she has faith for the road ahead

"What is faith?"  I posed the question to the three little faces staring back at me. My youngest points to her sister sitting next to her and giggles. And my heart remembers walking that path behind our home with two little boys walking next to me. The two boys I had just sent off to middle school that morning. As we made our daily walk down to the stream to throw rocks, we discussed this same question. That was the day we decided together that this little girl we were waiting for would be named Faith. And now here I was staring into the eyes of my daily reminder. 

Faith knows the answer to this question. She has heard the story thousands of times. "It is believing in something that you can't see with your eyes." Yes baby. We knew God would help us find you and bring you home. You were a promise long before we saw your face. 

There is another part to that verse, though. The verse that God wrote on our hearts that day in September. "the assurance of things hoped for".  Hope. My eyes turn to my oldest daughter. The one who joined our family after her younger sister. The one whose middle name reminds us that the God of all hope will fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (romans 15:13) She is opening her mouth to share her definition of faith and a moment of clarity comes over her face and her eyes light up. I have seen this look before and I know that something amazing is about to happen. I am going to get a rare glimpse into her heart. 

"Faith is like the story of the centurion who believed that Jesus could heal his daughter." 

Oh, this child. The one with the list of diagnosis and disabilities, some seen and some invisible to those around her. The one who processes and sees the world totally differently than everyone else in the family. 

The centurion was a man of great power and authority. His servant was very sick and he came to Jesus looking for healing for the one who lay at home paralyzed. Jesus offers to come to the centurions home and heal the servant. What happens next Jesus says is the greatest example of faith that He had witnessed in all of Israel. The centurion humbly replies, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed." (matt 8)

My precious child that is the perfect explanation of faith. What made you think of that story? My daughter who has lived more life than I will ever understand. My daughter's whose past makes every emotion in her body feel like anger. My daughter looks at me with tears in her eyes and says, "I read that story every day."

She is in a critical stage of development right now. The beginning of puberty changes everything. We have spent the summer talking with doctors and making plans for the road ahead. She has heard how things are expected to play out and the challenges that await her. In the midst of it all this is the story that she is reading to herself as she sits in bed in the early morning hours. I am undone. 

We will plan. We will pursue the best care possible. We will try our best. But today I am reminded that we will also have faith. I will believe in what I cannot see and have assurance of the things we are hoping for through the power of our great and mighty God. 


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