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Building Altars of Faith: A Journey of Radical Faith and Unwavering Trust

By: Kacie Starr Long

Many years ago, at my former church, I remember a deacon sharing about Hebrews 11. He was soft spoken, and served more than he spoke, which is why I think I remember what he shared, as his few words were precious.

As I prepare to attend the 2024 Jewel Warrior conference whose theme is "Fight Like a Girl With Radical Faith" I am challenged to not forget the countless times when faith has won the battle. In the Old Testament, when men experienced a breakthrough by God, they would establish an altar as a way to commemorate that God had indeed moved in their situation.

Could it be that I have gotten so used to God moving in my life, and so focused on the next battle and challenge that I have neglected to erect an altar, and spend time thanking God, acknowledging Him and worshipping Him for what He has done?

I'm feeling challenged in this area to linger and worship God as I take my own walk of faith, and I pray that as I recount a bit; that not only will your faith be strengthened, but you too will write down your own faith encounters and build your own altar of worship.

Faith Altar: God As My Comforter

I have shared my story many times, but years ago I was an elected official in St. Louis. I actually made history becoming one of St. Louis' youngest elected officials at that time as I served as the first black woman to represent my aldermanic district. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a young age, however sin entered in my life and as a public official I embezzled campaign money for my personal use. I ended up resigning from my political position, paid restitution over the course of a few years and publicly apologized to my constituents and the community. Nevertheless, there were many consequences I had to face - legal, emotional, financial, spiritual. I honestly thought my life was ruined. Just a few years earlier I had achieved local (and a bit of national) notoriety, and things seemed so dark and depressing. However, I felt God's presence through every moment.

When bloggers would attack me, and my enemies would mock me on social media - God stayed with me. He never left my side. He forgave me. God placed promises in my heart that things would be better and to trust Him. Ten years later, I can say that through it all, God has been faithful. He never left my presence. It took faith to trust in God to lead me to admit my wrongs, to not to continue to lie to cover them up, but to be honest and to admit, "Yes, I stole the money" and to trust that God could mend the broken pieces.

Since resigning from the Board of Aldermen, I have visited prisons in Missouri and even a prison in two countries in Africa, where I have shared the message, that even in our darkest moments, God will never leave our side. That's it's possible to sin, admit our sins and receive forgiveness by God.

My husband and I now lead a prison ministry where we share a message that is based on God's grace and how He gives us second chances. During my time in politics, I based success on how far I could climb the political ladder, but now my measure of success is - am I doing the will of my Father? Is God pleased with me? Am I obeying what I believe God is calling me to do.

This takes faith, and I am living by faith everyday.

Faith Altar: Believing God For Marriage

There was a time when I believed God for marriage. As a single woman, I had fallen in love with God and wanted a God-fearing husband to do ministry with. The problem was I was very much single, and there didn't seem to be many men who were interested in me. However, God would speak to several people who gave me encouraging messages to trust God in my singleness. That He would send me a mate who would be custom made for me and just what I needed in a husband. God was true to His word. It took time, but sure enough, God allowed me to cross paths with my now husband, Alfred, who in my opinion is a dream come true. I could not have asked for a better husband. He is truly God's gift to me.

It took faith for me to trust God with my singleness. There were times when I wanted to give up. I felt that I was going to be too old to marry, and I was upset that my father had passed and would not be able to walk me down the aisle. God let me know that my age didn't matter, and to get out of my feelings about my dad. While I missed my father, although he wouldn't be physically at my wedding, his memories and love would be. God is faithful.

Faith Altar: God is My Provider

Finally, I must share how God has provided me for me. I have always worked a job. We live in a world where we work to earn money. Well after I resigned from serving as an Alderman, it was very hard for me to find employment. Although I had the education, and a unique work experience, doors just would not open for the employment I sought. I began to start my own sewing business by making custom clothing and lap scarves for women at church. I sold my lap handkerchiefs for $15.00, so you can imagine that it's hard to make a living off of that.

Nevertheless, I really felt like God wanted me to stick with sewing and to use my time to study His word and grow in intimacy with Him. There were times when I resisted this. I had to go on what we know as a version of Medicaid for health insurance, I shopped at thrift stores for clothes, sometimes it seems like I just had enough money to make it. But the story is - I did make it. God always provided. I always had food to eat, gasoline in my car and I kept going. God provided for me. I utilized my faith to trust God to provide for me. I really believed that God used this season to teach me that He is my provider and not a job, political position or title. Each day, God would provide manna for me. Whether it was a custom sewing order, someone would put $20.00 in my hand, or God would stretch what I had in my bank account - God provided. God also used this season to purify my desires and tastes. I was very materialistic. I had to have a certain type of hair extensions, nails or clothes -- well God removed those "have - to's" during that season. Now, don't get me wrong. I still like nice things, but I've learned to live within my means and I don't have to have them. Like Paul, I have learned how to live with little and with much.

A Call to Radical Faith

In the tapestry of life, we all face battles requiring radical faith—be it showing up for ourselves and our families or refusing to let dreams wither. Today, I encourage you to build your own altar. Whether through journaling moments of provision or taking reflective walks, acknowledge the times when God has come through. You are a person of radical faith—embracing the extraordinary and choosing to walk by faith, day by day, month by month, and year by year. That, my friend, is radical faith personified.

Kacie's Newest Book Available for Purchase

PS: If you haven't heard, my latest book "Inspired: 40 ish Devotions for the Woman who Enjoys Laughter, Strength and Encouragement is now available for purchase You can learn more by clicking here.

Hi, my name is Kacie Starr Long. I am an author, and speaker and I love to use my voice to point people to Jesus. When I'm not writing, I'm either working out at Orange Theory Fitness or sewing. I'm in recovery from compulsive overeating and I have a sewing ministry, called the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room. I am the proud wife of Alfred T. Long, Sr and together we lead a non-profit that serves prisoners and their families. Connect with me at and via my YouTube page for Christian teachings and encouragement.

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