Journey of Faith

By Theresa Cavalier
The Flame Volunteer Writer

My faith journey is made up of not one but several stories that culminate in where I am today.  The Christian rock group Big Daddy Weave sings a song that says “to tell you my story is to tell of Him.”  My story must include how God has worked in my life.

The “starting point” of my faith was when I was a young girl attending Park Avenue Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  One Sunday I clearly heard God calling my name and that is when I gave my life to Christ.  As a young Christian, I could recite the books of the Bible, in order, and attended church several times a week, but I didn’t have a relationship with God.  My parents were Christians, but my dad suffered from depression and had unresolved issues from his past which kept him from being a loving father.  My mom, on the other hand, was a loving, strong woman and did everything she could to keep the lives of her children on an even keel.

I couldn’t wait to get out on my own and got married at the age of 20.  A few months after we got married, tragedy struck my husband’s family and several difficult years followed.  We attended a Catholic church but didn’t have a church family like we have at Christ Church.  I felt like I was on my own as my husband dealt with things in his own way.  But God was there all the time.  After the dust settled, my in-laws were a closer family than ever before.  My father-in-law became the dad he had never been.  God brought good from this tragedy.

Fast forward 20 years – my mom fell at home the night before Thanksgiving in 2005, broke her hip, and passed away a month later on Dec. 23, 2005.  My dad depended on my mom and couldn’t live without her, and he passed away 11 months later on Nov. 27, 2006.  In the months after her death, my dad became bitter and angry and the last couple of months of his life he barely spoke to his children.  He called me on Thanksgiving Day in 2006 and told me that God came to him and told him that he needed to get right with his kids, and asked for my help in contacting my brother and sister so he could talk to all of us.  We were able to visit with him and make peace and he passed away four days later.  We all felt better knowing that things were good with Dad before he died.  I have no doubt that God spoke to my dad and gave him the strength and courage to contact us.  God was truly at work in this situation!

These are just a couple of examples of how God has played a part in my story.  When I look back now, I see all the life events that God has brought me through, many times, without me even turning to him for strength.  God has put many people in my life through the years, just when I needed them.  As my faith has matured, I can now recognize his handiwork in my life as events unfold.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  — Isaiah 41:10

People often wonder where God is when things are going wrong, but I know He is with us.  Sometimes things just have to play out in order for us to grow stronger in our faith and learn to trust God even more.  Christians are not exempt from tough times.  But when storms come, I know I will be fine because I am a Christian and God is my strength and salvation.  Psalms 34:18 tells us, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  How comforting to know that He is always there.

A few months ago, I asked God to give me a revelation.  I even made a Post-It note for my desk at work to remind me to pray about it!  I didn’t think He had done that yet, but as I wrote this article, I realized He has.  He has revealed to me that He has been, and always will be, with me.  Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

All scripture from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

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