Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lost and Found

Today we sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" in church. This song was pivotal in my life, believe it or not! I was very involved in my church as a high school student; faith was part of my very being. For many reasons, and like many college students, I fell away from church involvement as a college student. This was the beginning of many years of being lost to the faith of my youth.

"To Every Thing" seems an appropriate piece to feature here as I discuss the  seasons of my faith. It is displayed at the Little Swan Lake Winery in NW Iowa.
That lost time was ruled by fears, instead of faith. I spent some time totally away from religion, then tried to find a church that was inclusive enough that my agnostic (atheistic?) husband would attend. After several years in a Unitarian Universalist Society congregation (full of great people, btw!), I really felt the pull of the church of my childhood: Disciples of Christ.

It seemed to me that I was totally out of place in a Christian church, but that's where I wanted to be. I didn't take communion, fearing that my faith was not enough and God would be offended. There were songs I wouldn't sing because I just wasn't sure I believed them. I felt led to attend every week, and I did, but I always doubted that my faith was up to par. Then one day, we sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and it hit me like a ton of bricks: The song's title was "Great is THY Faithfulness," not "Great is MY Faithfulness!" It wasn't up to ME to be faithful enough; Faithfulness was GOD'S job.

Since then, I've continually been found, instead of lost. God has found me; He has pursued me; He has captured me with His grace. He has taken away my fears and filled me with love and grace and joy. All my efforts through those years left me still fearful and anxious and uncertain; now God's grace has filled my life to overflowing!

This is not to say I don't have moments of doubt or uncertainty. I do. But today, when we sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" I remembered upon whose faith I depend. I can make a lengthy list of what God's faithfulness has provided me: Peace, which surpasses all understanding; Love, which surrounds me and fills my spirit; Joy, which follows me as closely as a tag-along five-year-old; Beauty, which God has gifted me to make in my glass work; and so much more. I am blessed beyond measure in this season of my life, and I am absolutely convinced that this season is a season of eternity. Thank God!

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