authentic faith.

i spent this past weekend up in the mountains on our annual church women's retreat. 
{if the term "women's retreat" gives you hives, you should probably read this lady's post.}

it was great and totally hive free. 
there was delicious food, a plethora of snacks, time in the hot tub and sauna, a spa afternoon complete with manis/pedis/and massages, a plenty of kleenex (duh), great music, free time to read and relax, and a lot of quality moments with some wonderful women.

but more than all of that, this weekend gave me an opportunity to reflect on my faith, something i don't do nearly enough.

and the one question i kept going back to all weekend was "what does true, authentic faith look like?" 

growing up as a christian for what seems like my entire life, it feels strange to come back to a question like this. i tell myself that i should already know the answer. i should be able to tell you and show you what faith looks like. but as times have changed, i have too. and the significance of the answer to this question seems more necessary now than it ever did.

i knew what faith looked like in my christian school growing up.
i knew what it looked like in youth group.
i knew what it was and definitely wasn't as i spent four years at a christian college. 
and i knew what it meant when i taught and served in china. 

but now, in an everyday life that is less "christian culture-ish," i find myself searching for authenticity in my faith more than ever. 

so while reflecting this weekend on what i wanted my faith to look like, i wrote the first things that came to mind...

my greatest desire is for deep, authentic faith. faith that isn't dependent on circumstances or emotions. faith that does not repel but draws people in. faith that is honest. faith that does not hide struggle and doubt. faith that elevates God and not divisive ideals. faith that is not based on my own strivings. faith that doesn't create insiders and outsiders. faith that permeates every moment of every day. faith that listens. faith that responds.

these reflections and questions come in the wake of a lot of conversations with one of my favorite people kari, as she navigates her questions, doubts, and past experiences with church, and faith, and Jesus. 

her questions get to the core of it.
and they were the inspiration for this time of self reflection.
and because of her and so many others like her, i want my faith to be real. 
i want it to be characterized by love and authenticity and hope and faithfulness. 
i want to live the reality of it in a world that tires of our christian sub culture, that tires of our politics, that tires of our divisive facebook comments. 

so without all the answers, i continue to pray that God would show me, in each and every moment, what faithfulness looks like. 

so whether i'm teaching, or being a wife, or walking sir winston, or enjoying a happy hour margarita, or spending the weekend on a women's retreat, that my life would be a testament that real, authentic faith makes a difference.


  1. It DOES make a difference. You are one of the most authentic people I know! And am so thankful to call you a friend....who inspires me and my own faith. xo

  2. AMEN! I have been feeling all these same things lately. I have been praying that every moment of my life be lived for God and be a testament of my faith. Love this post! You are so beautiful inside and out girl! :)

  3. Wow! Hannah! Thank you so much for this! I really love how you have defined what an authentic faith looks like to you! Its so hard to have authentic faith when living amoungst the real world. Thank you for this challenge. I am really encouraged!!!

  4. Goodness, I love your blog! Your faith in Christ is truly inspiring! I am excited to follow all of your blogging adventures. I am new to the blogging scene, follow me at http://foreverconvinced.blogspot.com/ :) xo- Jess

  5. Love your blog, my blog is open to all! Throughherhazeleyes.blogspot.com

  6. so encouraging to read this! thanks for your example!