Day 11.

There is a lot about faith I don’t know… hence the series.

With that said, I think I’ve figured out the “not by sight” part. Funny enough, it happened today. I figured out a piece of what seems to be a “faith puzzle” today, as I heard the results of my eye exam… the second one of the day.

May the FAITH story begin…

When I was 14 years old… or so…. I was suffering with headaches that would often lead to migraines. Serious stuff. It could have been stress, looking back at the season of life I was nearly just beginning, but it wasn’t. Went to the optometrist, he recommended glasses because of a severe astigmatism. “Prism” glasses were prescribed because of their ability to help my two eyes focus on the same thing at the same time. Bring my eyes to one singular point. How much of a simile that was for my needs in life, at the time I had no clue!

Through college, I wore my reading glasses religiously. Most of the time, it worked too.

As an adult, a very responsible one of course, I lost my glasses. Having no insurance and under no one’s specific care, withstanding my own… I gave up on wearing glasses again altogether.

Last year on the World Race, month 11, I went with friends to a very inexpensive eye glass store and underwent the test to see how bad my sight was… .25. Hm. Weird.

But wear my glasses, I have. They just didn’t seem to help me at all but I thought, well, that’s what I get for having an eye exam in Cambodia without my accurate prescription!

Since being home, you may have noticed, but I write a LOT! I love to write! I’m becoming a “writer” I guess, although people still have to call me that 3 times each before I’ll slightly believe them! Oh, insecurities.

With this embraced passion to be a storyteller, I have begun to struggle with my eyesight. I’ve utilized the tired eyes techniques and taken screen fasts… all of it. But still, my eyes go blurry and these glasses just… well, they don’t do anything!

The Lion’s Club here locally have recently blessed my socks off. I applied with them for eye care assistance, since I was still in financial transition from coming off the field and was gladly approved with a small co-pay. Aka I went to the Opthamologist yesterday with the hope that my basically FREE professional exam and glasses would be fruitful in clearing up my sight issues.

As I sat in the waiting room, that fear that we all have when we know something is wrong with us physically but think irrationally that the Doctor will just think we are crazy between the ears… yeah that, it began to creep in. Actually, I told the Doctor I feared that since I can’t keep anything to myself these days! She smiled and continued with the exam.

As she progressed through the VERY THOROUGH exam, my worst fear happened…

“Ms. Clement (That’s never good!), I am finding literally NOTHING wrong with your eyesight!”

But there IS!!! I promise!!! I wanted to scream it. Instead, I stared at her blankly.

She offered to dilate my eyes anyway for the retina exam. I agreed, attempting to stall my departure in case she reconsidered her findings… after all, I had already picked out my cute new frames!!!!

As I waited, and spoke sweetly to my waiting room ladies, who love to pry into the life of a youngin’ in her late 20’s… I began to think about how I would tell people that all that time, I didn’t even NEED the glasses I had worn and that apparently my old doctor had made it all up to get us out of his office, having left a hefty check on the counter first.

It was humiliating. It was confusing… and I felt it was just wrong! I know my body after all!!

Then the drops in my eyes set in.

Sheldon told me that he can drive when his eyes are dilated. I know, I told him he shouldn’t. Mama then confirmed that she mostly functioned fine afterwards…. but that some are more sensitive to it (She’s my  mom so she’s the main one that is supposed to make me feel like I am sane after all!). I told them both that I literally couldn’t see. Oh, dramatic me.

The man that had helped me pick my frames was standing near by and I asked him to find my mama’s contact on my phone for me. He said, “You can’t see it at all?” Nope. That’s why I asked. He quickly pointed to something else and said, “What about that, can you read it?” Apparently there was something on that poster that I was supposed to be able to read. Nope. He chuckled and said, “You aught to tell the Doctor how affected you were by those drops!”

I didn’t have to because I straight up tripped coming in the door of her office. But for good measure I simply inquired, “Dr. Brennen, is there a reason that some people are more highly affected by the drops than others? I just can’t see hardly at all.”

