Chapter Eight: The Kind Of Faith I Don't Actually Have
I was driving around listening to music with my daughter on a cold night last January. She was eighteen and excited about moving out the next month. Too early, in my view, but she wasn’t in the mode of taking direct advice, so I was looking for ways to give her indirect advice.
We drove through the parking lot of a new shopping center near our house. It was home to the yoga studio I attend, the nail salon I go to, and the retail space that got me started on this whole dreamy thing. The space I daydreamed about months earlier wasn’t available, but the salon idea was still in my head. All of the businesses in this shopping center were thriving and there was a new building that was about to have windows installed.
It’s the windows that got me. Floor to ceiling, twelve feet high. I could see myself walking around in there with the plants and the sunlight. And it hurt a little. It hurt because there’s no way I could get in there. People who can get opportunities like this either have great credit, a chunk of money to put down, or a benefactor to help them out. I had none of these things.
I was about to drive away when my husband’s face popped in my head. I thought of him… the way he looks at me sometimes, I don’t know if I can describe it, but it’s this look of raw, unguarded love… and I smiled at the absolute certainty that he would get this for me if he could. He wouldn’t even care if I would be successful or not. He would get it for me because he loved me.
And then the voice of God… “I have used him, over and over, to show you what unconditional love was. He is my proxy. I would get this for you.”
It’s true. I’ve known that God was teaching me about love through my husband for a long time now. He’s enduring, patient, selfless... I’ve doubted him, I’ve accused him, I’ve made him cry, and he’s never backed away from me. He’s all in with me, and it took a while to trust, but I know he’s as rock solid as anyone can be. As certain as I am of my husband’s love for me, God is saying that it’s just a shadow of His love for me.
It felt like God was challenging me to believe I could have this opportunity. I thought of trying to reach something that high and my doubt kicked in. It was too big. I realize this is an oxymoron, but it was not a safe risk. Not at all.
His voice again, “You don’t have the faith?”
It’s a clear challenge. It’s someone asking you to trust them enough to jump from heights that could maim you. This is definitely a point where I had to peel back the layers of faith to see what my faith was in. His messages were lining up:
Matthew 25: “multiply what you’ve been given”, “don’t play it safe”
Isaiah 54: “spread out”, ‘think big”, “don’t hold back”, “you won’t be embarrassed”, “you won’t come up short”.
This territory was past the point of faith I actually have. I think this is the precipice of something “other”.
I drove out of the parking lot and told my daughter that I was going to try to get that space. It was, in my own power, impossible. So, I made sure to tell her that if it happened, that it was God who did it.
The stage was set. Here we go.