Amy is a Kentuckian who Laura met on the basketball court many years ago. Years later Laura worked at a university in Kentucky with Amy's husband, Justin. That is where she saw Amy's heart for the Lord.
The word “faith” has been a part of my world since I was nine months in the womb. I attended church even before I had seen a church. And amazingly, I attended the same church from −9 months until I was 34 years of age. Growing up in church gives you so many benefits and protects you from so many struggles. But growing up in church can have some negative aspects as well if you aren’t careful. If you don’t watch yourself, your faith can become just a part of who you are and one more thing you do during the week.
This became my faith, and I accepted Christ at the age of nine at a Vacation Bible School and began my path of spiritual growth. As I grew spiritually, though, I also became very controlled by the to-do’s of my faith and less concerned with my relationship with Christ. I began to be known throughout my middle school and high school years for the things I didn’t do instead of for the love of Christ pouring out of my life. Legalism became something I battled.
When I look back at the events in my life that changed and challenged my faith, in recent years I begin to reflect that I wasn’t aware of all that was happening at the moment. I think it was probably similar for many of the Heroes of the Faith listed in Hebrews 11. I wonder if people like Abraham, Sarah, Rahab, Moses, and Noah would know the significance of their faith during the moment? My faith has grown these past six years through numerous events and circumstances. The first would be when I experienced my miscarriage. For the first time in my life, I truly had a situation that was out of my control. I had to trust that God was using these events for a purpose. Looking back, I know that God was stretching my faith in ways that I had never been stretched before. To put my full dependence and reliance on Him was something that I had not done in a long time.
The next event that changed my faith was just over a year ago when God called my husband and I to leave our church home and plant a new church. Again, as I mentioned in my intro, I had known one church my entire life and now God was calling us to leave. We thought our dream had come true as Justin had become a member of the staff of the church we grew up in, but God has a funny way of changing our dreams to His. We left the comfort and familiarity of all we had ever known and left to birth a church from a high school auditorium. I will say that my faith has grown by leaps and bounds in this past year. We have had to face many battles and rely heavily on God. And that is what it is all about. God has been faithful and my faith has grown.
The Heroes of the Faith chapter ends with two amazing verses, “All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” When we read those verses, we sometimes feel sorry that the people in these chapters did not get the fulfillment of all of their labor, but we should be thankful because this allows us to be a part of the “By faith” story. We may not recognize them at the time, but God is always working to increase our faith. What will be your story line….by faith (insert your name here)?
Amy is the wife to Justin, pastor of Catalyst Church, a new church plant in Mayfield, KY. She is the mother of two amazing kiddos and the Principal of Community Christian Academy, a private K-12 school in Paducah, KY. Amy is also a fellow blogger at For Such a Time.