She looked at me for a second, or so I suppose because there was a stirring silence following my words. She responded with, “Well, let’s just see.” She began step 1 of my previous eye exam from 30 minutes earlier.

After a few seconds of flipping those lenses right over my long eye-lashes, she exclaimed, “Well, look a’there!”

Yep. I’m far sighted. Really, really farsighted.

She explained to me, after having started from the beginning of the exam again, that I had learned to control the muscles in my eyes with great excellence and furthered her explanation with how amazed she was at the control I had on my own body. Ha. If she only knew! I did share with her that my family had been through a lot growing up and that doctors tended to state things like that to my sisters and I every time we went for a check up of any sort. It’s just our life and how we’ve overcome.

So yeah, ladies and gents, I will get to wear my cute frames after all and hopefully will no longer be plagued by my own creative craft with headaches and extreme blurred vision! Praise the Lord!!! The drops did it, I actually relaxed enough to get an accurate account of what I had known all along.

What I learned through the process was even more valuable, I do believe. God showed me something about faith and how even when I can’t see… or am told that what I know to be true, isn’t. I can still trust. I can still believe… I can have faith that it is. Because it was. And He is. And I have faith that He will confirm in me His identity, as He skillfully unveils my own.

Faith. You can’t see it. But you can know you have it by trusting that God is Who He says He is and He’s not going anywhere. You can hear Him speak. You can feel His love and peace. YOU CAN have faith even when you’re not “supposed” to.

Sometimes it just takes giving up control. A lot of the conferences I have been a part of, have been so very effective because the people there were willing to give up what they came in with for something new. Something better. Something true. Someone Who has always been. I’ve seen them lay on the floor and wait for a transformation in their hearts. Vulnerability was called out and affirmation of what is flowed in. A give and a take. Giving up what was or is for something better. A Better and truer future, based on the love of a great, great God that has been here all along… waiting on us to relax and give HIM control of the life He created in the first place. Sometimes it takes a bit of patience with ourselves to let His truth sink in… you know, the waiting room of our hearts’ desires. But when it does, we can see clearer than we have ever in our lives! And there’s just so much to see!! You may not agree with me as you’ve read this but that’s my account of what I learned on day 11 of this month of faith questions and answers!

This experience has made me stubborn to what other humans want from me. An acknowledgement that He may not be who he says he is and what I’ve always believed in… yikes. So much humiliation, confusion… but wait… He is. There it is. Truth.

Try and prove to me that my God doesn’t exist. I dare you. I won’t argue with you. Nope, don’t have to. I know He does. I’ve experienced Him personally. I choose to have faith.  I choose to have faith.

beLOVED.,
Lauren!<><+

If you would like to experience Him, please email me, find me on FB… ask a trusted friend to tell you how you can, something! And today! Today is THE day that you accept this gift of truth!

Comment below with your recent “faith” account!!! Do you see clearer about a specific topic of faith than you ever have before? Again, share below!

(To read more in this 31 Days of Faith series, click HERE!!! Or to read the collaborative efforts of 31 Days writers, click The Nester!!)

Day 5.

We saw on Day 4, that the world has varying views of “faith” and what it means to possess or even act on it…

Today, I want to focus a bit on the Bible. Can I???!! I do love it so!!

God’s written Word gives us such a beautiful and unashamed display of “faith” and mostly in the very stories we read within its’ pages! But to include all of those, I’d really just need to leave a link to the Bible itself … OP, and there it is!! 

For the purposes of this series, though, I have included some of my favorite verses that depict FAITH or describe it as a whole… enjoy!!!




Matthew 17:20 “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


1 Peter 1:21 “Through Him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 

1 Peter 1:7 “These have come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

2 Corinthians 5:7 “We live by faith, not by sight.”

1 Peter 1:9 “For you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

1 John 5:4 “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

Colossians 1:5 “The faith and love that spring from hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the world of truth, the gospel.”

Titus 1:2 “A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.”

