On this spring morning, a fog has quietly slipped in and transformed my normal view. A ghostly grayness encloses everything and the tall dark trees stand quietly in contrast. The thick otherworldly mist clouds my reality while even the birds sound muffled and far away. I hear the lonely train whistle that offers an eerie quietness, not in a bad way, but like I’m being invited into a mystery. Perhaps there’s a secret wardrobe somewhere and if I happen upon it and step in, new possibilities await . Maybe there’s a secret gate into whatever is waiting for me. Wonder invites me to explore.
This mysterious foggy morning feels a bit like faith feels sometimes. It’s like a venturing into a compelling mystery and placing my hope there. Nothing seems totally clear but the depths call to me and I must go to explore, listen, and wait. The Master designer of all this beauty has his eye on me and watches my curiosity carefully. That lovely Trinity calls with voices like the far off train whistles, touching a longing that I can’t quite understand or explain.
There’s another land, I know it. So I must go. I cannot not go.
As I was growing up, my mom and brother led me to the edge of this misty faith wood. Their wise decisions, patience, and love spoke powerfully. I stood with eyes wide open.
Standing during the service at our church, I found myself with the others, reciting the creed. “ I believe in God the Father Almighty…” and then secretly whispering, “I hope I believe.”
While praying, “Our Father, who art in heaven,” I often thought, “I hope you are my Father.”
My mother’s faith was radiant. Her prayers expressed a deeply humble yet powerful witness of her faith and belief that God was with her. Drawn to that inner knowing, I wanted to be just like her and to have such a solid faith.
But even at the end of my confirmation years, I was asked, “Do you believe in Jesus as your Savior? Have you invited him into your heart?” I said yes. But I hadn’t, really. I didn’t want them to know.
I followed my brother everywhere, enthralled and compelled, wanting to fit in. And for a while, that was enough. Until it wasn’t. Slowly, as I was able, I said yes, I want this. Yes, I believe this. Perhaps, like Lucy, in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis, at some point I stepped through what I could see and into the land of faith, finding a life I couldn’t have known existed. But there I was, a believer in a place of wonder. A place where hard things sometimes happen, where questions abound and are encouraged, where the deeper lessons become beloved life forces, and where hope infuses an unexplainable trust. It’s a place where a powerful beautiful Lion reigns, the One who shows up, leading, protecting, loving, and I’m sure, smiling at my sweet innocent attempts to figure it all out.
There were lies too. The ones I tried to cover up. The ones I came to believe about myself and about others. There were many years (too many) where I learned to recognize and give up those oh-so-comfortable lies. Those were the hardest paths in the forest. I still harbor them at times, giving them a voice, when I know they are as powerful as the White Witch. But I also know they can be toppled by remembering that God said, “ You are my beloved.” How they found their way into this land of faith I do not know. But I do battle against them with my good friend, Jesus, and my amazing Father God.
What about you? Has the fog cleared and the misty mystery parted? Has the gift of faith found its way to you? Are you going after that mysterious hope-filled life? What pulls you to continue? Has that fog parted and the brilliant light of belief left you squinting but searching for more?
The journey is long. The way is not always clear. But faith insists that I believe anyway because God, the great I AM, has promised that he’ll always be with me and so - I’m all in. Even when the pathway seems unclear and the compelling song seems so far away, and so unlike the tune everyone else is singing. Even when I complain about rocks on the path, there’s a hand holding mine as I make my way. I’m not alone and I’m not lost.
If you journal, may I suggest that you ponder these questions with a pen in your hand?
How has God brought you to search for him?
At what times did you find him holding your hand, leading, comforting, and encouraging you?
What deep longing do you hold in matters of faith?
Feel free to leave a comment concerning how you came to faith. If you prefer, you can email me. That information can be found in my “About” section.