My story is a story of love and hard work. It is a story of a life filled with passionate service. It is a story of passionate faith lost in the demands of life. It is about hopelessness and depression. It is about fear and loss. It is a story of Christ and His persistent guidance. It is about forgiveness and new faith. It is about an ordinary woman finding purpose and fulfillment.
I was one of seven born and raised farmhands. We all worked hard on our tobacco farm, in East Tennessee. My Daddy most of all. He worked a full-time job and a full-time farm.
He did not live a passionate life of faith during my early years, we did go to church, but mostly we just worked hard. It was a simple, hard, and good life.
Something change in my Dad’s heart when I was 15. He began to passionately live out his faith. I watched him leave his farm and everything he knew to follow God. He did not know it was the end of his life. He did not know he only had two years, but God did. God called him out to serve and my Dad answered the call.
He could have died in the tobacco patch. Instead, God gave him the gift of service. He died while loading missionary supplies for the Philippines. If you go to the Philippines today you will find a building named the Rudy Walters distribution center.
I wish I could say I followed his lead and lived a passionate life of service.
I began my adult life with high and lofty dreams. I dreamed of service. Of living only from what God provided and reaching numerous people, in His name.
Then real life set in. It was not as bold or daring as I had hoped. It was much harder. It was not as exciting as the dreams I created in my thoughts. Life with a husband and babies just was not as fulfilling as reaching people with the message of Christ, or helping the poor.
Slowly I let go of my passionate faith. It was easier to resign my faith than to believe it was not being used.
I began to walk through the throes of everyday life. I struggled with depression and hopelessness. Battled money problems, weight gain, family members using drugs, and disorderly children. I felt like life was too much. It was just too hard. Where was the purpose and meaning that was supposed to come with serving Christ. Being and adult was more difficult than I had ever imagined.
The passionate faith I had known dwindled in my life as I struggled to know was God there? Did He even care about me and my problems?
I continued to follow Christ. I could not get away from Him. I kept the burning in my soul stifled with the needs and problems of real life. I quietly sat back and submitted to life. I dared not dream for fear of rejection.
God did not give up. He was with me all the time. He was with me on that spiritual seesaw as I learned to look to him for everything. He was there as I learned to quite myself, in his silence, in the center of my tantrums. He held me in my hopelessness as I fought depressive tendencies. He showed me my heart so that I could know I needed Him.
He calmly taught me to rest in Him. It was in this learned rest that my heart began to believe. My faith grew and flourished in that place of resting. I began to realize that Jesus was enough. He was enough for life. He was enough to get excited about, he was enough for life.
That is what I want you to experience. That Jesus Christ is enough for life. That you can believe Him and rest your mind with Him, and in that resting you can find a passionate faith that is worth living out every day, A faith that is good enough for real ordinary life.
Question: What is your dream? What would you do today if nothing stood in your way?