on faith and looking like a fool.

Last week my friend Allie asked me how I felt about the fact that I believed with all my faith in God that I would be accepted to Teach for America – but then was not. It was a good question.

Honestly, the only other time I’ve had as much faith in something was earlier this year, in June, when I prayed for a dead girl to come to life. My hands touched her cold, purple skin and in front of all the nurses and doctors I commanded her to get up and walk. She did not.

I’m sure I looked like a fool.

And, I know with all this TFA stuff I looked like a fool. I wrote a post declaring my confidence about being accepted because God spoke it over me, and my very next post is about how I was rejected.

Yes, I still believe that God spoke it over me. No, I don’t understand why it didn’t happen.

When I believed and prayed for that girl to raise from the dead and she didn’t, I was physically exhausted from exerting so much faith. I remember leaning against the hospital wall, sliding down to my feet and thinking “I have a choice.” I have a choice to get mad at God, and to call him a liar. Realistically, that’s what I should’ve done. And that’s what I had always done in the past. Instead, this time, I decided to hold onto faith.

When I was lying on the floor in my ocean of tears after being rejected from TFA, I was in literal shock because I couldn’t grasp that what I believed in with all my heart/soul/mind wasn’t going to happen. I thought, “I have a choice.” I have a choice to get mad at God, and to call him a liar. Instead, I decided to hold onto faith.

All throughout the Gospels Jesus keeps asking, “where is your faith?” and “why did you doubt?” We are told time and time again that Jesus was amazed at people’s lack of faith, he rebuked people for their lack of faith and he often did not perform miracles because of people’s lack of faith.

This year I decided I don’t want to be someone to whom Jesus would ask, “where is your faith?” and “why did you doubt?” Instead I want to be the person to whom Jesus says, “I have not seen faith like this in all America!

I will believe in bigger and better things than being accepted to Teach for America, and I will believe in more and more people being raised from the dead.

Alas, I will continue to make a fool of myself.

But even Jesus was laughed at for his faith.

The Bible is full of people who made fools of themselves on behalf of faith:

Oh hey, my name is Abraham, and my wife is like a bajillion years old and barren, but God said she will have a child, so I believe it. Even though she herself laughed at the idea.

Nice to know yah, Noah’s the name. I’ve been building a friggin’ ginormous ark for the last 100 years, even though it hasn’t rained. But God told me to, so I will. Even though the people laugh.

What’s up, Mary here. I’ve never had sex but God said I’ll bear his child, so okay. I believe it even though my own husband-to-be thinks I’m nuts and/or a slut and my entire town will probably disown me.

And there’s so many more. As the author of Hebrews 11 says,

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again.

There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

and perhaps the most comforting part of this entire passage,

These people were all commended for their faith, YET NONE OF THEM RECEIVED WHAT HAD BEEN PROMISED, since God had planned something better…

So the girl I prayed for didn’t come back to life. So I didn’t get accepted to Teach for America. Oh well, God has planned something better.

I’m determined to continue praying for and believing in even crazier miracles. Jesus says that all things are possible to her who believes, and I intend to take him up on that offer. I can only hope that one day I’ll be someone who is commended for her faith, despite the fact I didn’t receive what I had believed in/been promised – and despite the fact that I’ll make a fool of myself in the process. Who knows, maybe one of these days a crazy miracle will happen. No, not maybe. One of these days a crazy miracle will happen. I believe it.

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About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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7 Responses to on faith and looking like a fool.

  1. vicki steele says:

    I do, too!

  2. Rothman says:

    :):):):):):):)

    Hope Naomi Mendola!

    Some of your best writing Missy… so good and SO true.
    Inspiring. encouraging.

  3. Anna says:

    Dearest Hope,
    Thanks for your transparency, and your relentless pursuit. It’s worth it.
    I love you!

  4. Shannon says:

    Um. I pretty much have been waiting for someone to write an article this well done and touching from someone who’s been through it. This was incredible. I am so in love with the Spirit of God in you! It’s the same Spirit in me, too! Maybe that’s why we do these crazy things… I wouldn’t have it any other way and it’s such an inspiration to have a friend who goes after their faith like you. You constantly awe me.

  5. Lisa C says:

    I agree, we must all be willing to be fools for what we believe in.
    However, in your posts and subsequent TFA rejection you never looked a fool. Just honest. But then, honesty can often seem foolish to others who aren’t so brave 😉

    Bigger and better? Hope, you’re off to Nicaragua! Don’t look too far ahead…..

    Lx

  6. Liz says:

    Hope, as I was reading this, I was thinking, “I should point her to that part in Hebrews 11 where it talks about all the people of faith not receiving what God promised.” And then, you WROTE IT. Dang girl, love it when God works like that.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I love this, I love this, I love this! God is doing huge things here lady and I’m so, so blessed to get to be here to see it. Thank you for having such grand faith and for reminding us that we should too. That’s all that’s required of us, and you have it in spades. Keep up the good work- even when, and especially when things don’t make sense. He’s so proud of you.

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