As a new year begins, many of us declare a fresh start. In the past I have decided on starting fresh by resolving to eat healthier, work out more or stopping a bad habit that had developed over the past year. These resolutions don’t usually make it past three or four months, before I am back to my old ways. The starting over plan goes down the drain, along with the remnants of the unhealthy meal I had just eaten. After a few weeks of contemplation this past month, I have decided not to start completely over, but to build upon the structure God has provided me. I will do this through the focus of strengthening my faith in 2019.
In the Bible, faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. Though I have always been a believer in God, there have been times when I have questioned my faith. Times such as, being bullied in middle school, my parents divorce in high school, a traumatic student teaching experience at a Catholic school and the loss of our daughter in 2015. Through these events, I have found my faith again through different methods. Methods I continue to practice when I feel my faith wavering. This year I plan on building a more solid relationship with God, by continuing these methods while also using new approaches to strengthen my overall faith.
I am no expert in religion. In fact, if I were forced to sit down and define or recite certain aspects of the Catholic faith, I would fail miserably. As I have grown older, I have realized that each person has to practice their faith in the best way they know how. Whether that means diligently going to church every Sunday, reciting the rosary before bed, reading a passage of the Bible several times a week or taking time to talk to God at the end of the day.
In the past my methods have included: going to church, prayer and devotional readings. While these past few years I have not been consistent with going to church, I always take time at the end of my day to talk to God. While laying in bed, I review the day with him. I ask him for guidance as I make my way through a particularly difficult season. I use that time to enjoy a one-on-one with him. Whether I am praying for answers or thanking him for the daily blessings he has given me, that time has become sacred and has noticeably strengthened my relationship with him. This year, I will add more prayer throughout my day. I will take the time to send up thanks and praise throughout my day, rather than just at the end of the night.
Earlier this week I received a women’s devotional bible in the mail. Though I have read devotionals in the past, I have never sat down and read through the Bible. This year, I plan on using this gift to continue strengthening my faith through reading selected passages based on the specific topics presented to me in the back. I will also take the time to find passages that speak to me in this particular season and focus on their messages, while instilling them in my life. This year I will focus on messages relating to marriage, motherhood, forgiveness and grace.
In the past I have had very few Christ-centered women in my life who have made an impact on my faith. Recently this has changed. I joined a wonderful organization of Christ-centered women and mothers who have strengthened my faith in more ways then I can count. By surrounding myself with these women, I know my relationship with God can only grow. It is through this growth, that I recognize God has provided me with a support system that can only do good for my faith.
My hope, is that through the strengthening of my faith and relationship with God, I can better myself as a wife, mother and Christian this next year. I recognize there will be days when I struggle with my faith, but by continuing to actively pray and work on my relationship with God, I can only grow stronger as a believer in Christ.
What are some ways you have strengthened your faith over the years? How do you build a secure relationship with God? Feel free to comment!
Love and blessings,