Last Saturday, August 4, 2018, I had the pleasure of speaking at an event held by Sisters Network Inc., Austin Affiliate Chapter. Sisters Network Inc. is an organization made up of African American women who are breast cancer survivors. They provide support and services for breast cancer survivors, women currently fighting breast cancer, and women who need breast cancer screenings.
They are an AMAZING group of women and I was very honored to speak at their Candice Scott Tea Brunch. The theme for this year was “Walking In Faith,” based on Jeremiah 29:11. The message God laid on my heart was Walking In Faith Through Your Exile.
We all have seasons in our lives where our circumstances suddenly shift–when something happens that makes us lose our bearings and turns our world completely upside down. For some it may be a cancer diagnosis, or perhaps you discovered infidelity in your marriage. Maybe it’s the loss of a job and your financial security or possibly the death of a child…a spouse…a parent…a friend.
Maybe you, like me, have found yourself looking up one day and asking, “whose life is this?!?!” because the normal, comfortable, steady life you were familiar with is gone…almost as if you have been kicked out or EXILED from your own life. The life you knew can now only be seen in the distance—you are in new, unfamiliar territory—you are walking through an exile.
How do we “walk in faith” when our circumstances have us broken, defeated and losing hope?
God gives us a clue in Jeremiah 29:5 when He tells His exiled people, “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.” (NRSV)
In essence God tells them to Build, Live, Plant, & Grow. They are to build community and put down roots in this new place. God tells them to keep living their lives–don’t become stagnant and paralyzed by despair because of what they’ve lost. This is a time for increase and growth, not decrease.
When tragedy or hard times strike our lives the enemy wants us to fall apart, but God calls us to keep living–one day at a time. And the only way the exiles were going to survive 70 years in Babylon was to walk through it together. They needed community…they needed one another to walk in faith. And so do WE!
We serve a good God, but He does allow us to walk through difficult things—He allows hurt to enter of lives—He allows us to be exiled. But our good God, uses those tragedies and those hurts for good—He brings us through our exile. And when we get to the other side we’re different. Our faith is stronger…we are stronger!
To hear the full message, please follow the link below. Blessings!