Having unshakeable faith will help you have peace and strength during hard times.
After decades of walking through hard things, I started thinking about what were the steps that I took to grow my faith and walk through hard times with my faith stronger than it was before. I’ve condensed that down into what I call the Hope for the Weary Christian Woman Roadmap.
This is the basis of everything I do here and my work with coaching clients. I love butterflies and the symbolism found in their metamorphosis lines up perfectly with my faith journey during pain and suffering.
This is why I chose this to illustrate the journey shared in the roadmap. In the life cycle of a caterpillar, there’s an egg that transforms into a caterpillar, and then a pupa stage, then it becomes a butterfly, and then it emerges from the cocoon.
Unshakeable Faith Step 1: Awareness
The first step on the roadmap is the egg step where you are becoming really aware of your situation, aware of your struggles, and aware of your hard times. Sometimes you’re living your life, going along with your daily things and you don’t realize that things are really hard.
You might be struggling with a few things, but you figure that’s part of life. You might have one day where you’re going about your normal routine and then something seemingly insignificant, like your kid spilling a cup of cereal, suddenly sends you over the edge.
Or there’s a knock on the door and a police officer is holding your divorce papers. You feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you and you never saw it coming. In this stage, as you’re becoming aware of your situation and aware of your hard times, there’s a struggle.
You probably feel confused, waffling between feeling like things can’t really be that bad and feeling like it’s the worst thing ever. You feel like it’s never going to get any better. You believe you are doomed and fall into despair and hopelessness.
If you’re anything like me, this is also the time when you try to fix things yourselves. Believing if you could just do a C and D everything will be fine. Everything will be right and you can have peace and move forward with your life.
Eventually, you realize that you’re in over your head. You don’t know what you’re doing or how you got here. You don’t know the way out and need help. This is when you need to tell yourself and remind yourself that you need to turn to God.
Those are moments when you know that you should pray, but you don’t know what to pray because you feel like you don’t have any words to talk to God. You feel like God isn’t even listening to you. There are also those moments where you are giving something to God, but then you take it right back.
This is when we need God the most but you probably don’t know where to start. Maybe you don’t have any confidence in yourself as a woman of prayer. There may be so many things going wrong that you have no idea what to start. You may feel like there’s no reason to pray because God isn’t even listening.
What I want you to know about step one is that when you become aware and your eyes are open to the truth of your situation, you need to get to that breaking point of taking your hands off of everything. Then God can step in and begin to take over and do what he does because that is when you can begin to take those steps from being in a pit of despair to true deliverance and unshakable faith.
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Unshakeable Faith Step 2: Spiritual Growth
The next step on the roadmap is characterized by the caterpillar. In this state of the caterpillar’s life is to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat so that they have what they need for the next stage that’s coming. God in his infinite wisdom designed caterpillars so that they lay their eggs on leaves.
Those young caterpillars don’t have to go far for what they need. The same thing is true for you. Yes, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, but as a Christian woman with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit God has already equipped you with everything that you need.
This is characterized by a lot of spiritual growth through biblical disciplines. right? As believers, your spiritual food comes from spending time in God’s word and going to him in prayer. Those are the basic things that you need.
No matter what’s going on, no matter what situation you find yourself in, there is always a spiritual element to what you’re walking through. This is the time when you want to work on being consistent with your spiritual disciplines.
Things like journaling, meditating on scripture, memorizing scripture, and practicing like solitude. This is a time to focus on that and getting that information and surrounding yourself with the truth.
Unshakeable Faith Step 3: Metamorphosis Part 1
The next stage is the pupa stage. This would be when you see the caterpillar wrap itself up at a chrysalis and begin the process of metamorphosis, of becoming a butterfly. I like to break this part down into, two different steps. Steps three and four are probably the hardest parts of this roadmap and in this journey.
