Sunday, September 4, 2011

Exercising Faith

Today we have a guest writer at Finding Joy...Bart!  He shared a really neat testimony at church today and I asked him to share it with you here:


I wanted to share my gratitude that I have an omniscient Heavenly Father – one who allows me to grow and exercise faith as I live my life on this earth. I also know I can learn from this example and become a father more like my father in heaven by allowing my own children to learn and grow through becoming more patient and understanding in my patriarchal role. I had this exact opportunity over the weekend and thankfully my wife was present to teach me yet another lesson in how to be a better parent.
On Saturday, Brennan and Jackson had a friend over to play. After a few minutes, I heard Jackson crying and arguing in their room where the three boys were playing together. I instantly reacted to one of my kids sounding the alarm by bolting toward the stairs, ready to defend my middle child. Jessie stopped me before I reached the first step and said “Just wait – he will come downstairs if he needs us.” I waited and after a few minutes, the boys seemed to have settled their issue without my assistance. Initially, I thought this simply saved me the time and frustration of dealing with three bickering kids. It wasn’t until Sunday morning that I realized the lesson that this situation held for me.
Sunday was fast and testimony at our church, which is something we do every first Sunday. It is a fantastic experience, and I have always grown in both my faith and testimony as I’ve fasted and shared my thoughts on these days. As we sat in church this past Sunday and listened to the testimonies, I felt prompted to share the experience I had on Saturday. As I sat thinking of why Jessie stopped me from going up to the boys room, as well as what the boys hopefully learned from being left to their own devices, it dawned on me that my kids weren’t the only one learning something.
For the past few years, work has been very challenging. I’ve considering giving up and trying to move back home to Baton Rouge several times. I miss family, good food and LSU sports a ton, and hard times at work just exacerbate and enhance my longing for those things I miss. I’ve prayed that Heavenly Father would provide a solution, and relying on my own limited knowledge, I’ve always felt that answer would be to return home. Being all knowing, Heavenly Father didn’t allow that to happen and instead allowed me to work through those emotions and learn to rely on faith. Things didn’t necessarily happen in my timeframe, but once I stopped assuming my solution was the best thing for my family, it became easier to put my trust and faith in the Lord. If Heavenly Father would have bailed me out to save me the struggle and the pain, I would have never grown and would have continued to expect the answers to life’s problems to always come easy. By requiring me to continue to pray and exercise my faith, Heavenly Father extended more love and support and helped me become a stronger man and better father. Through this experience I learned that it’s sometimes the lifeline that’s not extended that helps us the most in the long run.
I know it won’t be easy for me to let my children learn and grow. I’m positive I’ll die inside to see my boys struggle in life. I will always want to run to their aid the second I hear them cry. Knowing that my Heavenly Father is strong enough to allow me to struggle through life, to feel pain and despair and to learn from those times, gives me hope that I can become more like him as my boys grow into men. I just have to continually remind myself that it’s only through experiencing the heartache and despair that we can ever hope to fully appreciate and comprehend the joy that Heavenly Father wishes for us all.


2 Words to brighten my day:

LESAPEA MUSINGS said...

Thank you so much and God Bless.

Lisa x

Katie E. said...

Bart, thank you so much. Your testimony really hit home with me this morning after a conversation I had yesterday with A about where we will go next. We just have to give it to God and see what happens next. God Bless y'all! Hope your week goes well.