When I started my blog, I planned to write about my faith way more than I currently do. It is why the title includes the word “miracles”. I didn’t name this blog Mommy Miracles because it was a miracle that I got pregnant. And, while I did have two miscarriages before my second child, the blog was as titled long before that happened. Instead, I just kind of felt that the miracle of life is just that — a miracle, even though it is so commonplace.
And that is what my blog evolved into — a series of stories about the commonplace being elevated — with or without mention of my faith (usually, it would appear, without).
It isn’t always easy to write about this part of my life. The last time I wrote seriously about faith, a PR company pulled back on a sponsored post commitment with me. I couldn’t believe it was an issue considering my blog’s title, the “About” page that was live at the time, and the fact that I had a large link to all my posts about “Faith” on the sidebar.
I have never hidden the fact that faith is a very real part of my life. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll sometimes see tweets or conversations about faith and religion with some of my other awesome faith-filled friends. If we’re friends on Facebook, I will often share quotes from books I am reading about Christianity, links about feminism and the church, or verses and reflections from Ann Voskamp. Those who know me from childhood will know that my Dad is a minister. I grew up going to church. Currently, I have deep friendships with pastors and their families. My faith is real and deep and personal to me.
Lately, I’ve been noticing so much brokenness around me. Many of my friends are struggling with situations in their lives that are life-shattering. My heart breaks over and over for them. I wish I could just put their lives together the way they want them to be, without the hurt and the pain and the loss that cuts so deeply. But, I don’t even know how my heart can keep breaking for them when it was shattered so recently from my own experience of brokenness.
That’s the thing about faith: it doesn’t save us from the real life everyday life-shattering brokenness. I have never experienced a pain so searing and deep in my lifetime as what I recently went through. So that isn’t the moral to this story. It never is.Faith doesn’t save us from the real life everyday life-shattering brokenness. Click To Tweet
I recently sat down with three incredible women. We all shared our individual heartbreaks, but also our joys. We realized how interwoven those two concepts often are in retrospect; how our greatest joys would never come without those deep hardships. That’s where my faith steps in. This is the moral of the story, I guess. It is the moral of this whole blog, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, post after post, brokenness after brokenness.Our greatest joys would never come without those deep hardships. Click To Tweet
“It is hard to be in this position,” I recently told Dan, as we were talking about a person in our life who was going through something really difficult. “I desperately just want to take hold of her and tell her that God is there waiting for her to turn to Him. I want her to go to Him for comfort and never stop praying and I want her to watch for answered prayers. More than anything, I want to explain that this is what happened to me! But you can’t just force that on someone. No one gets it until they experience it. I just really hope I can live that out for her to see.”
I know this is incomprehensible to people who don’t believe that there is anything beyond what is scientifically proven. But I have seen prayers be answered over and over again in specific ways. I opened my eyes to it while I was in the depths of earthly hell. Some of my prayers were being answered in quantifiable ways even as I was praying them. I asked God to move mountains that seemed incredibly immobile and He did — He answered that big prayer. But he also answered small prayers while I was waiting to see if that mountain could and would move.
There are still mountains in my life needing to be moved: healing; finances; careers; fears… But after the earthquake that broke everything apart not too long ago, the fact that the continent I stand on now looks the way it does makes no sense without God.
I grew up believing in God. But it was hearing first-hand accounts of answered prayers and honest to goodness miracles right at the moment when my life was falling apart that helped me not waste time wondering whether there could be a God in the midst of the brokenness. And so, that’s why I write this — regardless of whether I lose readers or sponsored content — because maybe I can be the person you know who has really and truly experienced a living God. Maybe this story is enough to help you find comfort in your brokenness.
That first-hand account of answered prayers that I heard was at Alpha, a place to go to wrestle with questions about whether God is real without shame or judgement or expectations. This week, Dan and I are going back to Alpha, and I’d really love to invite you to come with us. We will be going to the Friday night Alpha at Saint Benedict Parish in Clayton Park. I want you there! (There will be childcare for kids 5 and up). West End Baptist Church on Quinpool is also putting on Alpha (Mondays at 6pm) if that location is easier for you. I absolutely love the people at that church. You can also go to Alpha even if you aren’t in Halifax. There are Alphas happening all over the world. Please join one.
I didn’t go into detail on the specifics of my answered prayers because that would mean going into detail about the situation surrounding it — and that just isn’t the story here. But if it would help you in your brokenness to know the specifics of the prayers answered, please reach out. I would be more than happy to share how I found comfort in the pain and how I prayed through the worst of it. I can’t promise what will come out of your pain, but I do believe the promise that God will turn the worst of the pain of those who love Him into something good. (Romans 8:28)