The Year of Faith that Never (Always) Was

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 26•15


I’ve said it before: God has a sense of humor.  Sometimes He gives you EXACTLY what you pray for, but it’s not exactly HOW you envisioned it when you prayed.  It all started in late 2013, after much prayer, when I declared that 2014 would be The Year of Faith over at Art of Eloquence, my business of almost 10 years at the time.  My thought process was that I would write a series of blog and newsletter articles about sharing the good news of the Gospel and even post some excerpts from my book, Say What You Mean: Defending the Faith.  I was excited to give fellow believers the tools they need to feel more confident and comfortable when sharing and defending their faith.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us;” 1 John 5:14  God hears us and He always answers our prayers. He just doesn’t always answer them in the way we thought He would. We’ve heard it said that sometimes God says yes, sometimes He says no, and sometimes He says wait.  But there is another way in which God answers prayer.  Sometimes He says yes, but…

In December, we found out that we would be moving across country for my dh’s job.  In scrambling to make arrangements for the move, finding a house and Christmas activities, I didn’t have much time to write but a few of the articles I had spent the last few months planning.  In January, after hanging upside down from our seatbelts after rolling over in a snow storm, I found I had broken my hand and couldn’t type.  That put a bit of a damper on my article writing process.  The stress of the move along with the additional aches and pains that come with broken bones caused a severe flare up of my chronic illness which left me no choice but to delay, and then finally put an end to, my Year of Faith plans and all other marketing for Art of Eloquence.  I thought the Year of Faith had ended before it had begun, but I was wrong.  I had a year of faith.  It just wasn’t the kind I had prayed and planned for.

Instead of teaching others how to share the faith, I spent the year learning how to have more.  A rather humbling experience, I must say.  So what did I learn and how did I learn it?  I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you in the hopes that you can learn from my life without having to go through it up close and personal yourself.  I pray God uses me to give you more faith by reading instead of having to live it.

1. I’ve learned to have faith through scary weather

God isn’t our fair weather friend. He’s always with us, even when we go through trials.  Ever notice how people talk about bad times as bad weather? The Storms of Life, they call it. Well, here in NW Indiana, we’ve had some bad weather…some really bad storms.

This summer brought severe thunderstorms, lightning strikes and flash flooding to my immediate attention.  I became intimately familiar with the look and sound of lightning and thunder.  It’s a sound like no other.  When lightning strikes that close to your house, it does so with incredible decibels.  The sky and your entire house lights up, you can feel the thunder at the exact moment the lightning strikes and you can smell the burning electrical outlet from all the way downstairs.  Your heart pounds as you wonder what will come next. You pray as you cling to your family and wonder if your house will be standing there when the next thunder roars.  The devastation of a lightning strike is felt for months as you discover more and more items that were zapped into electronic heaven or left limping along to crawl to their cyber death months later.  The house is still standing and so are we!  And although we have had many years of financial struggles, because of God’s amazing grace and orchestration of our lives, we were able to afford to repair or replace all of the damaged electronics.

Along with the sights and sounds of thunder and lightning came the familiarity with what water can do when it’s dumped on the earth.  That next month my dh was driving through another thunderstorm when he ran through a flash flood masquerading as a common puddle. The engine sputtered as he limped along home, but after a few days, it was evident that there was probably a good reason for Indiana law requiring all cars with water that leaked into the cabin be deemed a total loss.  We were still upside down in our loan at the time such that after the insurance pay off, we owed money on it.  Well, the insurance company found that our vehicle was in such incredible condition that they valued it higher than even the adjuster initially thought he could and we ended up owing very little on it and because of the promotion and money in the bank, we were able to get another car with ease.

*Now this next part has a caveat as it is the one issue I am still struggling with.  You see after the Big Car Snowball Roll of 2014, I had some fears I am still working through.  At first I was nervous about being in a car, especially when making tight right turns. And there are a lot of them here in NW Indiana!  When I was finally able to work through my fears on dry land, it began to snow!  As I write this, we have about 4-5 inches of snow on top of a layer of ice and there is a Wind Chill Warning that any exposed skin is subject to frost bite within just a few minutes.  It’s currently 4 degrees and feels like 22 below on its way down to 39 below (real feel) this afternoon.  My ideal plan for dealing with this was to avoid driving til April, but I was willing to white knuckle it if I HAD to go out for co op or drs  appointments.  I can’t say I was disappointed when they cancelled co op and Bible study today.  So, yes, I’m still working through this one, but I am willing to trust God to work through my fear.  I can’t say that I like it any, but I’m willing.  😀

2. I learned to have faith through illness

After more than 35 yrs of chronic illness, God found me a wonderful dr here in NW Indiana!  I already feel much better, sleep more and have more energy than I have had in YEARS!  I posted about this in my previous update and my recent update so I’ll leave this with you.  If you think God won’t help you with something simply because it’s been a long time, you may be wrong!  Always have faith that either He will bring you healing or joy in using what you are going through. And sometimes, if you are very blessed, you will have both!

