He’s Always Been Faithful

Graduating is one of those milestones in life that makes you start thinking. Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of that. A lot of looking forward, a lot of looking back, a lot of trying to figure out what made me who I am. Tonight I went for a long walk with the girl who’s been my best friend for almost a decade and we were talking about that.

We talked over a lot of the hurts we’ve had over the years, and some of the little triumphs. We talked about the doubts and fears we have about the future, and about the hopes and the promise it holds. We talked about how much we’ve helped each other over the years without ever realizing it. And we came to one inescapable conclusion… God is so very good! We realized how stunningly evident His unending love, mercy, and grace are in our past lives.

Looking back, I tend to think about how much I can complain about. How many times I’ve been hurt by people, how many mistakes I’ve made, how often I’ve made choices that I regret. But then I start to think about how far any of those instances could have gone. I came so close to doing such stupid things so many times… and I certainly can’t take the credit for that not happening. God has been so faithful in my life to provide an escape. He’s always showed me the way to go, even if that meant speaking to me through friends because I wasn’t willing to go to Him.

I tend to think of my life story as rather dull. I mean, I’ve lived a sheltered life as a homeschooled pastor’s kid in a small town. I don’t have a dramatic testimony, I never even really outwardly rebelled against my parents. People look at my life and think either how fortunate I am that so little has happened to hurt me, or how much I missed out on having “fun.” But very few people see it as exciting. I’m learning to look back on my life not as a long, gray, dull road that I had no choice but to walk, but as a dangerous path, guarded on either side by the things God put there to keep me safe.

My life may not seem to be much of a story worth telling, but to myself and a few others it is a testimony of God’s gloriously beautiful faithfulness. Instead of looking at the trials I had as a burden, I’m learning to thank God that I was able to learn those lessons so lightly. Yes, I’ve lived under a rock for much of my life, but suddenly that doesn’t seem so bad. God has used all of the things that got through to me, and the things that didn’t, to make me who He wants me to be… and He’s a far better designer than I could ever dream of being. And He’s always been faithful, despite me running away as hard as I could at times.

I serve an absolutely spectacularly magnificent Lord. The more I think about life, the more overwhelmed I am by His exceeding mercy and grace. God is good. God is so gracious. God is always faithful. What more is there to say?

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth with I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations. ~ Psalm 89:1

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About Stephanie Joy

I'm just a girl growing up in a world with very little light and trying to follow God's will for my life. I love Jesus, my family, and my friends, and I pray that somehow someone will be blessed through my scribblings. View all posts by Stephanie Joy

6 responses to “He’s Always Been Faithful

  • youngrashoper

    I’m new on here and came across your blog. I’ve also read a few of your other entries. And I wanted to let you know something. Your words bring a calmness to me that I haven’t had in weeks. Thank you. Your faith is admirable. I could only do my best and pray to have the kind of relationship with Him as you seem to have. I hope to be able to keep in touch with you. Your words, my dear, are a blessing.

    God bless,
    ~Kaela

  • Stephanie

    Kaela-
    Thank you so much for commenting. I’m so honored to know that God has used my writing to bless you. I’ll be praying for you in your walk with the Lord. God bless!

    ~ Stephanie

  • Questioner

    What do you gain from living a sheltered life? I would think that a man who witnesses no Sin, who is locked away from the temptations of the Damned, is only ignorant, not holy. What strength of spirit, what conviction of soul, is required for one who is protected? How can you be sure of your own faith unless it is tested? Only those who look upon the offers of the Damned and see them for what they are can hope to earn the favour of the Lord, and to truly know his love.

    • Stephanie

      There is no such thing as a man who has witnessed no sin. Even a hermit who’s lived apart from society for years has experienced his own sinful nature. Again, there is no such thing as being locked away from temptation. There will always be a choice between right and wrong.

      I believe that great strength can be built in protection. A plant that is kept indoors early in its development and moved outside when the time is right will often be far stronger than one left to elements while still young and tender. As for conviction of soul, Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned. If we’ve sinned, or rather since we’ve sinned, we can be convicted by the Holy Spirit.

      Who’s to say that the faith of someone who’s parents have protected them has never been tested? Very few people are completely cut off from the outside world. Influences can come in. I never said they didn’t, just that God has been faithful to provide a way of escape. Besides that, it’s not really about being sure of our faith, it’s about trusting God’s promise. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we’re promised that we will not be tempted beyond what we are able to bear.

      Who’s to say someone who’s grown up in a sheltered home hasn’t seen what’s out there? The fact that what they’ve seen is tempered and explained by the wisdom of their parents doesn’t make it less real. Isn’t that one of the primary responsibilities of parents?

      Also, there is no hope of earning the favor of the Lord. All of our righteousness is filth compared to Him, as is illustrated in Isaiah 64:6. Him reaching down to us in His infinite grace, mercy and love is our only hope. How can coming face to face with the wickedness of the world make God’s love better? When someone is learning to identify counterfeit money, they study the real thing, not the fake. They get to know the genuine article so well that they almost sense when something is off about a bill. Why not stay growing in the purity of God’s love to see how good it is rather than going into the filth of the world?

      To return to the original question, “What do you gain from living a sheltered life?” I propose that I’ve built a level of strength. I’ve had the chance to grow, to mature, to form my own beliefs before having popular culture try to shove theirs down my throat. 1 Corinthians 14:20 says that believers should “… in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” Another translations says “… in regard to evil be infants.” Right there in Scripture we’re told not to go seeking to know about all the wickedness that’s happening.

      As I said in the original post, God has protected me. He’s always provided a way out. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect or have never been tempted. It just means that I’ve been blessed with a safe place to grow. How can you not see that as valuable?

      ~ Stephanie

  • Alicia

    Hey Girl!

    Yep, I checked you out and I am still so very proud to know you. I remember having many of these same feelings after graduating from high school, and I had other “Christian” friends who told me that I would never be as good a witness as they were, because they had done the cool stuff and I hadn’t. But then, when it came to being away from home, and facing temptation, I was so excited that I could say no. And, still now, I can look back and see how God brought me through all of that, and to this point, and I can sing “Bring the Rain” and mean it. God has so many awesome things for you and I can’t wait to watch and point and say “I knew her when…”

    Alicia

    • Stephanie

      Thank you so much, Alicia! It’s so encouraging to know that someone else has been there, and to see what an amazing woman she’s become. You’re such an inspiration to me in so many ways. Thank you. =)

      ~ Stephanie

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