Tag Archives: stepping out in faith

The Boiling Point of Faith

It’s said the hardest part of a marathon is the last few miles — the time you are in the most pain, the most exhausted and the least motivated to finish. It takes an extra measure of self discipline and exercise of will to complete the monstrous trek, one of determination and a hate for surrender.

Because this moment of a race requires so much from those who run it, it becomes the boiling point of success, the most important time for those who seek success, the vital moment where growth is prepared to blossom.

As of today — December 10 — I can tell you that I’m very much in the boiling point, and it’s not at the beginning of the requirement of faith.

I know some who say the hardest part of the race is just getting to the starting line, but I disagree. The hardest part of a race for someone who doesn’t want to be there might be the start, but for someone who wants what winning will earn them, the boiling point is among those last few miles.

I left Colorado more than a month ago with no job and no place to live with a simple hope of a word I received from my God — San Francisco. I still don’t know why I traveled so far across the country, but I have a peace that there is purpose to every step I’ve taken.

More recently, I’ve struggled with my addiction trying to resurface, and like most addictions, it comes from a desire to control something in your life. I’m out here in the nether with no indication of purpose and part of me is screaming in terror against the continued patience faith requires. If I have the faith to travel across the country to a city I know nothing about to do something I know nothing about and live somewhere I know nothing about, then I need something more to make me grow.

Some might admire that I would pick up all I have to move with no assurance of where or how to land. That might be great faith to them. But I’m already there — I’m unafraid to go. But now God is taking me to the next level — now He’s making me wait. He’s putting me over the fire of patience and he’s watching my reaction.

Do I continue to depend on His promise to provide for all my needs? To lead me in his purposes? To rely upon Him more than my circumstances?

Faith is not a singular point for people to reach and stop. Faith is a lifestyle of growth. Once you reach one point, it’s not time to stop and say: “Hey, I made it. I’m good, now.” Faith is a relationship, and when do you reach a point in a good relationship and just stop? No. It continues to grow and develop.

My feet are in a fire, a very cold, still fire that makes me fidget. My cracks ache to open, to fill themselves in the same unhealthy ways that fueled my addiction for so many years. My whole being is reacting to this place of discomfort, this place without obvious security.

And yet, when you pause to realize the true nature of a relationship with your creator, you come to learn the true value and purpose of that relationship: to devoid you of a dependence on the temporary and create a love for the everlasting. Every day, I struggle to remind myself that 1) I work for God, even if I’m unemployed with a human company, 2) I depend upon God for my provisions, such as food, clothing and shelter, and 3) God lives in the moment, and that the most important time is right now with Him. This does not preclude planning for the future, but you keep the importance of God Now at the forefront.

Are you in a Boiling Point? Does you and your family need a better job with better pay? An illness to end? A difficulty to end? Struggle to cease?

It’s not easy, and God never promised to take it away from us, but He promised to be there with us, and, if we let him, He will grow us from the inside out. As we grow stronger, he will put us into more difficult situations, but remember that He gives these situations progressively to us, not all at once. Each time of hardship is on purpose, to grow us, develop us. We don’t even see it happening, but one day, years from now, we have someone look at us and say: “Wow, how did you get through all that? I didn’t think anyone could.”

That’s when you realize that faith isn’t just about growing you, it’s also about reaching others. God never wastes an opportunity and He never works with just one goal in mind. He grows his followers so that they may stand as examples for those they haven’t even met and may never know. We are His children, not because we had it easy, but because we are examples of victory through difficulty.

Don’t give up. This will be clear later, but as most things in life, this is the time for learning and growing. When the time is right, you will see and know where you have been, and the people you love will benefit the more from it.

And one more note on boiling faith — it’s a deal like boiling water. In order to purify it, it takes great temperature and clears all out the harmful stuff from inside, distills it and makes it potable, in so many ways. Boiling is a necessary part of purifying and improving water quality. Think of it as the Water of Life, and as such, your faith must endure the same to be as pure.

The Road to San Francisco

To say this has been an adventure would be an understatement. Here’s the DL on my LD.

So I was chillin out at my sistah’s hizzouse back in ol’ Wartown when the big man says: Yo, CJ, wassup? It’s time ¬†… ta go.

No, but really. I was living with my best friend Mandy this past summer. After a summer of no work, several jobs began coming my way. I signed up to go do some work at the Air Force Reserve Command, then the 908th in Montgomery, then headed up to support the 22nd Air Force for their Senior Leaders Conference and change of command. I had so much fun and it was great emceeing the event.

After that I  returned to the 908th Airlift Wing, and then headed back to the 22nd AF.

Upon finishing there, I headed to act as EET at the ORE in Gulfport, MS. Then, despite all my previously planned work falling out because of budget constraints, I headed out to Aurora, CO, to pull some annual requirements with my home unit. After three weeks there (and five to six repair bills to keep my Jeep afloat), I was trying to figure what i wanted to do next.

A few days before leaving, I felt God was telling me to go to San Francisco, and what seemed to be signs felt overwhelming. So, taking a leap of faith, I decided to head West. I headed north, first, to Cheyenne, WY, to visit some old friends I knew from Monterey, CA.

I then struck out on a Monday morning and three hours later I broke down. I had my vehicle towed back to Rawlins, WY, where I traded my dear Stacy in. I was tired of having to fix her, and as I had recently begun cataloging all of my receipts, in retrospect, I wasted a great deal of money on keeping her alive. I loved her, but she was a poor investment.

So now I have a new 04 Chrysler Pacifica. She was the fully loaded model, so I have leather seats, 6-disc CD/DVD changer (I know, so totally old school, yayah), and butt-heat! What’s very nice, though, is that she’s an automatic 6-cylinder, and it’s nice for traveling. At least when the fuel pump doesn’t die on you, which it did.

So I left Rawlins before the day was over and before the dealership could even fix my new vehicle (as she had been a trade-in very recently and they hadn’t even gotten to her), but she was the best of my three available options. I left the dealership and went to Rock City, where the dealership prepurchased some new tires for the vehicle. The next day, after my new tires were put on and I got a speeding ticket in Nevada (after getting through Utah, which wasn’t very exciting, even when I saw the little tiptop of the Mormon temple place from a distance). He was kind enough to let me off with only 5 mph over, as opposed to the 12 mph over I had been driving.

So then I continued on my way and my vehicle died. I got towed to Fallon, NV. I spent two nights there for them to fix it and I did some homework ahead of time. The nearby cafe was nice, though. Great food, I must say. Then when she was fixed, I hit the road and drove on through Tahoe National Forest through some gorgeous mountains and ended up at Travis Air Force Base in Vacaville, CA. After getting Elaine (my new vehicle) fixed, I’ve been closing out my travel voucher, loan paperwork, finishing up this class for this block and preparing to go home to mail myself my voice work equipment and otherwise get my stuff out here.

In other words, it appears my life is closing a chapter. My IMA traveling days might be over as I start seeking full-time civilian employment. I feel at peace as I work to stay in God’s Will, and I trust God will provide for me as I need.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, actually. God has directed my path for years, and each time I step out in faith, God shows his hand more and more.

So, as I write this, I’m in Vacaville, but I head to Monterey tomorrow. I’ll spend a week there, and then I’m flying to Georgia for a week. Coming back after will be that chapter closing, and I look forward to it.

So, we’ll see what the days ahead have in store for me. :)