Tag Archives: faith

Courage

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Courage is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Courage to keep moving forward instead of burying myself under blankets on my couch. Courage to face the never-ending trail of problems that arise with raising teenagers every…single…day. Courage to tackle problems at work when all I really want to do is sit down and cry.

Courage to face life when life is nothing but brutal at times.

Where does it come from? Where does that push come from…the push that propels you forward on stumbling feet into the next hour, the next day, the next week?

There’s no doubt that through the hardest moments in my life I simply executed the feet on the floor plan.  First, put your feet on the floor.  Second, just stand up and move.  Third, don’t forget to breathe.  Somehow, those simple movements worked.

But what about the everyday, mundane activities?  Do those moments require courage or is it something else all together?  Perhaps it’s gumption or nerve.  Perhaps all we need is the desire to think positive, fist-bumping thoughts.  Or perhaps it’s faith – a calming belief that you’re not ever really alone.

I ask for guidance a lot…lots of prayers, lots of listening.  I ask for direction and clarity so that I don’t lose myself in the world’s clutter.  Granted, most of the time I don’t clearly hear anything, and honestly, I may be a little afraid to hear it all.  What if what I want in life and what is my true future don’t mesh?  What if….

So instead of booking a long-term trip on the what if express, I try to do this:  I try to dream (most) every day, I try to focus on today’s problems or glories, whichever they may be, and I try not to worry.  That last one is a hard one for me.  Worry will suck you dry, I have found.

Life is unknown.  It is beautiful, scary, heartbreaking and exciting.  It takes an act of courage to simply be a part of life each and every day.  Courage has to be in there somewhere, doesn’t it?  How would any of us survive if we didn’t have it in us – encouraging us, pushing us, forcing us to take the next step?  Maybe we’re all stronger than we give ourselves credit for.  Strong enough to face life and strong enough to have the audacity to say, “I won’t give up.”  Maybe that’s real courage.

Faith

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I don’t put my faith in the hands of man.  They tend to drop you.  I don’t put my hope in the love of others.  They tend to forget you.  I instead know that the best is yet to come.  Someone much larger than all of us is in control – of me, of this world.  And for that I’m thankful.

Faith  may be the most beautiful word in the english language.  It implies devotion and strength but still, it’s a delicate word.  It’s almost fragile.  Hope is just as stunning and perhaps a tad stronger.  It gives a window to the future, a longing for what is just beyond our reach, but it too can be bruised and tattered when mishandled. 

The hands of man and the love of others.  How much control do they have over us?  How much of ourselves are we willing to hand over to people who have no right to control our lives and emotions?  Growing older, after living through wonderful times and heart wrenching encounters, I’m learning to let them have very, very little.  I simply refuse to let people who do not truly love or truly care batter two of the greatest gifts of all – faith and hope.   They both are nothing but an intricate, complex mesh of miracles, and I won’t waste them. 

My current character, Maggie, is struggling with the meaning of faith:

       Deep lines wrinkled her skin as she smiled and reassured, “I know it to be so.  Anyone who yearns to love, who is filled with the kindness that fills you like it does, will find it in return.  Hold on to your hope.  It will see you through.”

      “Hope…”

      “Yes, hope in the future being better, and faith, too, my dear.  Faith is what gets you through when you think there’s nothing left for you anywhere.”

      “Explain your concept of faith to me…,” Maggie urged. 

      Reaching out to pat her hand, Mrs. McGreevy warmly answered, “Missus, faith is believing in what you cannot see, in what you cannot understand.  It’s knowing that your dear Lord is taking care of you and your life, no matter how hard it is at the moment.”

      “But…I honestly don’t know if I understand.  There are so many things I don’t understand.”

      “You’re not supposed to understand it all, child.  Just have faith that things are going to be alright.  Let your heart believe it, let the thought fill you, and it’ll see you through.  That’s all you have to understand.”