When a caterpillar goes into a chrysalis and begins the metamorphosis, it has to completely liquify itself. It becomes unrecognizable as a caterpillar. It has to become completely undone and unrecognizable before it becomes beautiful. The same thing goes for you. This is the point on your journey where it’s time to put up or shut up.
To consider if you truly believe what God says, if you can stand on his word, or if you’re going to quit. This is why this is so hard. There are so many things that you have to deal with at this stage as you build your spiritual chrysalis.
It provides an environment for this change to happen. You have to begin to truly seek God, not who you think he is or who other people say he is, building upon the habits and disciplines into place from step two. You must ask God to reveal himself to you if you want to make it through to the next step.
Unshakeable Faith Step 4: Metamorphosis Part 2
Step four on the roadmap is where you begin to see this metamorphosis and this change come. Remember, the caterpillar has to completely liquify and empty itself and become unrecognizable inside the safety and security of the chrysalis.
For you, this is where you’ll begin to face all of your demons and your doubts and deal with your fears and any emotions that might be coming up. It’s time to do the hard work of walking out the things that you’ve learned and consumed in previous stages.
Time to do the hard work of healing, changing your mindset by learning new things and learning to trust God. To put feet on your faith and trust God.
Unshakeable Faith Step 5: Emerge
Step five on the roadmap is when the butterfly finally begins to come out of the chrysalis. If you ever watched this process you’ll know that the butterfly doesn’t just pop out of the chrysalis and fly away. There’s a time of rest after the struggle for freedom.
When I was doing my research on this, I learned that if you help that butterfly come out of its chrysalis, it will die. That struggle of coming out is important for the survival of the butterfly. That’s part of the reason why I said that these steps are so hard.
When the butterfly finally makes its way out of the chrysalis, it doesn’t just immediately fly away. It just sits there. Its wings have to dry. It has to rest and regain its energy and strength. This is also true for you when walking through hard times. You have to learn how to get a little R&R.
When soldiers go to war they get time to rest and to recover. They take breaks so that they return to battle at their top strength to do their job. The same thing goes for you and me. Step five on the roadmap is a time of rest.
It is a time of renewal where you don’t fight and you’re not trying to do all the things correctly. In Matthew, Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” After you’ve done the hard work of the previous steps you need to give yourself time to rest so that you have the energy and the stamina to continue on your journey.
Unshakeable Faith Step 6: Dream
That brings us to step six on the roadmap where we finally see the butterfly fly away and go on with it’s short life. Once you’ve walked through hard times, done the work of learning to trust God, and taken time to rest, it’s time to learn how to dream again and how to live an abundant life that scripture talks about.
This does not mean that your hard times are necessarily over or that you’re not going to ever experience hard times again. But the truth is that you can experience God’s goodness and have joy and peace, no matter what’s going on in your life.
If things are going great, if things are going terrible, that doesn’t have to affect the way that you experience God or live your life. You can have joy, and peace, and experience God’s goodness right here in the land of the living even when your life doesn’t look how you might want it.
This is something that took me the longest to learn because I believed that I wouldn’t get to this stage until everything was perfect in my life. It took time to realize that was not true. I can have joy because my joy comes from God. My peace and hope come from God. I can dream and look forward to the future without being afraid because of who God is and what that means for me.
Final Thoughts on Unshakeable Faith
That’s the Hope for the Weary Christian Woman Roadmap. I just wanted to share that with you because I don’t know where you find yourself on this roadmap. I want you to know that you can grow closer to God, deepen your faith, and strengthen your relationship with him even when everything’s not perfect in your world.
Jesus says, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart because I have overcome the world.”
When you go through hard things, it’s so tempting to think that’s all there is and there’s no hope. That’s not true.
The hardest times in my life were the times that I felt closest to God and that I saw the most growth. If you can wrap your mind around this imagery of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, I think that it will help you do the same.
Yes, life gets hard. It’s not fun and takes a lot of work, but there is beauty on the other side of all of that hurt and all that pain.
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These 6 steps will help you cultivate unshakeable faith in the face of hard times.
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