Sunday, December 27, 2020

What is Faith? As Seen Through a Personal Life Journey

What is Faith? As Seen Through a Life Review

Challenges, endless challenges, or so it seems. Then without warning, there it is, light.

This article isn't meant to be preachy. My life is as imperfect as everyone else's. What's different now is the feeling that my soul is on track, on the right road to home. It doesn't mean life is always easy, although I'll take that if it happens, only that living in the light helps to make sense of it all. I actually wrote a video poem about that very thing; Living in Light.

My family's challenges and what I've had to witness as a mother, wife, daughter, and friend should have broken me. When I reflect back, I see clearly, that instead, it made me. 

Each of us has our own bridge to peace, to inner calm. What I've learned along the way is that faith means many things throughout life.

FAITH - The Long Road Home - What is Faith? 

  • Faith is the belief that, in the end, everything WILL be ok: I believe that to the core of my being, I know this to be the absolute truth as sure as I breathe.
  • Faith is losing it all and having to start over again, and you do.
  • Faith is holding on when your heart has been torn to shreds, and you realize, even with that terrible pain, you've kept the most sacred thing you have safe in your heart. Love. You still love, you still can love. That horrible pain didn't steal anything from you - you discovered it couldn't.
  • Faith is being able to let go and forgive when you've been betrayed and disrespected. You're still able to look beyond your own pain and assess the situation from the other person's perspective and flaws. You don't forgive for brownie-points; you do so because it's the only road to peace for all parties concerned. You hold on to the faith that the person who hurt you will grow, for their own betterment, not for yours. Whether they do or not, you love them anyway.
  • Faith is a thousand prayers you've repeated in your heart and mind for your children. You watch them grow, and your heart fills with incredible worry for them until faith steps in to remind you that 'in the end, everything WILL be ok.'
  • Faith is watching someone you love step back from the edge of addiction, and save themselves. The hardest thing in the world is bearing witness to something you have no control over. Along with a shoulder and helping hand, the only thing you ultimately can have is faith.
  • Faith is watching your child drive away into their future endeavors. Your heart goes with them, and faith keeps you strong.
  • Faith is working your way through a life long disease and still believing that 'everything will be ok.'
  • Faith is when your children, even as adults, deal with sickness, and you still find faith, even through helplessness and tears.
  • Faith is watching your friends battle cancer. Knowing you can't take away their pain, you pray, and you keep the faith for them.
  • Faith is creating something, never knowing if anything will come of it, but you do it anyway.
  • Faith is seeing your father's face in the casket and knowing, within the depths of your being, that he isn't in there. That his body was truly a temporary home. That he is standing beside you as you cry. That he hasn't left. Faith is the gift of total understanding that we live on. My father sealed that faith. I was raised with the belief in an afterlife and always had that belief. However, when I saw my dad's face in his casket, it was as though a bright light of knowledge filled my heart. I knew for certain that he was still here, that his body was just that, a body. His soul was still very much alive. I felt it. I still feel it.
  • Faith is holding on so tight to your mother as she ages and lives without your dad. Your heart belongs to her in a way that nobody can truly understand. It's personal between you and her, and you love her so much that the only thing that erases worry is prayer and faith. I wrote this for mom a long time ago, and it's still how I feel.
  • Faith is losing your parents' wedding rings that were gifted to you and praying so hard for their return: Then five months later, you're in your mother's room changing her bedsheets, asking that when you go back into your own room to "please let me find those rings." You know they can't possibly be there because you and your brother lifted that mattress right up and off the bed months ago, and nothing was there. Plus, you searched your room for months only to conclude that there is no way on God's green earth they can be there. However, because of faith, you prayed again the day you were changing those sheets. You didn't expect to find the rings, but you prayed anyway. When you got to your room, you peeked under one side of the bed's mattress, laughed to yourself, and nope, they weren't there. You were about to leave the room, and something compelled you to lift the mattress again on the other side of the bed. You were expecting nothing, but a miracle was delivered, and yes, both those rings were laying neatly just under the top mattress, one slightly overlapping the other!! You gasped! Almost fainted! You were gifted another powerful moment to keep in your heart for life. This is a moment in my life I'll never ever forget. I'm still shocked by it!
Every time I begin to lose faith, I remember my parent's rings miraculously showing up under my mattress. I didn't expect that prayer to be answered in such a magical way. What an amazing gift that was. Finding those rings is my 'Faith-Reminder.' Every single time I begin to stress or worry about something - my parent's rings appear to me. As the lyrics in the beautiful song below say, "you will find your way if you keep believing, I've seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new - that's what faith can do." If you're viewing via mobile, the video is here.


