How Big Do You Love Me?

Like many families, the kids and I have a game we’ve played for years. It’s called “How Big Do You Love Me?” and the way it’s played is we try to outdo one another with descriptions of how big our love is for each other. For example I would say, “I love you as big as a rainbow” and one of the kids would say, “I love you as big as a mountain” and so on and so forth. I think the most creative example of Olivia’s love for me at the age of two was when she responded, “I love you as big as the tallest tree with the biggest elephant sitting on top of it.”

Through the years, a similar game has presented itself in my life. This one I call, “How Big Is My Faith?” I’ve encountered this game many a time and have found it more challenging than the one I just described. This game has pushed me to the next level during my dad’s illness and ultimately his painful death, during the trials and tribulations of relationships, when close friends have chosen a path separate from the one we were so blissfully traveling on hand in hand, and even when life has presented me with the difficult choice of stepping back and allowing a loved one to find his way without my constant guidance. It has also presented itself for my family and I when we’ve had to take a leap of faith in a move to what is undoubtedly the equivalent of a foreign country with unfamiliar customs.

However, the real test of “How Big Is My Faith?” came in the form of “The Ultimate Challenge” round. Maintain your faith while giving up everything familiar to you, including a church you called home not only on Sundays, a rector whose sermons stayed with you from week to week, and a family who might not have been related by blood but who came together in happiness, sorrow and everything in between. Your assignment should you choose to accept it is to walk away from that and enter a realm of the unknown, find a new church, a new inspiration, a new way of spiritual satisfaction. Not easy, but that’s why they call it “The Ultimate Challenge” and why if you complete it the satisfaction is greater than anything you could ever imagine. I set out to finish the game, beat the boss, complete the challenge and found many an obstacle in my way.

What I learned through it all is that my faith is bigger than a church and bigger than a sermon, but not bigger than God. I have had more time for reflection and have found inspiration within myself and in places I never dreamed of looking when I was sitting back and letting others feed my soul. I finally embraced my passion for writing and it has become an outlet for me in so many ways. It has fed my soul in ways I could never imagine when I was comfortably contained within my comfort zone. I am walking through life with my eyes more open than they have ever been, and allowing life’s smallest of details to inspire me. When I sit down in front of my computer, and let my fingers travel over my keyboard taking on a life of their own I know I’m feeding my soul and possibly others in the process. I know God is smiling down on me. And, as for “How Big Is My Faith?” well let’s just say it’s definitely as big as “the tallest tree with the biggest elephant sitting on top of it.”

For my friends whose life circumstances have left you feeling tired, like life has beat you down. For those of you who feel like your faith is not as strong as it once was and may question it and even God. We’ve all been there, but don’t be afraid to look around you, to dig down deep. Be open to new churches, new friends, new ways to inspire yourself and feed your soul. And know that as long as God is present in your heart, he will always be present in your soul.

One of my favorite Christian songs is by an artist named Nicole Nordeman. She wrote it for a close friend of hers who was in a place in his life where his faith was lacking or maybe even nonexistent. I leave you with her lyrics and video.

What if you’re right?
And he was just another nice guy
What if you’re right?
What if it’s true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it’s true?

What if he takes his place in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
What then?

But what if you’re wrong?
What if there’s more?
What if there’s hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?

What if you dig
Way down deeper than your simple-minded friends
What if you dig?
What if you find
A thousand more unanswered questions down inside
That’s all you find?

What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more
Than folklore that must be told and retold?

You’ve been running as fast as you can
You’ve been looking for a place you can land for so long

But what if you’re wrong?

What if there’s more?

What if there’s hope you never dreamed of hoping for?

What if you jump?

And just close your eyes?

What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?

What if He’s more than enough?

What if it’s love?

project-optimism-e1359093852552

If you’re interested in spreading A TON OF HOPE, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Write about something that makes you feel optimistic.
  2. Post MONDAYS. Start the week off with a positive outlook.
  3. Grab a badge by going to your dashboard and clicking the IMAGE widget. Adjust pic size 200h x 200w. The image URL: (http://keepingitrealmom.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/project-optimism.jpg)
  4. Link over here and invite blogger friends to join in.
  5. Encourage the person who linked up before you. Kindness is contagious!

24 thoughts on “How Big Do You Love Me?

  1. Pingback: Ten Things Of Thankful « Little Miss Wordy

  2. The fact that work wrestled me and won yesterday meant that I had to read your post today. Today, I NEEDED this post and those song lyrics. And that’s why, I think, I was meant to read them TODAY. Faith and inspiration work in mysterious ways; moving to unfamiliar place was definitely a difficult test, but look what amazing things you’re making of it!! And seriously, WHERE IS THE BOOK?! 🙂

    • I’m sorry work wrestled you, and even more that it won! I’m definitely glad you found something you needed to read in my post, and at just the right time.

      If only publishing a book could be as quick as publishing a post on this blog! 😉

  3. Yes, our faith is always being tested. I hold on to the verse in Matthew 13:31- “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

    Even though there are days I feel like I’m not progressing in my faith, I know that It’s in the smallest things that we see God’s love manifest and unfold. In my experience, it requires just a little faith for Him to come through in a BIG WAY! Love that song by Nicole Nordeman too! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Project Optimism: Game Face | Mom's-Eye View

  5. You did a wonderful job here. This is the type of reflection we all need to do from time to time. While God, or in my preferred reference-the Creator, I believe he/she/it gave me the power to believe in myself although it is difficult at times.

    Placing too much faith in anything can be dangerous as illustrated by the old story as follows:

    A major storm arrived and everyone was asked to leave their homes due to flooding. A fire truck came down the street and found a man sitting on his front porch. The firefighters said, “Get in the truck we’re here to rescue you”, and the man said “God will save me.”

    The water rose and the man was now sitting in the window of his second floor and the fire department came by in a boat and said “Get in the boat, we’re here to rescue you”, and the man said, “God will save me.”

    Several hours later, the man is on the roof of his house and a helicopter comes down and says, “We’re here to rescue you,get in the basket”, and the Man says, “God will save me.”

    The man drowned. He was at the pearly gates and God met him and he said, “I had faith in you and you didn’t save me. You let me drown.”

    Whereupon God replied, “I sent a firetruck, boat and helicopter, what more did you want from me?”

    Sometimes we need to put our faith in what we see and feel rather than what we expect.

    I believe, the Creator/God has given each of us an inner spirit. This powerful but usually silent presence can do wonders for us if we pay attention. It looks to me like you were listening.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to write a sermon. I hope you take it with the good intentions with which it was intended.

    Again, good job of listening to your inner spirit.

    Nelson

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