The women of the IF:Gathering have left me with words that are game changers; too much to process in one sitting or one day. This is part three of a week long look back at the ways that I don’t want to stay the same.
I’m just not even afraid to say how much of a girl crush I have on Jen Hatmaker. It’s a real thing. And I could tell you all a hundred reasons why but I think they are all underlined by the fact that this women has the fire of a prophet and the humor of comic, and taken together I think she is a teacher who cares about the right things and tells us in the best ways. During her lesson at IF, I could not write fast enough. In fact, we paused her talk no less than four times because her words kept landing in the places of our hearts where we needed them.
I have dozens of her sentences scribbled in my journal, but the one I’m processing today is this, that “faith IS the prize.” It seems almost too simple at first read. But the more I sit with it, the heavier it feels.
Everyone has faith in something. Everyone. We have faith in God. Maybe you have faith in science. Maybe karma. Or you might even argue to death that no, you do not have faith in anything because all of this spiritual talk is nonsense. But I would tell you then that your faith is in your own logic, because it is. We are living beings and by default we are always trying to make sense of things. We would not be able to sleep at night if we were not at least a little bit satisfied with the conclusions we have drawn about life and the world. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we live every single day guided by faith in something. (And the philosophical nature of this paragraph is already getting way beyond my scope of comfort so let’s move on…)
I cannot stop thinking about this: if faith is the goal, and not simply the means, how does that change my life—my day-to-day, changing diapers, making dinner, loving my husband, teaching, serving, play-dating life? I think I will spend many, many years—maybe a lifetime—living in to the answer to that question. But what I think it means for me today is that I have to practice this faith before it just shows up and works it magic. I have to do things that feel scary. I have to take risks. I have to know God’s word and live out the commands that are inside of it. I have to allow myself to try things that truly require this thing called faith. And I don’t know, but I think the faith will come a little bit at a time, until I’m not really faking it so much, I’m just believing it.
That’s the kind of life I want—not one that is easy and always comfortable but one that has complete confidence in Jesus. And I know if I only pursue ease and comfort, the life of faith that wants to live in me will keep bumping up against the walls of safety I keep around it. Faith, assurance, confidence, these are the prize. Life without them is impossible to bear. Life with them, well, that kind of life can do anything.