chronic illnessinfertility

Friday Words of Faith: I believe

Over the past two weeks, I have been asked to reflect over my experience thus far in my unit of CPE (clinical pastoral education).  It was quite a task.  Especially since we were asked to come up with a metaphor for our CPE experience.  I’m not an English person to start with (give me a math or science class but please not English or history).  So after racking my brain I came up with the metaphor of a mirror.  In the past seven weeks of CPE, I have had the opportunity to see myself in a brand new light.  I have learned about myself on a personal level as well as a spiritual level.  During our discussion yesterday, I was asked how this experience has caused me to analyze my faith.  I think that my exploration of my faith started when I started facing infertility and chronic illness (and the CPE experience has only caused me to explore it further).  How does my experience affect my faith?  How is my picture of God affected by my faith and by my experiences?  As I continue to reflect on these things on my drive home from the hospital, I listened to a song by Barlow Girl called “I Believe in Love” and it blended so beautifully with what I was thinking and feeling.

The song begins with these words:

How long will my prayers seem unanswered?
Is there still faith in me to reach the end?
I’m feeling doubt I’m losing faith
But giving up would cost me everything
So I’ll stand in the pain and silence
And I’ll speak to the dark night

As I began my journey with chronic illness (which was later joined by infertility) I asked these same questions.  Where was God in my time of need?  Was He punishing me?  Where is God’s will in my illness?  These questions haunted my thoughts.  And then I felt guilty for even asking them.  Where was my faith if I questioned?  Was I sick because my faith wasn’t strong enough?  Was my worry  and fear a sign that I didn’t trust God or didn’t believe?  When I voiced my concerns, they were usually met with responses such as “God is trying to teach you something,” or “Pray harder,” or “It’s just God’s will.”

These answers provided little comfort (and mostly hurt) so I began a spiritual journey for answers and came to a conclusion:

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe

I learned that I can still believe even if I don’t have answers and it’s ok.  I can trust God and trust that He is working in my life and still not understand what is going on or where He is in it.  


Though I can’t see my stories ending
That doesn’t mean the dark night has no end
It’s only here that I find faith
And learn to trust the one who writes my days

I think that one of the toughest questions I had to answer for myself was “Did God cause this?”  Did God look down from His throne and pick me out to suffer?  For me, to say yes to this question was also saying yes that God destined a baby to be aborted, or a child to be molested, or a new mother to die of cancer.  It just didn’t fit with the character of the God I serve.  In some cases, we are given free will and therefore our choices impact our future (such as making the choice to smoke and then developing lung cancer).I think sometimes things just happen.  In others, I think things just happen.  Period.  And what follows was a profound statement for me personally:  We have a choice of what we do with our circumstances.  I can choose to be bitter, angry, and depressed over my illness (and believe me I’ve had my moments of all three) or I can choose to allow God to be glorified through it by using my story to help encourage and support others.  I don’t know how my story is going to end.  I don’t know what the outcome of my doctor’s appointment Monday will be.  But that doesn’t mean that God isn’t working.  Just as the last line of this verse states, I am learning to trust the One who writes my days.  And trusting is a choice.  Believing is a choice.  And I believe that it is a choice that must be made on a daily basis (or hourly or every 10 minutes depending on the situation).

So when the times are hard and I can’t seem to see past my own pain, these words become the cry of my heart:

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe.
I believe

18 comments on “Friday Words of Faith: I believe

  1. Wow, what beautiful thoughts!

    In my journey of faith I had to give up going to church, church things, reading the Bible & even praying (all caused panic attacks in an extreme case of anxiety). Thanks God for an awesome Smallgroup who allowed me to come, cry & not contribute till I was better!

    My Prince kindly said to me “God will still be here, when you’re better & ready for him”. This was the only thing that could stop me panicking about ‘leaving my faith’ and I think it’s true. I think He understands. I still feel like I’m not a ‘proper Christian’ because I don’t go to church regularly but I’m doing what I can. And I’m trying. I think (hope!) that counts.

    I also have come to the conclusion that ‘things just happen’. We can choose our reaction, but life is just pain sometimes. Bad things happen to good ppl, and bad people prosper, but that’s just how it is. (haven’t worked out how that fits with God’s sovereignty), but we just need to do what we can.

    Thanks for the great post. I’ll still keep thinking about these issues…

    ~Princess CJ xx

    Reply
  2. Modern Gypsy says:

    I agree with you – we create some things in our life, other things happen for reasons that may still be unknown to us. Maybe your suffering will serve the larger purpose of being an inspiration. But God is with you, each and every step of the way. Helping and supporting you – not singling you out for pain. That doesn’t gel with my idea of God, either. Blessings!
    Dropping by from SITS – happy SITS day!

    Reply
  3. beautiful post…reminds me that faith is hope in the unseen.

    Reply
  4. This is so well written. I love that it searches for answers and finds faith.

    Reply
  5. That was an amazing, thought provoking and inspiring read. Happy to be here on your SITS day! x

    Reply
  6. gosh expressed so wonderfully…butg i totally understand you and believe you coz although i havent had such suffering my faith ahs had a turn around and i feel the glory of God in everything I do

    Reply
  7. That was wonderful! I know many people who struggle with those same questions and hurts. I thank God for walking with you – with each of us who will let Him.

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    • Jamee says:

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! It is comments like yours that make it easier to keep pushing forward each day! Thank you for making my SITS day special!

      Reply
  8. Young Wife says:

    Happy SITS Day! My husband has Psoriatic Arthritis. Thanks for the encouraging post!

    Reply
  9. Tonya says:

    Beautiful reflections! He works in mysterious ways but when you reflect it’s a little easier to see what He was trying to say.

    Reply
  10. Wow. I absolutely love your outlook on life and Jesus. He is what I believe in as well. He is everything! Even when we can’t understand.

    Reply
  11. Cheryl says:

    So glad I found your blog today. You inspired me to have faith again today.
    Found you on SITS…congratulations on being saucy!
    And…you could live in St. George Utah…there’s no humidity here and it’s so beautiful! I recently moved from KC, MO where I vowed after 10 years I could not spend another winter or summer. It feels wonderful here.

    Reply
  12. Toni @ Carrigan's Joy says:

    A new follower here!

    Thanks so much for your words. I feel alone at times worshiping our Lord. It’s so nice to know there are other women, in the blogging community, who enjoy sharing their faith.

    Continue to place your burdens in Christ’s hands for He has suffered it all and He will never foresake you.

    Reply
  13. Heather L. @ Starving Artist's Wife says:

    This is such an inspiring post, one that I needed to hear! Thank you! As one who suffers with chronic illness myself, I have asked all of these questions and wondered if God really loved me, etc. I know how you feel and I am encouraged since reading this.

    Visiting from SITS! Great blog. Have a wonderful day!

    Reply
  14. […] of my favorite posts I have ever written was entitled “I Believe” as I shared the faith process in which I had to go through in order to come to some sort of sense […]

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  15. […] Even when I feel that God is silent and wonder what His plan is, I know in my heart of hearts that I believe that He is working and He is in […]

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  16. […] of my favorite posts I have ever written was entitled “I Believe” as I shared the faith process in which I had to go through in order to come to some sort of sense […]

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