1 Corinthians 15:17 “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.”

1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Ephesians 6:16 “In addition to all this; take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

1 Corinthians 2:5 “So that your faith might not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

2 Corinthians 1:24 “It is by faith that you stand firm.”



For more readings in this series click 31 Days of Faith!!

To join so many others in the full 31 Days series, click The Nester to read them all!!

beLOVED.,
Lauren!<><+

Do you have other favorite passages that give a good picture of “faith”… comment below and share them with me!!!



Day 3.

 “
The Lord is trustworthy in all that He says, faithful in all that He does” – Psalms 145:13b

As a collaborative effort with The Nester, I dedicate Day 3 of this 31 Days of Faith series to the most consistent reason I clung to faith last year as I traveled through 16 different countries over the course of 11 months, on mission to love the world as God loves them:
…because I knew they were waiting for me with baited breath, on this side of the world. USA. 
This post is a very much REAL LIFE, even blurred, vision of what “coming home” looked like after this long year of testing the validity of God’s faithfulness that THIS moment, this reunion, indeed would happen. That it was not an illusion to be missed because “on mission” meant sacrificing “home” forever but a reality in the as yet unseen… to be hoped for. Do you get the simple, yet VERY practical, example of God’s faithfulness in this story? Sometimes it’s easy to think that when God calls us to something bigger than ourselves, that all of our faith acts will involve the day to day practice in accomplishing His current goal for us… a romanticised view of the term “Missionary.” However, as a normal human being (Or as normal as they come, ha!), I can attest to the fact that the most consistent choice of belief I made throughout each visited culture, was that Papa WOULD secure my return to the States as promised 11 months prior.
So Day 3 looks like faith in the form of long awaited hugs, kisses, tears of joy, and the toughness of trials faced alone, broken down in the arms of family waiting.
And there they were, waiting as promised…
(5 out of the 9 waiting on me to arrive had only been told I was coming 5 minutes before this photo was snapped! The surprise of a lifetime!)

(Wouldn’t have missed seeing this woman graduate from Nursing school for the world… literally.)

(Dated 3 months and I left for almost a year… what can I say, God was at the center and He doused us with faith!)

(She started driving while I was gone, played volleyball as a Junior, gained so much wisdom and passion… I missed my roommate so much!)
(Jodi and I were discussing the fact that I was close enough to touch and it felt a little unreal! Jaami and I schemed to make sure I hugged her neck and met my nephew, Joaquin, before they moved to Colombia! PRECIOUS BOY!)

                        

(Tori was the woman with the plan and helped me every step of the way home. She also was the photographer for all of these fun pics! I was home… and it felt so good!)
(Celebrating our one year with coats, dresses and heels, and of course prom style pictures… what?)
(Maw maw. You just never know. So thankful I didn’t have to. She was so bright eyed! Missed our family matriarch!) 

(The Clement 5… and our hero… the week of my surprise return)


(Papa blessed us both by allowing me to have returned the day before Sheldon proclaimed his life in Christ in this blessed way!) 

(So thankful for family and loved ones so dear… my niece Nila (SO TALL NOW!), Jodi’s fella’ Chris (Finally got to meet him!), Aunt Linda (Missed her humor so much!), and my bro in-law Justin (Hadn’t seen this Naval pilot in almost 2 years!) are the others in this pic, not in the ones above. I love these people.)

 

(So happy to know that all of God’s promises, like Him, are faithful)
As we press on into this month’s series about faith, I just want to always be real with you. Today, is a post about something genuine but not that shocking. Tomorrow very well could be about something that no one else knows but me. The only reason differing thoughts/stories will be posted for all to see each day, will be God’s leading to do so. In my “writer’s mind” I want beautiful, heart-wrenching stories every day about things no one saw coming but real life is more relatable, whatever that is day to day. Faith is for everyone, so is this blog. Come back for Day 4 tomorrow because you just never know what Papa will decide to let my fingers type!
beLOVED.,
Lauren!<><+
(So what can you tell me about the faith that makes you wait… the promises that are waiting for you… and the way it FEELS in the moments when faithful belief in God’s plans are fulfilled? Comment below!