My faith - Aria MacDonald

My faith

Ephesians 2:8-10
The New Living Translation

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Let me start off by saying thank you for all the beautiful comments, encouragement and for the compliments on our faith and perseverance and parenting.  We really do appreciate them a lot.  But I just want to set the record straight on a few things.

We hear ‘you guys have such a great faith’ or ‘we are so glad you guys have your faith’ a lot.  It is true, we do have a great faith, but let me share with you, at least from my perspective, where it came from.

My childhood was spent attending a Christian school,  attending Girls brigade, attending church and sunday school.  I was deeply immersed in all things Christian.  I learnt a lot about the bible.  I memorised it.  I read it.  I sang it.  I knew it.  I am ashamed to say I was far to proud growing up about how much ‘bible stuff’ I knew.  But alas, I was given a great gift and so was Hamish.  I knew I was a far from perfect and in need of a saviour and that was Jesus.

I was also surrounded by people of faith in my church.  People who believed the bible was the word of God and lived it out.  I saw God provide.  I saw people having faith that God would provide.  People invested in me, although at the time I took it all for granted.  I am fairly sure my youth pastor spent most of the 1990s with a headache.   Talking to the stubborn and hurting teenage version of me would no doubt cause one to bang their head against a wall.

Once I got thru the angst of being a teenager I got to know my best friend better and we got married.  God was starting to turn that head knowledge around and make it heart knowledge.  But I was a comfortable Christian.  And in my opinion comfortable Christians don’t really make radical faith inspiring Christians at least not in my case!

So we were given another gift.  Aria MacDonald turned up and life got amazing and very uncomfortable.  In those early dark days all that head knowledge turned into a real deep reassurance of life eternal and that God was good and worthy of our complete trust and devotion.  God was and is very much at work taking our broken hearts and turning them into hopeful hearts.  He gave Hamish and I the same heart of faith- another gift. We know without a shadow of a doubt Aria and ourselves are heaven bound because of what Jesus did.

I am a control freak, micro manager who thinks she knows better than God and just wants to live a comfortable life.  God has taken that and made me trust in Him.  There are many days I want to pack it all in and trust in myself.  But I don’t cause God holds on tighter than I.

So my faith is a gift, a gift freely available to anyone and everyone who wants it.

John 3:16 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Yes I have a lot of bible knowledge but it is not just a book, it is a book that can be read and understood and it’s message is Jesus, God’s son, the saviour of the world.

Finally, thank you to the people who invested in me, teachers, friends, youth group/GB leaders, pastors, and extended family. Thanks also to the people currently investing in us here in Omaha and via prayer and encouragement in NZ and other places.   I don’t have permission to share their names on the internet but thanks to, among many, Mr T, A.Y and to P.B- I owe you a couple of packs of panadol!

24 Responses to “My faith”

  1. Kiwi Hannah says:

    Anite, you are brave, gutsy and honest telling your story. I am proud of you my kiwi sister! Arohanui, love and prayers xx

  2. Tiffany Keller says:

    That is a great testimony Anita! I loved reading about your journey of faith! God has used your family, as witnesses, in many amazing ways! May God continue to reveal His goodness & love in you,and may od Bless you!

  3. chrissy Hallberg says:

    love it,
    and love you and your family too!!!!!!

  4. Melissa Rine says:

    Beautiful testimony!! It truly is Him and Him alone that gets us through the really tough times in life when you feel you will never make it through and that is because we couldnt without Him. Thanks for the reminder. We all need that from time to time. Prayers and love sent your way!!!

  5. EVE GILKES says:

    Dear Anita,
    God is using you and your situation to encourage so many, me included, and God alone knows how many you may have helped to draw into His kingdom. I thank God for you …… well not just you but your amazing little family, Hamish, Aria and Asher.
    John 3 v 16 was the verse that brought me into God’s kingdom.
    God bless you and keep you as only He knows the very best way to do so.
    With love
    Eve

  6. Carolyn O'Cain says:

    Praising God for you and your family and the faith that God has given each of you. Showers of His greatest blessings to you all.
    In His great and mighty love,
    Carolyn O’Cain

  7. Jan says:

    Oh once again beautiful words honestly spoken. One day we will meet, always in my thoughts and prayers. Love to you all. Keep strong and tight.

  8. Bracefield family says:

    Wonderful testimony to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!
    Praying for Aria at Redeemer today.
    In Him
    Tony

  9. jeannie overall says:

    Thank you for sharing all that , Anita – it will strike a chord in many hearts-very encouraging and very honest and very close to the bone! God bless you and family x x xJeannie

  10. susan says:

    God sure is bigger than we could ever imagine and knows the way forward even when we dont. thanks 4 sharing yr story, its encouraging to me.

