I prayed one of those crazy prayers one time, one that I didn’t know was going to rock my comfort boat. I honestly thought I was just asking to call God closer. Often, I wrote and still write, on a small chalkboard that hangs in our kitchen, a family prayer to pray on and put purpose toward. I usually change it bi-weekly to monthly, but this particular time, I felt like our prayers were getting mundane. During this time, we were watching the Bible series. I was feeling convicted and inspired; I wanted to walk more in God’s confidence like that. I tried to pray prayers and have my faith be big like Peter and Paul! So, I wrote on the chalkboard in my kitchen, “Lord, grow our faith.”
A few days later, I would come to understand what that prayer meant and the powerful disruption it would bring to our life.
We just had our fourth child, and we rented a horse ranch with seven horses. We also had three dogs, a cat, and a bunny. I was running a kid’s horse program through the ranch, and life seemed good. Suddenly, the ranch owner decided she wanted to come back to the area. This meant she would need her house back. I wanted to yell at God, “what are you doing? Give it back!” But another part of me that was also laughing at the irony of “grow our faith.” I quickly came to realize this would be the very thing to do just that. In need of desperate obedience, mainly to not get angry about all the things about to take place, I mumbled, “I trust you, God, and what you have planned.” The Lauren Daigle song “I will trust in you” had just come out, and I sang that at the top of my longs walking in confusion to the arena to break 60 students’ hearts that riding lessons were canceled and there was no plan to reopen.
As my husband was hitting panic for our provision over our family and uncertainty of what was to come next, my prayers had led me to hear God say, “I’m doing this to bless you, not to harm you.”
My first step of faith was trusting that I heard God correctly. I spoke this out loud and over my husband until he could believe we could walk away without a fight and believe God did have something in store for us.
With so much to move, there weren’t a lot of options for housing. Horses needed rehoming, and plans needed to be made. It felt like a biblical moment of Job in our lives as things were leaving quickly.
My husband and I made our next act of faith and decided to fast and pray for a home to open up for our new family of six.
In that week of fasting, his parents asked us to move in with them for the time being. Of course, this wasn’t ideal, but it was the only option on the table. Since we had prayed so fervently, we believed this was what God wanted us to do.
It wasn’t easy. It still took us through a rough five-year journey that I still refer to as a time of nothingness. It was hard to speak the words I last heard God say, “I’m doing this to bless you and not to harm you.” None of it at the time felt like a blessing. But looking back, it was a journey of “growing our faith.” It was a time of learning to pray and believe beyond what we could not see. We did end up in a home to rent, but it was still not ideal for our family. It felt like a time of captivity rather than a blessing. My oldest daughter was taking it the hardest. Horses had been her life. But I whispered over her God’s promises and provision, with reminders of Him knowing our hearts desires. It was a rough four years. But finally, in the fifth year, the Lord provided a way for us to buy a home and not just any home but a home that would bless us back with our ranch lifestyle again.
Faith can be hard to explain. It has a dictionary definition; there are even verses about faith in the Bible. But faith is not just words. Faith is the actions we take by grounding our knowledge and security. We must believe that God has us no matter what the situation looks like. Faith is something as Christians we must practice daily, not just when times are hard or easy. Our hearts must be in a position that says, “God is still God, and no matter what, I trust in Him.”
I’m not sure where you are at in your faith journey if you’re at a time of testing or persevering or maybe standing rejoicing in the promises. But if you’re holding on to remembering His promises are true, you will find your faith confirming He still is holding you. And if you’re in a promise feeling like life’s getting too good, yes, God loves you this much. We should celebrate his faithfulness. But also, don’t get comfortable, He’s not finished yet. Life is meant to be lived by faith, and our love for God grows hand in hand with our faith. It’s in the day to day where our faith is put into action. Our faith becomes a direct response to our understanding of His unfailing faithfulness over our lives.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”Hebrews 1:11
Kendra Dee Carroll is an author, speaker, podcaster, devotional blogger, coach/mentor, ministry developer and a business strategist. Her family lives on a small horse ranch in Garden Valley, California where Kendra runs a horse ministry program. Kendra’s personality is met with energy and enthusiasm as she lives out serving, inspiring, creating and loving others through her love for God. Whether you read her book, listen to a podcast message or watch a crazy silly video she has on social media , you are inspired to be you, seen just as you are for who God made you. Find Kendra on all the social media platforms or listen to some inspiration on her podcast “Crossing the Road with Kendra Dee Carroll.” Connect and be inspired www.kendradeecarroll.com