I've learned that faith is something that needs to be nurtured; to feed our soul, just as we feed our body. 

For 2021 I'm holding onto faith that humanity will find its way back into balance; body, mind, and spirit. If all of humanity is too big of a goal, I hope my friends and family can find or maintain that balance. 

"We Will Have Morning Smiles" - 50 Years of Poetry by Me - Available on Amazon.





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15 comments:

  1. Barbara, I so admire your way with words ~ in the paragraphs you write, in the beautiful poems you compose, in the music you choose whose lyrics perfectly illustrate whatever subject you are discussing. Reading your thoughts on Faith (or on many subjects you have discussed in the past in your writings) is always so personal. It is as if we are sitting in your kitchen having coffee together and talking in person about such things 'from the heart'. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself through your words and giving me such peaceful things to contemplate.

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    1. What a beautiful comment to wake to. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such heartfelt feedback. It means so much, especially during these challenging. You're such a thoughtful person <3

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  2. Barbara, this is my morning meditation thank you! Without Faith I think I would have perished a long time ago. Like you there is that strength within, that comes at our darkest hour, when we think we can't go another step further. It's at that moment that I remember the faith of the woman who just wanted to touch the hem of His garment and know that she would be cured. I tie a knot and hold tight to His hem and know that I will make it through this too! This is a review I will bookmark and come back to on those dark days. Blessings for a new year where mind, body and soul will be refreshed and renewed!

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    1. Olivia, thank you so much for your beautiful words. Truly appreciate you and the time you take to always visit and comment. Here's to a better year ahead for all of us.

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  3. As always, beautifully written Barbara. Thank you so much for sharing this glimpse into your heart and soul with us. An excellent reminder that we are not alone in our times of stress, grief, or turmoil. As an adult,I heavily rely on the scriptures that I learned as a child and my faith that God is always in control.

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    1. Thank you <3 - Those rings that showed up after prayer, wow, I can't begin to express how shocking that was - I had reported them lost at Walmart, and my mom checked back with Walmart several times - checked my moms home high and low for many months, my brother and I lifted all the mattresses - I check the washing machine drains, the outside of the house, they weren't in the car - check the internet lost and found - and would look at my finger that was missing those rings with a distance sense I might get them back but didn't have a clue how, afterall I had checked everywhere, including the place that I found them multiple times! So those rings showing up the way they did are my constant reminder to have faith, to hold on - and goodness knows we need that in this life.

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  4. Barbara dear, even though I am not religious, I, too, believe in the power of faith. Your words are so uplifting, so beautiful, and so needed by so many, especially at this time. Your light shines bright, my friend, and makes a difference in this world!

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    1. Thank you Margaret. Faith, yes, it's a saving grace for sure <3

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  5. You have written such beautiful and heartfelt uplifting words on Faith Barbara. Thank you for sharing the strength and the peace you have found. Sending many Blessings to you and yours (and also big hugs).

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    1. Thank you <3 - It's a constant work in progress and daily practice to maintain, that's for sure.

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  6. Barbara You have a real gift with words. Thank you for an inspiring message. My faith in God has certainly been central to my life and has always seen me through good times and bad.

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    1. Thank you Mary Beth. Faith is such an important part of navigating this very difficult journey. Sometimes difficult, sometimes not, but I think we can count on being tested from time to time. A little faith can help soften those not-so-great days.

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  7. What a beautiful testimony of faith. There is so much I can relate to here. I saw my own mom through her finally illness and watched as she passed to Heaven by faith. I also saw my dad's face in his casket and believed every word of the eulogy I gave at his memorial service. My faith got me through many hard times in the life and deaths of my children. I don't know how I would have done that without faith. I have also found many things after I prayed about them. Thanks for this reminder and a time when for many faith is dim.

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    1. You've been through so much, and you're still standing. I certainly understand how faith got you through it all. Blessings to you.

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  8. Barbara you have such a wonderful way with words. Since the day, I met you so long ago, you have been an inspiration to me.

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