  11. Joyce says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us. We have seen and felt your faith through the ways you have handled the past 5 yrs. Knowing Aria belongs to Jesus and his will shall be done. He hears our prayers and gives us the strength to accept his will.I pray for healing and peace for you all if it be his will.You are such a precious family who have been a witness to so many-including me.

  12. Judy Palmer says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Anita. My husband passed away the morning of Feb 22nd and then that 6.3 earthquake hit. It was a surreal week for me but my faith in God got me through. I truly believe that God’s timing was there as two of our family members would have been in buildings badly damaged but for Allan’s passing. We have a great God and He will get us through any situation if we believe. I pray for you and your family every day especially Aria. God bless you all, Judy.

  13. Doc and Sharon says:

    Thank you again Anita, for sharing your faith. I too, can testify to finding out the difference between head and heart knowledge. It’s all about having a personal relationship, being filled with His Holy Spirit. Thanks for sharing your faith. You two are a blessing to us. It was great sharing a meal with you tonite. I dont say it often, but we appreciate you and your wittness so very much! God Bless you and your family!

  14. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for sharing Anita.
    Love you guys!

  15. lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing about your faith Anita. You are one special women with a very special family. Love to you all.

  16. Yvonne RRN says:

    Simply awesome words & a great open & honest testimony Anita, & above all the humour thrown in at the end was superb.
    Surely those whom you owe the panadol will not need them after reading that!!

  17. H Wilkie says:

    Been away for a couple of weeks and just caught up. No words to speak, just tears of sadness for our lil Aria and admiration for your courage to fight the good fight! xx

  18. Heidi says:

    Thank you Anita. Testimonies are so powerful because they are real life. It is easy to have Faith when life is comfortable. There is a time in our life when we’ll be tested. That’s not comfy but a blessing on hindsight. Plants grow in the dark and so do we. Jesus becomes so real and trustworthy in desperate situations.Your life-story is a sermon that touches the spirit. You and your family are a mighty tool in God’s hands. Your experience won’t be wasted. May the Lord bless you, strengthen and refresh you and give you joy in Aria.She is so beautiful. Thank you for being YOU.

  19. Bland family says:

    Thank you for all you have written here Anita. I would just love to say one thing, and it is this: God’s great gift of love and faith is indeed for all – but we have to be willing. We have to be obedient. We have to make the choice to trust, and that choice is ours and ours alone. The gift is there for us all, but the choice of whether or not we open it is ours. And God allows us to choose.

    At every stage of your journey you and Hamish have made personal decisions about whether or not you will trust, whether or not you will have faith, whether or not you will hope or despair.

    I love the way you have stepped aside here to honour God and highlight Jesus’ amaxing gift, but I just wanted you to know that the whole way along, in everything you and Hamish have said and written and done, it is always Jesus that has been visible, Jesus that has been seen, Jesus that you have consistently and continually held up as your tower of strength, heart and faith.

    You have been, and are, good and faithful servants indeed.

    God Bless you both X

  20. Linda Crosbie says:

    Thank you Anita for sharing. Yours and Hamish’s strength is amazing as is the rawness you share when that hits you. Many, many prayers are being said for your little darling Aria and all of you. Kia kaha and much love. Xxxx

  21. Cousins Kathleen & Anita says:

    Join the family missionary ranks Anita and Hamish! Our ancestors would be proud of you. “Us missionaries?” you say. Yes, Cibernetic missionaries reaching out to hundreds with your testimony, telling what God has done and is doing in your lives. That is what real missionaries do!

  22. Jane says:

    Anita, I love you, you rock girl. Now you can add evangelist to your Kingdom C.V. :) Blessings for today.<3

  23. Nola Young says:

    Anita,- what a joy it is seeing how you (and Hamish) are growing through this ‘special gift of suffering’. Recently read these words by Elizabeth Elliot – “We bow in gratitude for Jesus’ willingness to take the cup the Father gave Him, a cup so immensely more bitter than the one He gives us. Shall we refuse it, or shall we grasp it with both hands, as it were, realizing it holds just what is most needful for our spiritual wholeness? Ours has been sweetened at the lips of Jesus. We drink it – by trustful acceptance – and God transforms it for His glory. Thus our very suffering may become the substance of sacrifice – a love-offering to God and a sacrifice of praise.” May God continue to use you to challenge us all in this adventure of faith in Jesus Christ, whatever our circumstances. Our love

  24. Jo says:

    I can imagine the Lord saying, “That’s my girl! Well done”. Now you know why we all think you are amazing! Thank you for sharing this with us and giving the credit to our Lord! He sure has been faithful in so many ways.
    Your journey has not been for the fainthearted. Your stamina must come from the Lord because no humans on their own could continue to go through what you are going thru on.
    You are precious people, and I hope and pray that the Lord blesses you all in a special way today.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11