Faithful Friday:How to Grow Your Faith– Becky’s Story
How to Grow Your Faith: Becky’s Story
People who know Becky Antkowiak recognize her strong commitment to helping writers hone their skills and to advocating for those without a voice. Today, though, I’d like to dig a little deeper into what makes her that way. Her faith in God remained a constant source of peace despite—and because of—life’s most challenging circumstances.
Becky grew up surrounded by people of faith. She heard stories of God’s grace and committed to following Jesus at the age of four. Her grandfather questioned any child’s ability to understand the gospel at such a young age completely, and decided they needed to have a little chat.
“I didn’t think it was possible, but I think you’re right,” he told Becky’s mother. “She knows what she believes.”
She understood the truth: God is perfect, and heaven is perfect. Only perfection can enter heaven. To have a relationship with God—and ultimately, to enter heaven—we’d have to be perfect. But no human can be perfect, which means we have a problem.
“It’s not about the balance of good and bad—we can’t work our way to perfection. Everyone sins, and sin (imperfection) separates us from God. So God provided a way to have a relationship with him without working for it: through faith in Jesus.”
Becky believes faith is critical because the human brain can’t adequately wrap its mind around the concept of God’s love.
“Through faith, we have to accept God’s gift of relationship and life, believe in Jesus, and rest in the truth. Maybe ‘faith’ sounds foreign, but it’s not. We use faith every time we leave our driveway. Did you check every lug nut on the wheels of your car? I don’t. I believe the car will get me where I need to go. God is infinitely more reliable than the many other things in which we trust each day.”
Dreams of Adoption
When Becky was eight, a friend gave her George Muller’s biography. The story of his great faith and his love for orphans inspired her to adopt someday. Years later, she and her soon-to-be husband Patrick decided to pursue adoption as their priority whenever they decided to start a family.
Before they embarked on their adoption journey, the two decided to sponsor a child. They chose Compassion International for the organization’s integrity— specifically, the way the company allocates funds. Their sponsorship program focuses on each child’s specific needs.
After several years of sponsoring, Becky stepped into a Volunteer Event Coordinator role. She coordinated volunteers to staff Compassion events throughout much of the eastern part of the United States. When presented with an opportunity to go to Peru and see the organization in action, She and Patrick immediately agreed.
“We couldn’t wait to see Compassion’s work in person.” Witnessing the results of Compassion’s work strengthened their resolve to continue to support the organization. Although Compassion provides opportunities to sponsor (not adopt) children, the trip also encouraged Patrick and Becky to continue their pursuit of adoption.
Making Dreams Come True
An entire decade passed as the Antkowiaks attempted to follow the call to adopt. Every attempt to pursue adoption through an agency ended without success.
“We didn’t want to foster, because our personal goal was adoption, and we believe fostering should be used to help keep a family together. Fostering provides space and time. It gives parents time to get any needed help. The goal should be to bring those children back to their biological family.”
Then, they met “their kiddos”—siblings in foster care who would not be returning to their biological family. Patrick and Becky both felt God calling them to parent these specific children, so they registered to become foster parents and went through the necessary training.
“We couldn’t see it at the time, but everything we saw as a delay was just God getting us where we needed to be.” The brutal, decade-long delay made the Antkowiak home available when God’s plan fell into place. “The children came home less than ninety days after we met. Two years later, we finalized the adoption.”
Lessons Learned in Waiting
Here’s what Becky learned through a decade of waiting: “If God calls us, but our situation doesn’t seem to work out the way we expect, we shouldn’t assume we misunderstood God. We need to keep doing what we think He wants us to do each day. The days add up. Eventually, we’ll see the big picture-or maybe we won’t. God helps us grow our faith as we wait. And if we follow his daily direction, we’ll be where he needs us to be when the time is right. And God’s timing is always perfect.”