Easier said than done, am I right? Can I get an Amen?
Really though, it’s easy to say, “hey, chin up, keep the faith”, to someone when they’re going through a tough situation. But is that ever really what we want to hear? We may not always want to hear it, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
What I’ve found is that keeping the faith is all that’s gotten me through some of the rougher patches life has thrown my way. When we feel like we have nothing left, about the only thing that will get us through is faith. Faith that one day life will feel better again. Faith that the deep feelings of despair, depression, isolation, loneliness, and so on will one day fade to a distant memory. Faith that even the obstacles will make us stronger. Faith that with time and distance all wounds will heal. Faith. Faith. Faith.
It’s funny how things work out when you look back. As I began the journey of writing my first book, I so cleverly titled “Faith Walk”, I never imagined God would put me through some inner trials to truly learn what real faith is. But you see what I’ve learned is that you get what you ask for. I wanted to understand faith and the only way for me to do that was to experience it firsthand. Faith led me home. To myself. My dark night of the soul began somewhere between picking my life up and moving over 500 miles away from the only life I’d ever known and finding myself returning back where I started only this time with more acceptance of who I really am. Faith is what got me out the door in the morning when the only thing I really wanted to do was curl up in a ball and not face the world again after feeling like my dreams vanished before my eyes. Faith is what told me to keep going even when I felt like I failed miserably at my first attempt to go into business for myself or when I came running home after a failed attempt to live in another city in another state on my faith that it was where I was meant to be. I’ll never forget that deep feeling of “failure”and despair that only faith would tell me would subside eventually. During my faith walk I realized that failure doesn’t truly exist. I swear us humans make failure up as a way to punish ourselves for making choices we thought were right but not ending up as we hoped. What I did learn instead is that there is no such thing as failure. There is only learning, wisdom and growth. And finally, faith is what led me to God. And understanding we must first experience before we can teach.
One evening not all that long ago, as I lay in savasana after a yoga class intending to find my inner zen, I told God I hadn’t heard from Him in awhile, and I’d really like to. There between my deep, relaxing breaths, I heard, “Angie, Faith is believing even when there is no evidence.”
Oh yes, of course, evidence doesn’t come before faith. In that moment, I knew the dreams I once carried were still my dreams. Nothing had changed except for my faith. It was all still possible. Just because it wasn’t happening in my timing didn’t mean it wasn’t going to. As, I sat there in my yoga class taking a few last deep breaths, in and out, I could exhale a little deeper. Knowing that building my faith was the biggest part of my journey all along. It wasn’t about building a new life in a new city and a new business to go along with it. It never was. It was always about building my faith even when there was no evidence that I should remain faithful. All of the things I longed for, the business I so desperately wanted to build, the book I longingly wanted to muster up the courage to finish, the people I wanted to meet along my journey, the ones I envisioned I would help and the ones that would help me. The life I longed to live. They were always going to come after I built my faith. Not before. And in that moment, after months of feeling depressed and directionless, I knew it was all still possible. One day I would no longer be stuck. The gates would open wide for me once again for my spirit to roam free. And it has. All I had to do was keep the faith.
If you were like me and you knew you had a purpose and it hasn’t come to pass yet, remember it is still possible. Work on building your faith and watch what faith can do.