My “Living the Faith” Testimony – as published on the Pittsburgh Alive! Diocese of Pittsburgh Young Adult Ministry website in February 2016.
“Am I Living the Faith?”
My sister Bridgette encouraged me to write my testimony of living the faith. And for almost one year I contemplated it. The main challenge to doing so was knowing the answer to this question: “Am I Living the Faith?”.
All my life I have gone to church, been a good person, and aimed to follow Jesus. I would like to think that I live the faith just fine. But Lent 2015 really challenged me. I committed myself to “Do Lent” fully. I read the daily readings, did a prayer/fast/almsgiving activity every day, attended daily mass as often as possible, watched the daily #ShareJesus video, and sat down each night to write up a blog post reflecting on the day. It was all-consuming. It was hard and exhausting. But it was worth it.
In those 40+ days God challenged me greatly to really reflect on how well I was indeed living my faith. He showed me that I could do so much more. He helped me grow spiritually. He has been wanting to work in me and thru me all of my life and it is me who has said, “Not now, God. I just can’t do that for you.” But the more I gave Him my “yes”, the more my life felt right. He calms the internal storm. He is the light in the darkness. It isn’t that I had set out to say “no” to God. It was just that I was my priority in life instead of Him. And I didn’t realize just how often I was saying “no” instead of “yes” until I started to say “yes” more.
But God is merciful. He is patient, kind, slow to anger, and full of compassion. He sees my failings and still loves me. He hears my “no” and gives me another opportunity to say “yes.” He waits for me. He knows me and knows I’m just a slow responder. He knows that my self-conscious, introverted self often gets in the way of doing what He calls me to do. Because in my best moments, I jump in with that ”yes” or I contemplate what it is He is calling me to do-see-hear-or-feel. But in my worst moments, I just live my life and forget to listen to what God is saying.
So am I living the faith? I say “Yes.” I may not get it right every time. I may forget to say “yes” to Him at times. But slowly and surely He is building me up and I am letting Him in more completely. He has nudged me and nudged me (and keeps nudging me), trying to get me out of the nest where I am comfortable living my personal journey of faith. He wants my personal journey but he also wants a communal one. And as I let Him and the Holy Spirit work in me more fully it is clear there is more He is calling me to do. I don’t know where God wants me to go, but as long as I continue to give Him my “yes,” I trust He will lead me to where it is He needs me to be.
So what does it mean to “Live the Faith”? It means to continue the journey towards God no matter how well or how poorly you think you’ve been doing it. Continue the journey through all your “yeses” and “nos” because God will always be there waiting for your next “yes.”