“Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things – with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.” ~ Corazon Aquino
What is faith? The immediate definition that comes to mind is, “Faith is evidence of things not seen.”
Faith for me intertwines with my belief in God, a higher power, the universe, etc. Faith is that inner-knowing that no matter what, everything will be okay. I will be okay. Life will be good to me in the grand scheme of things even when at times it feels like it is unfair and cruel. Life, overall, is still worth living and being here.
Faith teaches me to hold on.
Faith will catch me when I feel like I’m falling and feel weak.
What I know about faith I’ve learned from my Mom. I am grateful for her example and wisdom. She taught me what faith is all about. To let go and believe especially when life changes, appears cruel and unkind and my world is no longer anything like what I thought it would be or how I want it to be. Because of Mom’s example, I have come to embrace a strong faith that grounds me and is a constant in my life.
I’ve have such admiration of Mom’s faith and her conviction that everything is happening as it should. She has lived her life by her faith. Do I term it a blind acceptance? Or do I call it what it is, a true certainty of how she navigates her life and how it has worked for her in 82 years here in this world.
Even now, with her mind taken over by Alzheimer’s disease and her body challenging her each and every day, her faith is ever constant. She lives in the moment. No worries about what has been or what will be. She takes every moment as it comes good or bad and finds a way to make the most of it, even though she doesn’t always understand what is happening to her. Deep inside, I know she understands and just accepts that this is the journey she has been given. That is faith. That is powerful.
Faith is her rock and she has never waivered from this position. Do I think it has come effortless to her? No, it has not come easy but it has been her strength and her foundation. A constant presence in the midst of loss, sadness, turmoil, death, birth, life…. Faith never dies or ends. My Mom’s faith is still there and each of us has an opportunity every moment to find the faith that I am convinced is there inside every one of us.
I truly believe in faith but I also believe that life and circumstances as they come can sometimes make us lose our way and question, toss aside, give up on and shake us up and our faith to our very core.
It is during these moments that faith shines. We find an inner strength to keep going. Faith has a way of reaching inside to hold on to us even when we think we’re done and have lost all sense of what we know of faith.
What I have learned about faith is that even during my own trying times, there were moments when I lost faith in myself and found it hard to see what was important to me anymore and understand why things were happening as they were. It was faith that held on to me and brought me the circumstance, the person, the smile from a stranger, a hug and warm embrace or the place I needed to be, or the song I needed to hear, showered me with laughter and always, always surrounded me with love just when I needed it the most. Faith never gave up and in its own subtle way showed me ever so slowly to learn to love myself again and to find forgiveness.
There was stability and reassurance to be found and faith never failed to point me in that direction. All I had to do was open my eyes and my heart to allow faith to remind me of all that was right in front of me and what has always been. And each time I let go, stopped trying to control everything, was kind to myself and allowed others to help and didn’t try to go it alone, faith reassured me that all is well. I could begin again and slowly gain my trust back and belief that there is a greater plan for me and that my future will always be far greater than my past ever was.
So when questions like “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, “Why does someone die tragically?”, “Why does someone get sick and have to suffer needlessly?”, “Why do some people get the good breaks and others struggle no matter what they do?”, or when we just ask, “Why me?”
When these questions come up, maybe, just maybe, all we are called to do is to have faith. Maybe all that needs to happen and all that we can do is to let go and focus our attention on all that is good. Faith knocks on the door, slowly, methodically to get our attention and when we don’t hear, keeps knocking, until it’s only way to get through to us is to scream, “I’m right here” and “I will never let you down.”
Sometimes, all we are asked to consider is a small shift in our perspective. To see our lives as they are right now and accept that all is well. So when everything seems difficult and jumbled and less than you think it should be, I hope you will search your own life and see that faith is standing by your side waiting for you to take its hand and walk with you so that you are never alone.