Unshakable Faith-8 Traits for Rock-Solid Living
May 14th, 2012 | By Kathy Howard | Category: Community, Recommended List
By Kathy Howard –
Women are usually prepared for everything from patching scraped knees to managing a huge work load to whipping up dinner at a moment’s notice. We keep ourselves and our families together and running smoothly. But is our faith prepared to withstand difficult circumstances and trials?
Unshakeable Faith, an 8-week Bible study for women, explores the life of Peter to help you build a rock-solid faith that is strong enough to weather the harshest storms of life. Here are a few highlights:
- Each week focuses on one “faith trait” found in Peter’s life and writings.
- Each week includes purposeful life examination and application.
- Each week introduces a real woman and her story of trial and faith
2 Excerpts from “Unshakeable Faith for Life: 8 Traits for Rock-Solid Living”:
Clinging to the Peace of God
How does a mom keep going when she knows she could lose her son any moment? Wende’s answer comes without hesitation. “I couldn’t have done this for five minutes without God.”
Ethan was diagnosed with an extremely rare condition when he was just ten years old. Arterio-venous Malformation (AVM), an abnormal formation of blood vessels in the brain, can cause seizures, hemorrhages, and strokes. Larger AVMs, like Ethan’s, results in progressive neurological deterioration. And a ruptured aneurysm is a daily possibility.
Wende smiles when she describes Ethan’s early childhood years. He was in the gifted program at school, could beat his dad at Chess, and loved to write and garden. Ethan was a beautiful and happy child with a contagious grin.
There was no hint of a problem until ten-year old Ethan’s hands started shaking. It took eight months and several doctors before they received the AVM diagnosis. Shortly after that Ethan suffered a stroke.
The stroke left Ethan with some physical challenges but it did not weaken his spirit or his faith in God. He never asked “Why me?” Instead Ethan firmly believed that God wanted to use his illness for a specific purpose.
Wende agrees completely. “I’ve seen God use Ethan to change people’s lives. They’ve caught his joy. He loved people just the way they are. The way he lived taught people not to get caught up in things that don’t really matter.”
But how did Ethan’s mom cope? Wende remembers a specific moment just days after the diagnosis. “I was washed by an overwhelming sense of God’s peace and I felt God whisper, ‘I’ve got this.’ And I believed Him.”
The Holy Spirit continued to pour peace into Wende’s life. “Those moments were a rest from all the things I had to deal with, so I could keep going.”
Wende experienced the Holy Spirit working in other ways as well. Joy when she was grieving. Strength when she felt weak. The constant awareness of God’s presence and love. And the physical support of God’s people.
After nine years of battling AVM, Ethan went home to heaven. Today, the day after Ethan’s memorial service – Wende is choosing to cling to the peace God continues to provide.
God Loves You and Wants You
Bill physically left Karen the day before their 25th wedding anniversary, but he had been in the process of leaving for a long time. He started to drift away about five years earlier. He pursued interests on his own, resented the demands of family life, and even denied the God he had once believed in. Karen did everything she could think of to draw her husband back, but all her attempts seemed to push him further away.
Karen felt like she had lost her husband long before Bill admitted he wanted out of their marriage. His long disengagement had made her feel ignored, devalued, and ugly. His final act of walking out the door told Karen she was unwanted and unlovable. “The one person who promised to love me forever said he didn’t anymore.”
Karen begged God to fix everything – to fix Bill, to fix their marriage, to fix her. Many times she poured out her anger and distress while meeting with God on the floor of her dark closet. But the divorce still happened. So Karen clung to God.
“God did not save my marriage, but He did save me. He faithfully cared for me. Like when His people showed up to serve me, listen to me, or sit with me while I cried. And when the money I needed was there, and the lawn was mowed, and the children were loved on.”
After three years and a lot of prayer, godly counsel, and Bible study, Karen knows she is dearly loved and wanted by God. “I was told that if I let Him, God would fill my every need as a single woman – my need to feel safe, secure, and loved. I did not fully believe that when I heard it, but God has certainly done it.”
Kathy Howard calls herself a “confused southerner.” Raised in Louisiana, she has moved with her engineer husband around the U.S. and Canada. She says “pop” instead of “Coke” and “you guys” as often as “ya’ll.” But those things are just superficial – she’s still a southern girl at heart! Kathy and her husband have three children, two son-in-laws, and one precious grandbaby. When the family gets together there are also four dogs in the mix.
Kathy helps women live an unshakeable faith through Bible teaching, writing, and speaking at women’s retreats and events. She encourages them to stand firm on our rock-solid God no matter the circumstances of life. Find out about her books and speaking ministry and get discipleship tools and leader helps at her website: www.kathyhoward.org.