Learning Faith

Bad things happen to good people all the time. It would seem normal if bad things just happened to bad people. Consequences, and all that. But when they happen to good people, you know the ones that are nice, work hard, live healthy, then it makes you wonder why. I wish there was an answer, but I have decided there is not. At least not one that will make anyone feel justified.

I do know that there is something about living through a challenging time that somehow sharpens one’s focus. What was fuzzy and rhetorical suddenly begins to take shape into a real conviction. Lifting weights builds muscles, and experiencing challenges builds faith. There are a lot of parallels between those two.

For instance, I experienced a life-threatening pregnancy complication in my fourth pregnancy. You might know that I have five children. After almost dying, I was not prepared for another pregnancy. We lived a very precarious nine months waiting for a repeat of the problems, but they never came. Some would call me foolish and irresponsible to risk my life and my children’s security, but my stance on abortion was firmer than ever, even in facing possible death. I had always been pro-life, but faced with the decision and even encouragement of some, I knew this was my stand. No matter what, the life I was carrying was more important than my own.

I did not realize it at the time, but this was a family lesson, too. My children had very limited knowledge of the potential problems, but they knew enough to be concerned. How was I going to practice my faith in front of them? I cried some. I prayed a lot. I had many talks with them about God’s faithfulness and trusting His plan, even when life is not rosy. Faith became an action. I had to choose every day to believe all would work out. And if it didn’t, then I wanted them to know that I chose to trust anyway.

So, how do you make it through the hard times? From my limited experience, my only advice is to just keep going. It’s not about two years, or even two days; it’s just the next two minutes. Step by step. Isn’t that a good plan for life, in general? Do the next thing that needs to be done and stay focused. There is always a reward for being faithful. My reward was a sweet baby girl. I cannot imagine life without her, even when she smears chocolate syrup all over her.

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