By: Esther Wangalwa | Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Faith is not blind but rather complete confidence in the trustworthiness of God. Our whole life is based on faith.
The equation of faith has two sides to it; one who says or promises and the other who receives the promise. The person who believes and acknowledges that God actually exists, who commits to Him and accepts Him, is the person who receives the promise. The strength of this faith is in their relationship with God through Christ.
I lost my father at the age of 4 years. I can’t really recall much about how my childhood was with him. But my family has stories about his generosity and great love for people. I am also told stories about his drinking, and how when I was only 9 months old he used to go to bars with me. He would sit me in the middle of the table filled with various types of beer. My cousins would always joke that they knew I was going to be the worst drunkard in the family history, but I thank God that I am not.
Upon my father’s death, I relocated to Uganda to stay with my cousin’s sister. There I experienced a church war; my father’s family was ANGLICANS by faith, while my mother (who used to go with us to church) was CATHOLIC. I grew up with the passion to become a Catholic nun. This passion was made strong when I was admitted at a Roman Catholic school. I wanted to serve Gods people, so I made connections and when I finished my high school education I was still a virgin and ready to enroll with the Comboni sisters’ congregation. My family rejected my proposal, so I didn’t talk about it again after that, but I became rebellious. I stopped going to church, and I lost my faith in God. To me at that age, faith was either being Catholic or Anglican.
I decided to run away and went back to Kenya, where I met my first boyfriend. Before I knew it, I was pregnant with my first daughter. I decided to settle in with him as husband and wife, without a wedding. I thought I was punishing my family at that time. In time, I conceived my second child, this time a boy. My marriage never worked out, which is a story for another time. With the help of my brothers and cousin, I went back to Uganda after a failed marriage.
I began my new chapter with God not on the basis of any church congregation but forming a personal relationship with God, having complete faith in him, staying obedient to his ways and sacrifice. My general understanding was now to hear, trust, submit and surrender to God and his word.
In March 2009, I enrolled for a seat in adult education for upper secondary education (A’ level) (like college in America). Registration for the exams was ongoing, with the exams to be done in December. Learners were required to take 2 years of learning (SENIOR 5 and SENIOR 6). I was determined to stay registered, and if I failed I would redo the exams the next year. Despite the discouragement from family and fellow students not to pressure myself, I derived my faith in God and believed that nothing is impossible if we derive our confidence in God.
Although the going was not easy, I wasted no time. I made my own plans on which topics I would read in preparation for the national examinations. I would be up as early as 3 am to do personal reading, at 5 am I would embark on kitchen work, wash dishes, and prepare breakfast for my cousins’ family. Then I would prepare her grandchildren for school and other manual duties. My evening classes would commence from 5 pm to 8 pm, but I would pass via a church for devotion before I went to class.
Genuine faith will always produce results in our Christian lives. In fact, it is through faith that we are able to draw near to God. When the results were announced, my name was read in parliament among the best performers of that year’s examinations. I had acquired straight A’S in all the five subjects! This was not any ordinary man’s doing; it was God’s powerful hand. Faith in God had yielded fruit.
I joined the university on a full government scholarship and am now a holder of a second class upper degree in Development Economics. This achievement that I made, because of having faith in God, made me the second lady in my community to attain a degree. I changed from being a battered housewife to a degree holder. My graduation party in Kenya was attended by the whole community, a whole cow was slaughtered during the function, and my God was celebrated.
I am who I am because the Lord choose me. Despite all the tests of faith I may have gone through, I never gave up because the testing of your faith helps us to evaluate the level of our growth as it produces endurance as a fruit of the spirit.
Faith in God never disappoints. However, for this faith to produce fruits in our lives, we have to be sure that God has spoken, believe the word and obey it because it will not only change the situation at hand but also transform the one who has faith. If I am to cross any flooded river, only this God can sail me through. If I am to climb any mountain, it’s only this God that will give me the strength to get to the top. So we should have faith in God no matter our situations in life.
“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:21-22
“Lord our Father, help us to always grow in faith, strengthen us and help us overcome doubt and anything that comes between our relationship with you or that is bound to hinder our faith. I pray that you may help us maintain our walk as followers of Jesus Christ.” AMEN
Examine your own life; to what extent would you say your relationship with God demonstrates your faith in him???
Meet today’s writer: “My name is Esther Taka Wangalwa. I am a Kenyan by birth but Ugandan by nationality. My life experience has been a benchmark for young girls in my community not to give up in life in terms of education and a better livelihood. I am currently a tutor in a teacher’s training college in Kenya. I am also a passionate community mobilizer. My life today is a testimony of the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Esther invites you to connect with her via email firstname.lastname@example.org