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Saturday, October 9, 2010

What is faith?

What is faith?  What keeps us going?  How is it we keep falling yet get up time and time again?  What makes us tick?  Life holds so many questions, so many wonders, and yet we persevere, we move onward. 

All too often we are faced with events and such in our lives that leave us unsure.  We are left feeling unsure of who we are, who are neighbors are, what this world is coming to, and so much more.  Yet with all that happens around us, we still hold on.  

For myself, in all I have faced in life, I know my faith has been the rock I cling to.  It has been this faith that keeps me moving forward, keeps me grounded and helps me get up each time I fall.  When Rachel died, it was the most important thing in my life, my faith, I knew that if I held on tight, I would be okay.  I knew God accepted me with all my brokenness, with all my failings, and especially with all my doubts and questions.  It may seem funny to some, but it was and still is an unbelievable comfort to me.  

I look around me at so many people I have had the pleasure to meet.  Some have been in my life a long time, others just mere acquaintances, but all have left their mark on me.  In my previous employment I had the privilege of traveling quite frequently and I was able to not only experience a lot, but meet so many new people.  I guess I have one of those faces, I tend to smile a lot, so I must appear approachable to many people, so because of this 'gift' I have been privy to many interesting life stories and met many beautiful people. Oh, I have met the other sort as well, those that have you ducking for cover, but fortunately, those have been few and far between. 

These sojourns in my life has thought me so much about human nature, what make some of us who we are.  I am no expert and do not even think myself capable of being one, I have just experienced some aspects of it, and I have seen the good, the bad and the indifferent.  

So what does all this have to do with life, faith and getting through tough times?  Our human nature says a lot about our character, how we cope and what helps us get up each morning.  I learned many life lessons, just from listening to others.  I remember on one of my flights, meeting a young woman who is an author, she had just completed her latest book and was going back to England to begin research on her next book.  She was a fascinating young woman, who lived off the kindness of others, while trying to get the data she needed for her writings.  She had learned to read others, and in doing so, find people who could help her.  We kept in touch for a while, and when she came back to the States I met her and helped her get to her next destination.  Two strangers who somehow developed a trust, who believed in the decency of humanity.  She took a leap of faith, trusting me, but so did I.  

There were times when I would find myself, sitting next to someone either at the airport or on the plane, who would be just plain scared.  I would see these people searching and seeking out other travelers, who like myself, appeared more seasoned, non-plussed by the prospect of getting on yet another flight.  

When my daughter died, I realized that I was one of those travelers, looking for the face of someone who seemed calm, who appeared to know what they were doing, who had experienced this before, and understood it some how.  My life had taught me to seek out others, to find my way through this maze called life by asking for help, by trusting and allowing faith to lead me.  

We all at some point in our lives find ourselves adrift in a sea of confusion, unsure which way to go, where to turn.  Like so many travelers, we must seek help along the way, we must allow ourselves to trust, to seek out the help of others, and to allow faith to guide us.  I had my faith, my religious beliefs that guided me, that keep me going, that let me hold on to the belief that I will meet my daughter again.  Allow your faith to guide you, what ever your religious or non-religious beliefs might be.  

I have many dear friends who have different religious views and beliefs, but we all share one thing in common, we know that we all gain by helping each other, by leaning on each other, and by allowing ourselves to trust.  Throughout my life, and more especially, in the last four years, I have truly been grateful and blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life, who accepted me for me, not for what I believe in, what I do for a living, or how much money I have or don't have, but for me, the human, the person with a heart beat and a pulse.  

If you are struggling with grief, loss, illness, or just trying to understand why things happen, look to your faith, look to others, do not be afraid to reach out to others who may have already traveled the road you are on.  Life is full of lessons, and full of people who have already learned these lessons, so like a child who is eager to learn, let us to be eager to find our way through life's difficult lessons, by turning to those who have been there.  

The following poem sums it all up:

Faith begins by believing
in your heart that what is right
Faith is knowing in your heart
that good can overcome evil,
that the sun can shine
in a rainstorm.
Faith is peaceful
and comforting, because it
comes from within
where no one can invade
your private dreams.
Faith is not something
you can demand or command;
it is a result of  commitment to belief.
Faith is believing in something
you can't see or hear,
something deep inside
that only you understand
and control.
Faith is trusting in yourself
enough to know that no matter
how things turn out,
you will make
the best of them.
by Beth Fagan Quinn

The definition of Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. The word faith can refer to a religion itself or to religion in general.    (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Blessings! and until we meet again

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