Monday, April 12, 2021

    Faith Nuggets with Kristen Kinder


    “Just try one more time.” This was what my mom told me at one of the lowest points of my life. I was a student at Morris Brown College when we got the news that we lost our accreditation. There I was, a junior in college, at the prime of my life with shattered dreams of what I believed was a promising start to my life. The truth of the matter is that this would be the first lesson of resilience that I would have to master in my life.

    So many times we identify ourselves BY the lowest and most adverse places in our lives. We have all heard the labels, Cancer Survivor, Domestic Violence Survivor, Rape victim, etc. These labels are worn with a badge of honor. The bible mentions a woman who was known for her sickness. We know her as the woman with the issue of blood. However, it was her immeasurable faith that gained her recognition in scripture. If it was her faith that healed her, why is she not known as the woman with immeasurable faith? Why is this narrative only spoken from the perspective of her affliction? She believed that she could live and did whatever it took to make that possible. This powerful woman fought through the crowds and settled for the notion that all she needed was to simply touch Jesus, and she would be healed. She was humble, fearless, and determined.
    The truth is that we are granted the grace to identify ourselves IN the lowest and most adverse places of our lives. However, what we become is far greater than what happened to us.

    By no means does anyone welcome adversity with open arms into their life. The truth is that no one is an exception to the rule, and surviving the valley is the basics. What you become in the valley is the gift. We can spend so much time referencing the battles that we miss the growth along the journey. During our most challenging times in life; our growth can often be perceived as survival, however, it’s in the journey of survival that develops a person’s identity.

    We are resilient and much stronger than we believe. Can we honestly say that we’ve only experienced one trial throughout our lives? No. We face many challenges in one lifetime and we learn how to overcome them through the wisdom of experience and the faith that God is present when things are out of our control.

    There is something about hard times that draw us closer to God. When things are out of our control, we tend to gravitate to faith, the powerful unseen. Our prayers become desperate to a point of determination to know if God is real and can I trust His word. How do we know that His strength is perfect in our weakness if we’ve never been weak? How could we know that the joy of the Lord is our strength if we’ve never experienced a hurt that broke us to the core? Jesus speaks about a farmer who went to plant seeds and how some seeds fell by the road, and how some on rocky ground, some among thorny weeds, and some on good ground. The seed is God’s word and the truth of His word in our lives is affirmed in the trials and tribulation. Faith in the Lord is the good ground because our faith is rooted in the hope that His word is true.

    Our identity is not in the tribulation but it is found in the evidence of our growth. What we become is the armor for our next battle. I am not saying that we should not reference these victories but making the affliction as the most notable parts of our identity diminishes the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of who we are to our core. It is less about what we have conquered and more about what we have become. “We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us.” Romans 8:37 If you can survive that, you can survive anything.

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