Honest Conversations with Wendy Cunningham
What is Faith? Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my first conversion was to theism—the belief in God. And in many ways, I had become as “Christian” as many folks ever become—lumping everything together with a general understanding. If God was King of the universe and He said His son was Jesus, who was I to argue? But I quickly came to realize what I’m not sure the Church at large has figured out: sometimes we believe completely, but don’t completely know what we believe.
Faith, like love, is a noun, yes. But it’s also a verb—an action word. As Bob Goff’s book title Love Does suggests, love is an action. It’s the practice of loving that exemplifies it. How do you know you’re loved? You feel it. Love is an experience.
Faith is the same.
How do you know you have faith? You prove it in everything you do (or don’t do).
I have learned this lesson many times throughout my walk with God. One such example is my journey from suburbia in Nevada to homesteading in Middle Tennessee. One does not make such a leap without faith. And I believe one most certainly can’t walk that road without God.
In 2015, my husband and I sold our home in Nevada and moved into a rental nearby. We believed that God was calling us away from that place, but He hadn’t yet revealed where our Promised Land would be. We took several trips up the West Coast, hoping to find our piece of heaven, but nothing felt right.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, God chose to reveal our Promised Land at the worst financial moment. It was right there on Realtor.com as if it had been cut out of our very dreams and put on the world wide web. The perfect farm. In Tennessee. But a brief phone call to the agent connected to the property revealed that our hope of buying this property was unlikely. It fit our hearts, but it didn’t work out in dollars and cents.
It was hard to make sense of what God was doing in that season. I believed He was revealing something. But what? I finally tucked away the experience as a confirmation that what we were hoping for did, in fact, exist. And it existed in Tennessee. That’s where we were being called. But the timing was off.
A year (and a lot of distractions) later, we were ready to take out a loan, but the clarity that came in the previous season about Tennessee had fogged over. Was that really where we were being called? Should we go back to the drawing board? Our hearts were obedient, but our vision was cloudy.
I don’t know about you, but when I need to hear from God, I take a shower. Maybe it’s the steam, or perhaps it’s the escape from kids for four minutes, but that’s where I hear from my Father in Heaven most clearly. One evening in early October of 2016, I found myself in one such prayer session. I asked God for direction and a sign. When I went downstairs, Tom casually informed me that while I was in the shower, the realtor from the Tennessee property we were interested in a year ago had called him—out of the clear blue sky. The farm was still available, and the family wondered if we were still interested.
After the shock of such a specific and quick answer to prayer wore off, I told my husband we had to get on a plane as soon as possible. He believed I was getting ahead of myself, but I believed God was moving, and we needed to respond in faith. Not two weeks later, Tom and I were on a plane to see if Tennessee was going to be our new home.
Faith is a verb.
The memory of that trip is a blur, but I recall one important thing: when I pulled through the tree tunnel that opened up onto the property we now call ours, I knew without a doubt God was saying, “Yes.” Nothing else really mattered. I was certain He was going to move mountains. And He’d better because there were quite a few blocking our path forward. I lovingly deemed these obstacles “God gaps.” The issues that plagued Tom—like how we’d pay for the farm, where the down payment would come from, the complications of our business and how we’d qualify for a loan—were all just details yet to be worked out. They didn’t bother me in the slightest. I had faith, and my faith meant it was assured.
“The reality of things hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.”
My faith was the proof.
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Wendy Cunningham is wife to Tom and homeschool mom to three amazing gifts from God. In addition to that calling, she is an entrepreneur and author. Her book What If You’re Wrong?, blog, and devotionals can be found at gainingmyperspective.com. She is also host of the podcast Gaining My Perspective. Wendy loves Jesus and inspiring people to step into their calling—whatever that might look like in this season. When she’s not working, writing, traveling, or podcasting, she can be found homesteading and chasing kids and cows on her farm in Middle Tennessee.