What the Fruit? The Fruits of the Spirit – Part 7

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

-Galatians 5:22-23 NLT


These last few months, I’ve learned a lot about faith. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my ups and downs with my beliefs. At times, I have felt so certain of God and secure in my understanding of Him; at other times, my doubts and confusion have grown to the point of nearly swallowing me. There have been points in my life where I almost gave up on God and decided that He wasn’t real. But there have also been great times in my life where I’ve felt God’s presence in unmistakable ways. My spiritual journey reached a major turning point about eight months ago, when my husband and I finally found a church that we felt was right for us in our new city.

Since we’ve been a part of Passion Life Church, we’ve learned some amazing things about God. I’ve found mentors who have helped me through some of my struggles in faith. I’ve found friends who encourage me and pray with and for me. Because of this community, or more accurately, because of what God is doing through this community, I am the strongest I have ever been, faith-wise. Yet the biggest growth of all has been within the last few months and weeks, after experiencing the tragedy of miscarriage. My faith was tested almost to the breaking point when that happened. I thank God that I have been blessed with a faith-filled church family, who helped me to work through the pain and actually learn to trust God more because of it.

Now that I’m ready to get back to writing more regularly, I want to finish my series on the fruit of the spirit. The seventh fruit, faithfulness, just so happens to be one thing I’ve learned a lot about recently and I am eager to share my thoughts.

To be faithful means to be loyal, constant, and steadfast, or to have a strong belief in something or someone. As a fruit of the spirit, it means that as we walk through our lives with God, his Holy Spirit develops greater and greater faith in us. We start off as spiritual babies, believing Him for our salvation but perhaps not much else. As we grow, we discover that we can trust in God for many other things. We may become more attuned to the Holy Spirit and aware of the spiritual warfare going on around us. Then, we can learn to fight using our faith.

My biggest struggle after losing my baby was this question: Why would I trust God, or have faith in him, if he lets bad things like this happen? If this was his will, then how could he really be a good God? People would say things like “God must have known there was something wrong with the baby, so it was really a blessing in disguise that he didn’t give you a sick child.” I found that so ridiculous, because that’s just replacing one bad thing with another. Instead of being sad about having a miscarriage, I was supposed to be relieved about my baby being sick in the first place? That didn’t make sense to me. The most confusing part was the idea that God somehow wanted me to have a miscarriage. How could a good God do that? Why not just keep me from becoming pregnant in the first place?

My breakthrough came when I realized that it wasn’t God’s will. It definitely was the enemy’s will, though. And unfortunately, he won that battle. It seems a little short-sighted to me, seeing as my baby is now in Heaven and well out of his reach, but I guess he was just happy to make me and Cory so sad for a while. What he didn’t realize was that we’d come back stronger, ready to fight. Now that we understand things a little better, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Being faithful means that I am loyal to God and his will. I read his word and go to church so that I can learn more about his character and his will for my life. I fight against my own thoughts and ideas that I realize are contrary to God. I gently but firmly assert that the truth is the truth; that God’s character is love, that what the Bible says is reality, and that Jesus is the only way to God. Sometimes, people don’t like to hear those things, and in those cases, I back off but never back down from what I believe. I am loyal to God, and I’m determined to keep it that way.

Being faithful also means that I’m constant and steadfast. I believe that we are in a spiritual war, with the enemy constantly trying to “steal, kill, and destroy” as the Bible says in John 10:10. If I’m not vigilant in the fight, then he has more opportunities to get his way. But when I’m steadfast in my beliefs and constant in proclaiming God’s power and promises over myself and my family, then I win, because God wins. Cory and I have what are called “confessions” that we read each day. They’re not the Catholic kind of confessions, though, in which we confess our sins. Instead, they’re basically promises from the Bible and other things that we believe God wants for us. It goes something like this… “God, we know that you are our healer. In your name, we declare that we have healthy bodies and minds.” We have confessions for every area of our lives, from financial provision to health to our desire to have children. For each confession, we have a Bible verse to back it up and confirm that it is indeed God’s will. While at first I thought the idea of reading these confessions was strange, I soon realized that they have power. Romans 10:10 says “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” I believe that this verse is about more than just salvation; the Bible is full of amazing promises to us, and we grab ahold of them when we believe and confess them.

Finally, being faithful simply means that we believe. It means that we trust in God. The fact of the matter is that I will never fully understand him, but I can fully trust that he is good, that he loves me, and that ultimately, I am going to Heaven. Even though I am loyal to God, constant in the fight for his will, and believe that God himself is faithful to his promises, there still will be times when things don’t go the way I hope they will. Sometimes, God heals people slowly or through medical intervention rather than through an instant miracle. And sometimes, no matter how much faith I think I have, the devil still wins battles. It would be easy for me to lose faith in these situations. Instead of giving up on God or his promises, though, I can use my final piece of the faith puzzle and continue to trust him. Just because I miscarried once, doesn’t mean it will happen again. I trust God and I believe that it won’t.

