more my faith grows. Having an adventurous relationship with God isn't reserved for the pastors or the crazy people on the fringes (although you may end up in one of those places!). God wants all of his children to know him more deeply and grow in trust.
So, in short form, I would say, “God is worth it. Give him a chance.”
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!