Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day Twelve: What You Believe



This post is so broad -- I don't really know where to begin. I guess I should start at the top and most important and work from there! 

  • believe that God is sovereign, in control, and faithful. I believe He is good and does good for His people. I believe that He has planned everything in my entire life ahead of me, good and bad (whatever my definitions for those words might be). His love for me cannot be measured, matched, or contained, and I believe that He created and designed me in His image. I believe that He can heal, change, and deliver those on this Earth, and I believe that His faithfulness is more than I can comprehend. I believe that God writes the best stories for His people, even when we doubt His ways. I believe that He is life and He has the power of resurrection in His hands. More than anything, I believe in His goodness, His love, and His faithfulness. 
  • believe in forgiveness and redemption. I hold tight to these because I know how much power they have had in my own life. I believe that forgiveness should be built firmly in the foundation of any relationship, especially marriage. I believe that healthy relationships are made of people who specialize in forgiveness.
  • Because of my belief in systems theory, I believe that one person can make a big impact on the world. Just like one member of a family can be the spark that changes the entire family system, I believe one person's actions can change the environment around him. There are so many examples, but a recent and controversial one is the scandal at Penn State. I believe that one person could have made enough noise, enough difference, enough indignation to change things around for those children and the people responsible. There were so many individuals who could have stopped the actions in their system, and I truly believe that one person could have changed the entire thing around.
  • believe that love is a choice and not an emotion. In my vows for Ryan, I wrote that I chose him to be my husband and leader of our home. I have to make that choice every day, regardless of how I feel. I believe that a lot of new couples lose that "love feeling" and think that they've fallen out of love. I believe they've simply stopped choosing to love because things have gotten difficult. I believe love is a difficult choice. 
  • believe that family is extremely important. I believe that from the time you're born, your family influences who you are, what you believe, how you act, your role in the family, your view towards other people... the list goes on. I believe that this doesn't define who you are, but it definitely influences you. As you grow up, I believe that it's your responsibility (not your family's) to look at yourself, your beliefs, roles, views, etc... and see if they match up with your heart, and if they don't, you have to alter them to fit with who you are. It can be a difficult process, but I believe that it's one of the most rewarding. 
  • believe in waiting to have sex until after you're married. Ryan and I didn't have sex before we got married, and I believe that it helped our marriage more than I can imagine. I believe God can redeem those couples who do have sex before marriage, but I firmly believe that following God's plan for sex is the ultimate and best goal. I love that Ryan and I have no stories about "getting caught" or having a pregnancy scare or regret that we didn't (no, not couldn't) wait. We made it clear from the beginning of our relationship that sex within marriage was our goal, and I believe our protection of sex (not the exclusion, fear, or obsession of sex) made that possible. We knew how great the reward would be since God's plan seems to be the best, and we protected it based on God's promise. 
  • believe that laughter can truly be medicine for the soul. Laughter and good food. :) Seriously, sharing life and laughter with friends and family has to be one of the most soul-nurturing things you can do for yourself. I believe that community with each other not only strengthens Christ's church as a body but also ourselves. 
  • believe in balance. I believe that extreme opposites are still the same, and there must be balance in everything. For example, idealism balanced the right way could change the world. Many times, someone's lack of faith squelches another's idealism. I believe there needs to be more idealism paired with responsibility, and perhaps we wouldn't have such cynicism and lack of faith. 
  • believe in adoption. My family has been touched by the beautiful, painful, amazing power of adoption, and I believe that it upholds one of God's commands to care for orphans. I would love to adopt children one day. I know its power, and I believe God commanded us to care for orphans so we could get a glimpse of how He has adopted us. 
  • Lastly, I believe in miracles. I have been part of a miracle, and if you're married, you have as well. It is a miracle that two people can become one. I believe God is powerful, righteous, yet also miraculous. It was by no coincidence that Ryan & I asked for the painting of Jesus turning water into wine for our wedding ceremony. Just as the water miraculously became wine, Ryan Keith and Carrie Anne miraculously became one. Neither wine nor married couple could ever be separated from that point forward, and I believe Jesus (as in most things) was intentional about when and where He performed his first miracle. Weddings are a great time of joy for me because I get to witness a miracle each time I attend one.



I'm sure I'll look back at this post and wonder why I included the things I did, and maybe I'll look back and disagree with some things I said (I hope so! I forever want to be processing and evolving my epistemology!)... But for now, 24 year old Carrie Anne believes in the things above. Most of these things were learned through painful times, difficult relationships, lack of faith, extreme ideas, periods of isolation, doubt, and betrayal. It's only because I worked through those hard times that I am now able to see the whole picture and piece together what I believe. I can see God's goodness when I'm in pain, and I can choose to love my spouse even when he hurts me. believe there's power in looking at what you believe. It can show you your journey and all the painful, amazing, fun, and heartbreaking ways you got to where you are now. 


im thankful.
carrie anne


P.S. -- This was a difficult post to write. If I were to ask you what you believe, what would be some of the first things you'd say?   

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