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Faith Like a Child {Guest Post}

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I have a question for you.  It’s one that I want you to really consider.  What do you think life would be like if we had the boldness to approach our faith like a child?

I am excited to expand the discussion on such a question with Kelly who blogs over at I Am Kelly.  She graciously agreed to be The Imperfect Vessel’s first guest blogger and I am so honored to have her share her testimony with us.A little about Kelly…

I’m Kelly. Wife to Caleb, and mother of Milo the cat. You can find me in Pennsylvania, taking amateur photos with my trusty iPhone, drinking peppermint tea in my cozy apartment, and watching all things Nora Ephron & Wes Anderson. I am an adventurer of new places and foods, and hope to use my degree to share the love of Jesus with children around the world. 

My thoughts // My life in photographs //
Random tweets on food, marriage & failed exercise classes

Okay, on to the good stuff…

I love my testimony; I love its power, the significance it has in my life, and the impact is has had on my relationship with God.My parents met while they were in college, and split up shortly after I was born. Because of tensions between them, my dad moved to Florida, leaving my mom and I behind in Illinois. My grandparents took us in, and my grandfather became the strongest father figure in my life. Nonetheless, something was missing.

It seemed like everyone had a dad but me, and I desperately wanted to be apart of what I considered a complete family unit.

My mom told me that if I brought my requests to God, He would answer them, so that’s what I did- specifically praying for both a father and a little sister.

As a five-year-old child, I didn’t question the idea of prayer, or the existence of a Higher Being.

To me, God was loving and good, and for one year I prayed small prayers at my bedside as my faith unknowingly began to grow.

During this time, my family frantically tried to track down my dad. No one knew whether he was dead or alive, if he had a new family, or if he even wanted to reconnect with me. My grandfather was the one who discovered his whereabouts, and sent him a letter telling him that I needed my daddy.

One day, I came home from school and my mom met me on the front porch with a letter from none other than my dad. In his letter he told me he loved me, and was sorry for being absent in my life. He gave me glimpses of his life through stories of his cat named PeeWee and his job making electronic wafers…a concept I still don’t understand.

And so, our relationship began. We started writing letters, which quickly turned into emails. Emails turned into shy phone calls. And soon, he was visiting for Thanksgiving. My dad also committed his life to the Lord, and began courting my mother. They got married when I was seven years old, and a year later, my sister Sophie was born. God did a tremendous work in my family, and I was able to witness the power of God at a very young age.

A few years ago, my dad joined the Army National Guard, and was deployed to Afghanistan.
My mom was distressed – one whole year without my father seemed unbearable. But life went on – I finished another semester of school and made plans to travel to South Korea for the summer, and my extended family finally met the boy that I couldn’t stop talking about. We connected with my dad through choppy Skype calls, letters, and care packages with chocolate chip cookies. Fortunately for us, the year was cut short. Unfortunately for my dad, this was due to a back injury, and was most likely going to be discharged from the military and placed on disability. My parents came to visit me at school, we went out to lunch where I told them stories about my teaching adventures in South Korea, and our family was once again complete.So what does this five-year-old-turned-twenty-two-year-old girl do when her father leaves his family without warning?  My dad was unresponsive to texts and calls, had erased himself from all social media, and essentially fell off the face of the earth. My mom once again became a single parent; taking care of my sister, the home, and paying the bills.

I felt abandoned, and powerless to help my family. I was away at school, but all I wanted to do was jump on a bus and go home.

I felt like this beautiful testimony had lost its significance and its power to change hearts, because what was so perfect had fallen apart all at once. I was angry, depressed, and unable to focus on personal relationships, being an RA, and doing well in my classes. I had so many responsibilities, but no motivation to even get out of bed.

But through it all, God was there.

I came back time and time again to Psalm 27:10, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close,” and Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” When I felt the most alone, I was reminded that God would never leave me nor forsake me. And when I began to lose hope, God gently reminded me of His constant faithfulness.

About three months after he left, my dad called on Christmas morning, and we slowly began to rebuild trust. I began to pray that God would not only help me forgive and love him unconditionally, but more importantly, to respect him.

We learned that he was required to stay on the military base until they finished his physical evaluations, and determined his eligibility for disability. This became a yearlong process, and he was just released a few months ago.

Throughout this time, God once again did a miraculous work on my family. What I thought had ruined my testimony instead strengthened it. My dad is a new man, and I have seen great changes in him as both a husband and a father.

I have to be honest and say that this was not the easiest story for me to write. I have always been one to stray as far away from conflict as I can. I loathe confrontation, and would much rather bottle my emotions up in a hypothetical mason jar, than release them and all the intense fury that is so deeply attached. I don’t like to admit when things aren’t going well, and I’d much rather pretend to be happy all the time than openly express what’s on my heart.That being said, as soon as I emailed Bree about guest posting, a tiny knot began to form in my stomach, and every time I tried to write out my story, I felt like it was insincere. I love writing…so why was I having such a hard time expressing my own personal experience?

What I realized is that this deep dark valley exposed the truth that my dad, and yes, even me, are imperfect vessels. My family is far from perfect. And while I so often unknowingly took credit for my testimony… “I was the one who prayed big five year-old prayers…” over the years I had lost focus on the One who was truly responsible. I wanted others to think that I played a huge part in uniting my family, when in reality, God was the only One who brought them together in the first place.

I also tend to compare my trials to other people.  I think to myself, this is not as bad as “so-and-so’s” problems, so why am I so upset?

Whatever you are going through today (big or small), remember that God is with you. Though you may feel like you are walking through the fire, He will bring you out of the flames unscathed. You are precious and honored in His sight, and He will never forsake you. Take solace in the fact that God is always faithful, and while this season that you are in may seem like a never-ending desert, He is bringing you to a place of deep strength and renewal.

I am so grateful for Kelly’s boldness and willingness to share her testimony with us today!  There is such power in the recognition that it is through Christ that we are made perfect, that it is nothing that we can accomplish ourselves.  If we simply have faith like a child, we will receive greatness.

Remember that question up top? What’s your answer?

What would life be like if you had the boldness

to approach your faith like a child?

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  1. Good evening!

    I commend Kelly for sharing her story as it has reminded me that in all things, we are more than conquerors.
    I too have had my valley experiences (not only with my father’s alcoholism, but with clinical depression) and though I was tried in the fire, I am most grateful that I came out pure gold. What was meant to harm me made me stronger.

    God’s promises are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ and for that, I am eternally grateful. This post has reconfirmed what I always say, “Every person we come in contact with is battling something!” God expects us to help them to make it through this thing called life because it is not easy.

    Awesome job, Kelly! Thank you Bree!


    1. Hi Yulunda! Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to respond to Kelly’s post. I’m glad to know that you were blessed by what she shared! Hope you’ll stop by her blog and visit The Imperfect Vessel again soon!

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