I’ve figured out that the key to living the life God has called me to live is believing everything He has to say about me. It requires me to believe in his promises and to believe God is who God says He is. Sounds simplistic, but, when faced with serious and emotional challenges it’s not always the easiest thing to do.
There’s a difference between knowing something and believing it. We know what we’ve been taught, what we read, what we hear. We know a lot of facts and information. However, we believe in things that are a mystery to us. We don’t know and understand them fully.
Knowing God loves you and believing He loves you are two different things. The first informs, while the second transforms. Beliefs are transformative because they shape how we live and act.
My husband loves me. I know that because he tells me and he shows me through his actions. This helps me to believe in his love and act accordingly. I’m affectionate with him. I share my thoughts and hopes with him. Since I believe he loves me, I want to respond in kind. I’m compelled by my belief in his love. My belief, then, begins to transform our relationship.
In the same way, our relationship with God and, ultimately, how we live our lives is shaped by what we believe about God. Do we believe what God says, does, and has done? Do we believe He is who He says He is? If so, just as I act accordingly with my husband, we have to act accordingly with God and in life.
If we believe God is the one true God, acting accordingly means giving Him praise at all times because of His great works and His love. If we believe that He is merciful, we should seek His forgiveness often through confession. If we believe that He “knows the plans he has for us” (see Jeremiah 29:11), we should be confident that our path has already been paved in the direction of success and abundance. We should do all this and more if we believe.
But what happens when we don’t? What happens when we can’t get from knowing who God is to believing who He is? We must ask for a greater faith.
Think of faith as the bridge that spans the distance between knowing and believing. Faith stretches across doubt, despair, and the visible world and helps us believe when we’re inclined to do the opposite. And just like all bridges, faith needs to be built and maintained.
I implore you to tend to your bridges, my sisters. Surround yourself with the Word. Listen to Christian music that uplifts you. Speak to other Catholic women and support each other. Remember the last time it seemed hopeless and then remember that things got better, that your prayers were answered, that He delivered you. Go to Mass often. Receive the Eucharist. It is the very mortar that holds the bricks of our bridges together. Pray often. Mary is our mother, bringing our petitions to her Son. Whenever you feel doubt or fear creeping in, pray the Holy Rosary. Pray, confident in the answer to your prayers and in the victory that awaits you even if they aren’t answered in your time or place.
Ladies, we have a lot pulling on us daily: family, children, spouse, jobs, joblessness, illness, and so many responsibilities. Failure to tend to your bridge is dangerous. When you don’t, you risk falling into the sea of doubt it spans. If you don’t drown, swimming out of doubt is much more difficult than I can even express to you. The waters are rough because, in doubt, we are placing God at a distance.
Tend to your bridges, ladies. And if you don’t have one, spend some time building it up. After all, how can you step out on faith if it’s not there?