3. I learned to have faith with my finances

I found it interesting timing that we had the funds to repair/replace all of the items zapped by lightning.  God has incredible timing!  All our previous 27 years of marriage were troubled by financial struggle and just when we needed a large chunk of change, the money wasn’t a problem.  Thank you, Jesus!  And the next month, it wasn’t financially difficult to replace my dh’s car.  And the next month, it wasn’t much of a financial burden to have to pay for a $5000 health insurance deductible for my gallbladder surgery.  In fact, what’s even more incredible, we actually HAD health insurance for the first time in years just a few months prior to the surgery!  How’s that for incredible timing?!  Just months prior to my symptoms, my dh’s company changed their health care plan that provided more coverage for less money making it worth the monthly payment for the first time in about six years.

4. I learned to have faith in how God would use me/my testimony

After having to all but let my business of 11yrs go, I wasn’t sure what God wanted me to do.  So much of what I did with Art of Eloquence was a ministry–things I gave away for free.  I had to find a new way to serve Him, but I had no idea how.  At the time, I couldn’t type, was too sick to concentrate or go out anywhere.  What was I to do now?  Well, in time, I relearned how to type-how to stretch my fingers on my left hand to reach the keys with more accuracy.  While I still have pain and I can’t type as much as I used to, I am able to work through it enough to write a weekly blog here at  And here is where I realized I could serve.  God leads me now to share my health journey to support and uplift those who struggle with chronic illness. I wrote about this a bit more in a previous post called Looking Back.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” –Proverbs 3:5-6  Sometimes we don’t understand why God answers us the way He does, but we know that He always has our best interest in mind when He does.  Be careful what you pray for!  You just might get it…but it might not be how you wanted it to appear in your life.  My advice to you is to trust Him.  Use it, however you can, to your own benefit and also for the benefit of others.  And to God be the glory!

Have you had a year like this?  A year when you prayed for something and God answered your prayer only not the way you had envisioned?  Please share it here.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Susie says:

    YES! I have had a year or two like this. 🙂 God has brought me closer to Him. There are things I have wanted to do all of my life but didn’t realize it. Today I got hired to do just that. It’s difficult being ill when you don’t look like it. It’s funny when one of your teachers looks at you and says, “YOU???” I never would have guessed. That is because God is our rock and fortress and I am grateful he sent you to be on this journey with me. Thank you for your encouragement and support!

  2. JoJoisms says:

    And thank you for yours!

  3. Hefner says:

    This is very attention-grabbing, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to in the hunt for extra of your great post. Additionally, I have shared your site in my social networks

  4. JoJoisms says:

    Thank you. I’m on Facebook, but this is really the only place I post these kind of things.

  5. adrian says:

    Hey very interesting blog!

  6. Dean says:

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your
    blog. You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good
    asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a
    link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested.

  7. JoJoisms says:

    This blog is designed to share my health journey so as to allow others going through similar issues to not feel alone in their own journey with chronic illness. Nobody else can write my story but me.

  8. […] been a very difficult three weeks since my dh lost his job, especially after the challenges we had all last year.  As I mentioned last week, I had not only lost my sense of humor, but I was overwhelmed by anger […]

  9. […] weeks ago, I shared the dark place I was in after my year of faith that never (always) was and my husband’s job loss. This week I want to share how God has begun to deliver me from […]

  10. Zane says:

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i love studying your posts.

    Stay up the good work! You know, a lot of persons are hunting around for this information, you could help them greatly.

  11. AlvaUChowhan says:

    Awesome article.

  12. Great, thanks for sharing this blog article.Much thanks again. Great.

  13. […] road since then.  However, the past 18+ months have been exceptionally difficult beginning with The Year of Faith that Always Never Was.   Most stressful of all has been the last four months or so since my husband lost his job.  In […]