As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking a lot about my faith in the last few years. Actually, more like wrestling with it. I’ve wrestled more than you can imagine. And, I’ve come to the conclusion that without the wrestling, without the tension, faith doesn’t grow and evolve.

The Scripture, “working out your salvation {faith} with fear and trembling” is a real thing. It’s a battle of the mind. I always thought that our faith should be a constant, never changing, never wavering. But, that’s not true if we’re to grow at all.

It’s God Himself who never changes, never wavers, is the constant. Our faith throughout our lifetime should constantly be changing … growing, maturing.

And, sometimes, actually a lot of the time, growing hurts. Hence, the term, “growing pains.”

I picture faith much like the thick rubber band I use to stretch my muscles before I start a workout. The band itself is sturdy. It will never break, no matter how hard I pull on it. And, the harder I pull, the more tension I put on the band, the more my muscles hurt. But, if I don’t ever put tension on the band, my muscles will never get warmed up and ready for the workout. Not being warmed up can cause injury. Full tension warms up the muscles and makes me ready for the workout, which in turn, allows me to get stronger and stronger. Faith is a constant “push/pull,” if you will.

In the tension is where the strength comes from.

If there’s never any tension, you stay stagnant and weak. But, it’s up to us to “push/pull.”

Honestly, there’s a fine line between indifference and intention. I live somewhere in-between. On the one hand, the tension hurts, so a lot of times, maybe most of the time, I avoid it. It’s just easier. I’m working toward being more intentional, especially when it comes to my healing.

Healing takes time and a whole lot of “pushing” and “pulling.”

I’m understanding that God is not put off by the way I’m healing. Like a loving Father, he’s okay to just sit in silence with me. I think that sometimes we talk too much, when really we should be simply listening and being still. I’ve been doing more and more of that lately. And, to be honest, there’s still times I have nothing to say and I just want to be. But, I definitely have to be intentional about my faith and my relationship with God, or I will quickly fall into indifference.

Working out my faith with fear and trembling is a whole lot of wrestling with my thoughts and emotions. When you have faith, you know all the right answers, you know the truth, but sometimes it takes a while for your mind to catch up with that.

I’m realizing you can have opposing thoughts and emotions alive in you at the same time. Joy and sorrow can live in you at the same time. No matter how tough the day may get for me, there’s always an underlying hope that’s constant. There’s hope in hurt and pain.

My husband said something so good the other day and it has made me really understand this faith-walk even more. He said, ‘Only real faith can say “we are more than conquerors” and “though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” in the same breath.’

This walk is not an easy one. And, it honestly shouldn’t be. It’s an ever-changing, evolving, beautiful walk. Painful at times, yes. But, also so full of grace, love, and peace.