One of my most treasured Bible verses that I rely on for having faith is in Matthew 9:29, when Jesus says “According to your faith let it be done to you.” God meets us where our faith is. If we trust him to save our souls, he will. If we trust him to provide for us, he will. If he trust him to heal us, he will. If we trust him to give us children, he will. As I continue walking with God, I believe that the Holy Spirit will continue to produce the fruit of faithfulness in me, and I’m beyond excited to see where that faith takes me.


“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

-Hebrews 10:23

She’s Alive!

I’m back! Obviously, it’s been a while since my last post. Getting through something in life as emotionally painful as a miscarriage is not easy or quick. And although I’m ready to share my recovery process with my readers, I also want to be clear that I’m not “over it.” Losing a child, no matter how early in a pregnancy, is not something to get over. I will never forget Sam. At the same time, though, I’m ready to move forward with my life. I can confidently say that I’m okay now.

It wasn’t a straight path, getting to “okay.” When we first got the news that we’d lost the baby, my immediate reaction was disbelief and shock. There was a lot of sadness, too. But after a few hours, I started to feel like I was alright. I felt oddly peaceful about the whole thing, and though I was still sad, I didn’t feel like it was swallowing me up. That didn’t last long; the next day I really began to feel a deep sense of grief.

For about two weeks, I went to a dark place. I felt hopeless. For all I knew, I would never have children. Even though I knew that miscarriages are sadly common, I also couldn’t help but think that it was a possibility that I would never be able to carry a baby to full term. And I wanted a baby more than anything else. If I didn’t have that, then what was the point of anything? I felt depressed, and I didn’t want to talk to or see anybody except Cory. I kept going to church, but I tried my best not to talk to people there. Other than that once-per-week excursion, I tried to stay in the house as much as possible.

Soon, my depression turned into anger. I was angry at God, but more than that, I felt betrayed by him. Why would he let this happen? More importantly, why should I trust him if he lets things like this happen to me? It seemed just plain stupid to believe that he would protect me and always stay by my side, in light of losing our baby. If that was the result of God loving me, then his love really didn’t seem very valuable. I began to question all of my beliefs.

I was lucky to have family and friends who stuck with me during this time. Many of them seemed to understand perfectly what I needed; they let me be, and gave me subtle love and encouragement. The reminded me that they were there to talk if I needed it, and that was perfect for me. Others were well-meaning, but I’ll just say this; when somebody is grieving, one of the worst things you can do is to tell them how to do it (and for me, one of the others is to act like nothing is wrong). I’m very thankful that most of the people in my life were wise and gracious enough to just let me feel how I felt.

After my two weeks of grief, anger, and confusion, I reached a place where I wanted answers. I started googling some of the “tough questions” to see what other Christians believed. Around that time, my pastor called me to see how I was doing, and offered to meet with me and Cory if we wanted to. We decided that it could help, so we set it up.

Before that meeting, I found some answers through my own research that I thought were good enough. Basically, I came to the conclusion that although God is good, we are still subject to bad things that happen to us in this lifetime. I explained that to myself by reasoning that we are in a broken world; right now, the devil is running things on planet Earth. Things are this way because the human race has chosen sin instead of choosing God. My hope came from the knowledge that Jesus died and rose again, which broke the power of sin in the lives of all people who believe in him. Unfortunately, that apparently didn’t mean we were saved from any of the bad stuff in this lifetime.

When Cory and I went to meet with our pastor, he gently presented a different view. It was simple; God is good, and he only wills good things. When something tragic like a miscarriage happens, it isn’t God’s will, not directly nor indirectly. (Although he will still use it for the good of those who love him.) Yet these things happen, even to believers. Why? Because we have an enemy. One of my favorite Bible verses is John 10:10, and it sums this up pretty beautifully: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I didn’t fully grasp what my pastor had meant until later that night. He and his wife had gotten me a book called Supernatural Childbirth, which he gave it to me at our meeting. I was still processing what we’d talked about when I sat down to read it that night. Although the book is primarily about using faith during pregnancy and childbirth, it was easy for me to see how the concepts could be applied to every area of my life. Suddenly, everything started to make sense.

The Bible is full of promises from God, for those of us who know and love him. And it all starts with this one key fact; Jesus broke the curse of sin and death when he died and rose again. Because of his amazing sacrifice, we are free. The Bible makes it pretty clear that our freedom involves not only our souls, but our bodies and our lives in this world. Yes, the most amazing gift that God gave us was the gift of eternal salvation through Jesus. What gift could be better or more important? Yet he didn’t stop there. Jesus died to give us even more; he came so that we could have life, and have it abundantly.

For the past two weeks, Cory and I have been learning what this means. We’re learning how to fight using our faith and God’s word. I plan to write a more in-depth post about this concept later, because there’s a lot more to it and I’m still learning more all of the time. But I want to end with the simple idea that God is good, his will is good, and through Jesus, all things are possible.

I have an amazing sense of hope now, because I know that God will meet me where my faith is. The sky is the limit. For the time being, Cory and I are aiming for babies, and I know now without a doubt that we will be parents. The only question is when. Of course, that doesn’t worry me one bit because I know that the answer is “in God’s perfect timing.”