God's promises are real and yet many of us don't know many of them. Recently my husband and I confronted some hard truths about our faith and our need to be intimately familiar with the promises of God. We are taking another leap of faith and transferring our children out of Prince George's Public School system to a Christian school of our prayers and desires. It's a leap, jump, skip, and run of faith because our income does not support private school education for one child let alone three children. But when your backs are up against a wall and that wall is exposing your children to ideas, behaviors, and attitudes that go completely against what you are trying to teach them you start praying and leaping in tandem!
Photo Credit: Kenric A. Prescott (July 2015)
We had no plan for our sons at 6 years old to witness some of the indecent language and behaviors that they did while on the school bus this past year. Nor, did we not plan for our 13 year old daughter to bear witness to some of the immoral behaviors that she witnessed throughout her 7th grade year. Prior to moving to Prince George's County, MD we saw no significant reason to enroll our children into private Christian education. The school our children went to in CT was phenomenal. It encouraged emotional, social, and academic brilliance and its core values, educators and administrators contributed to a healthy school environment that complimented their spiritual growth outside of the classroom.
My husband and I are extremely grateful because our children did not conceal the unhealthy experiences they were having on the bus and in/out of the classroom this past year. Our family would discuss these experiences, cover each of the instances and our children in prayer, reaffirm and reapply God's word, that in addition to reporting the incidents was all that we thought we could do. The individual school administrators could only do so much too - none of the problems were completely solved. Each administrator we spoke with did their best within a system that is confined to specific regulations and procedures. In our opinion public school systems (notice I did not say individual teachers & administrators) in our country contributes to mass incarceration. But that is truly a different post for another day. However if you want to learn more about the school to prison pipeline you can simply google "school to prison pipeline" or "mass incarceration of Black & Brown people".
Today, I want to focus on what to do after you take a leap, go for the run, and jump in faith. You keep running, jumping, and leaping in faith. There is no one time fix concerning faith. We literally have to keep walking on water with our eyes fixed on Jesus The Christ like Peter did.
Our family is excited and we are continuing to work through our nerves and doubts and fears (just like Peter did) about being able to purchase uniforms and pay for the balance of their tuition after receiving over $5000 in need based scholarships and financial aid!
But here is the real deal. We have all these ideas on how to raise the money (crowdfunding, bake sales, roller skating parties, concerts etc...) but God has said wait a minute. Wait?! Really, God you expect us to wait around while each day passes by and we get closer and closer to the first day of school!? What kind of ridiculousness is this? It's faith! Faith can be radical, ridiculous, raucous, rambunctious, and ratchet (i had to add in my favorite word somehow). Ratchet faith is the kind of faith that makes very little sense to any of us because you might have the means (your hands, creativity and support to help) but the Lord says "Nah, I got you" or the Lord stays quiet or the Lord says "That's not my way."
So we're waiting to see what Jehovah Jireh (God the Provider) is stirring up!
While we wait we are getting really intimate with God's Promises found in the bible. I'm listing a few below because I have a feeling that you too are on a Ratchet Faith walk and we need all the encouragement and reminders we can get!
EXODUS 14:14 NIV "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
ISAIAH 40:29 NIV "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."
ISAIAH 41:10 NIV "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
ISAIAH 41:13 NIV "For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."
1 JOHN 1:9 NIV "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
DEUTERONOMY 31:8 NIV "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
It #TakesCourage to have faith in God and to have faith that God is securing every detail of your life! Today, I encourage to dig deeper and go beyond what you were taught about faith and experience it for yourself. Don't take your parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, deacons, or pastor's word for it - allow yourself to make it personal this time!
What item, issue, concern, and/or need do you have that you can feed with faith instead of fear? Student loans apply faith. Aging parents dealing with chronic illness apply faith. Under employment apply faith. Faith is a key that squashes doubt. Jesus told the woman with the issue of blood that her faith healed her! Faith is a powerful tool and there is nothing cute about it. If we don't know God's promises it is almost impossible to trust & obey God for the Promised Lands that He has already established in His word! We need to get ugly and ratchet with our faith just so we can starve our doubts and fears!
I leave you with a few thoughts about Ratchet Faith
Face the problem - don't retreat from it anymore!
Confess our fear to the Lord about the problem and how it will be solved!
Read, confess, and get really familiar with God's promises out loud because "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God"