Faith: Noun. Complete trust in someONE or someTHING.
On a good day, I would like to say that I have faith in this crazy thing we call life.
On a bad day, well, let’s just say me and “Faith” can be the dreaded frenemies.
An oxymoron, I know, but it’s true. Faith and I can still be friendly while maintaining our fundamental rivalry and/or dislike for each other.
That’s right, my relationship with Faith is a two-way street. I put my trust in her (yes, I like to think of Faith as a she) and in return she helps me cope from one day to the next. She holds my hand when the alternatives to NOT having her (FAITH) is unimaginable.
Now let’s talk about Faith’s ugly cousin. For all intents and purposes, I call him FEAR (yes, it’s a he). Time and time again I know we all can fall under the umbrella of pure Fear, that nothing will ever be right. I personally am guilty of this, often.
If you are a parent, like me, it can be all consuming. But who has time to be scared? Not us. Not our children.
Fear is a part of life and there is no going around it. No skipping. No avoiding. As parents, we fear for our kids’ safety, health and overall well-being. It doesn’t matter if you have a child in the regular school system or a child in a special class with an IEP (individualized education program) under their belt. Maybe you take your child to checkups once a year or your child has 10 specialists and medical equipment at home.
As parents, we deal with FEAR in many ways. We invite him into our homes and learn to live with his presence.
I have been struggling for years to try and keep my chin up. To put my Faith above my fear and live without him clouding my judgment and making my decisions.
Fear can be strong and overbearing, easily overtaking Faith by a long shot. Even when you are letting Faith take the lead, it can be difficult.
What happens when Faith tells you it’s all going to be alright and then…It is suddenly not?
You start redirecting your faith, wondering if she is your friend or your enemy. You question if she is worth having in your life or not.
This past year my oldest son had just finished two rounds of chemo and Plasma Pheresis. After round one we thought we were on the right track and went for round two, hoping for a great outcome.
When the results came back and his body was in worse shape than before we started. Well, let’s talk about a downward spiral.
Having faith almost started to hurt. At the time having faith to me meant believing in something good, believing in an end to our wariness. When it turned out to be opposite she (Faith) kicked my ass!
Ever been there?
It’s a bleeding-heart feeling and it can drown your senses and ward your way of thinking.
Please don’t get me wrong. I have never fallen into depression and am very good at putting on a true smile for the world – genuine one, but there was and continues to always be that unsuppressed rage about being lied to by my “Faith.”
It has taken me some time to realize that having faith is not my enemy or my downfall. Having faith was my aid in getting through that time. It continues to get me through.
I used to be angry at Faith for giving me false hope. For telling me it was going to be okay.
People can tell you. Your friends, your family…But the only person telling you it’s going to be okay that penetrates deep enough to believe – in yourself, and faith is what let you hold on.
There was a time that I blamed my pain on Faith. I blamed having it and being let down for being the cause of my mental state.
How could she let me feel like it was going to be okay? How could she do this and let me down?
If I had just not believed, had I just not thought about her so much, this would not have hurt so much. I would be able to pull air into my lungs and feel like it was working. If I had not rested so highly on her…
So, guess what, up yours “Faith”! Blame was easier to place on something that is NOT a real entity. Especially when deep down I knew that no blame could be placed on anyONE or anything.
Life for my child isn’t easy. It never will be. Nobody’s life is sunshine and roses.
For now, I’ve decided that me having faith has not hindered me from doing anything. Faith has never truly hurt me either. Faith has given me the ability to get past each day, to look forward to something even if it’s not what I want to happen.
Letting my faith be bigger than my fear has gotten my family this far. And I know longer blame my faith for upsets. I relish the feeling of it holding my hand from one day to the next.
Fear on the other hand blocks my path, steps rite in front of me and halts my actions.
Only Faith as my friend can get me around him.
No matter what journey you are on….
No matter what faith means to you…
Hold on tight.
It’s going to be a bumpy ride and faith will be there always. So will fear.
I implore you to try! Let your faith speak first. Let your faith be bigger than your fear. It may not make everything alright, but it will keep you moving.
April Torres is a thirty-one year old mom of two from Santa Barbara CA. She’s just trying to balance a full time job, two medically complex children, her husband, two cats, the dog and make time to get to the beach.
Image courtesy of Jenn Evelyn-Ann.