Independent Faith

In last week’s blog, Pure Boundaries, I touched on the importance of finding your own faith outside of your family’s beliefs. I feel like this was an essential subject to tackle this week because there might be people out there who are struggling with their faith and juggling being honorable while searching for themselves. There are so many subjects to dive into with this topic, but I’m going to keep it simple for this week.

I was raised to be a leader and independent. My parents have always taught me that I am the one who has to decide what I believe; they are just tools God has used to raise and teach me about Him and how the world works; but, ultimately, the choice is up to me whether or not I agree with them.

I love this philosophy because it’s given me the ability to independently search the Scriptures and learn whom my God is without my parents keeping me on a leash. I feel like I am my own person and that my thoughts matter! Of course, they give me their inputs and caution me if I am stepping over the line, but they always give me a choice.

The other day, I talked about this subject with my dad, and he showed me a video (below) about this doctor who was in the car with one of his six daughters. She was upset with him, so he asked her what was going on. In response, she told her father that she was mad at him because her friends were all invited to a party and didn’t invite her because they said it was a party Dr.Justin Coulson (her father) wouldn’t have approved of.

The conversation continued with him asking about what kind of things were going on at the party and ended with a question about whether they needed to rethink the rules. His daughter, almost 18, responded by saying that she didn’t like the rules, but she ended her statement with, “Right now, I don’t like the rules, but they’re good rules.”

I love this story because the father could’ve responded very differently. Instead, he gave his daughter a choice, and she chose to stick with the rules, no matter how upset she was about not going to that party at that moment.

My family is the same way. When I was going through a tough time and wished to live my own life outside the rules, my father said that I could, but I would have to move out since under his roof, the rules needed to be respected. I was free to live my own way, but at a price. My parents wouldn’t have supported my decision to move out, but they weren’t going to stop me since it was my choice.

In the end, I chose to stay and, boy, am I glad I did! After this decision, I grew closer to God and experienced things I never would’ve had I left; it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Out of all the things that have happened in my life, if someone asks me what moment has changed my life, I automatically think of that event. My life could be extremely different from what it is now, but because I didn’t follow my fleshly desires, I was blessed with a closer relationship with God and my parents!

I know that not all families are like this, and you might be getting discouraged reading this post because you wish you had a choice; so, let me tell you that you do have a choice! Ask God to guide you and show you where to go; if He gives you instructions, do them! Sometimes, we have to step outside the comfort zones of our family to learn who we are and who our Savior is! The road won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding in the end.

This advice goes for girls as much as guys! I understand that there are girls out there who don’t think they can live independently or move out without being married because of the ‘covering’ Scriptures in the Bible; so, next week, I will be writing a whole post about a woman’s role according to the Bible, what coverings look like today and also our incredible callings that are so much more than being homemakers and wives!

However, I will say this week is that Yeshua is our ultimate covering, and if He says something, then that is what we should do. Our parents were given to us to guide us and teach us God’s ways, but once we reached a certain age, we have to decide if we want to lead our own lives or allow God to guide us. We should always honor our parents, who will still be there upon our return, but God is the one we should be following and obeying.

We all need to learn who our God is and where we wish to see our lives advancing. I always write this, but I’m going to write it again: We should never make life-changing commitments, like marriage, until we know exactly who we are, both personally and spiritually! Until that moment, we aren’t ready to add someone else to the equation or even step into this crazy world because it’ll end up swallowing you whole.

My time in Africa could’ve been quite different if I wasn’t so sure of who I am or my standards. I still enjoyed myself without compromising my beliefs or conscience. I am surer of who I am today than ever before, which makes me excited for my next adventure! Life is scary, but it is also incredible! When we are in line with God’s Word and His Promises, we are an unbeatable force that cannot be moved!

Hardships will, of course, come with this journey, but we have the power to decide whether or not they break us. Don’t let yourself be broken down today; pick yourself back up and move on to the next thing. I know this won’t happen right away, but it all starts with a single thought. Deciding to get out of our rut is the first step in the right direction.

Depression can leave you. Stress can no longer give you headaches. Joy will replace sadness. Life will be made new! All it takes is you!

You have the power, with God’s Word and guidance, to change your life and circumstances. It’s not up to anyone else. No one else can make you truly happy except yourself (Thanks for teaching me this, Rachel Hollis). Even God can’t make you happy unless you let Him.

We all have questions; it’s a part of learning, so don’t be scared to ask them and be curious. When someone asks you a faith-based question, do you refer to what your family believes or what you believe? I think this is the perfect example of knowing whether or not you have your own faith or are just reciting your parent’s words.

Also, never let yourself be stuck in one mindset that you can’t see where someone else is coming from. There are many different kinds of people in this world, and they won’t all agree with your lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become friends and learn about their beliefs. Who knows, maybe they have something to share that will change your life forever!

Independence is a gift; use it! We are all born dependent, but we try to become as independent as possible in no time at all. Look at a baby taking his first steps or a teen learning to drive; these are both things we learn to become independent.

Of course, we will lean on each other for help, but it should never become a habit. I used to lean on one of my friends whenever something crazy happened in my life, but since parting ways, I have had to deal with my thoughts alone and decide for myself what I was going to do, and it’s made me grow more than I thought it would! Of course, there are still things I go to my friends about, but I’ve also learned to start by praying about it before turning to man for help.

Faith is a beautiful thing when it’s our own. Just because your parents believe a certain way doesn’t mean you will too! Take time to study it all for yourself and make your own assumptions. If we only live off what our parents are telling us or always asking them what we should do, are we really learning? Are we really living? How will we ever become our own person if we don’t own our thoughts?

Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

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