where I find my faith…

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Faith asked me on the way home from church this week, Mom how does god decide what prayers he listens to and what prayers he doest listen to. I’ve been praying really hard that my colon starts working… it makes me sad mom, that god let me down.

Go ahead, answer that question. Because I can’t. I think my first reaction was, I have to stop taking her to church. Because at church they talk to kids about prayers being answered. And Faith is
wondering why her prayers aren’t being answered. And honestly so am I, I understand how she’s feeling.

My dad wasnt a religious man, he was caring, loving, generous individual, but he wasnt prayerful. In fact, in his last hour of life I baptised him myself. I think my step-mother noticed, but I’m pretty sure no one else did. I asked him once, when I was about eight, Dad have you ever prayed? You would have to understand that my mom and her side of the family were dedicated Catholics. Once, I was sick, I had to stay home from church and I asked if we needed to call the Pope to let him know I was staying home with my dad. And I was serious. We were prayerful, but dad, he only came to church on special occations…so I asked him, dad, have you ever prayed, he said once.

I was waiting for a sweet story about when I was born or when Scott was born…but that wasnt it. He told me a story that broke my heart, he was in Vietnam, and his dad had a heart attack and died. When they came to notify him it was late at night, he walked out near some water and looked into the sky, and prayed, god just let me get back for my dads funeral. It was the first time he had ever prayed. I could tell by the way he told the story, he hadn’t made it back in time, but I asked, when did you finally get back dad? Late at night, after my dads funeral. I still wonder if his prayers had been answered if that wouldn’t have been his only prayer.

I remember I used to feel like I had blind faith, that no matter what I would believe. What I have come to realize is, its easy to believe when everything is going well. It’s when things are not going well that it gets complicated. So how, when your life is falling apart, do you find faith?

That Catholic church that I’ve been attending all 37 years of my life, maybe didn’t like the fact that I quit attending church for a few years while I was getting divorced, but no one from that church has ever even called the hospital to check on Faith. I have called numerous times to be sure that she is on their prayer list, and not once has anyone ever called me to see how she is. No priest has ever asked if we would like someone to come and bless her, nothing…she has been in the OR eight times this year, she has had three major surgeries…and nothing. Yet we are asked to keep our faith.

So you think this is a story about a loss of faith. A family giving up on god, and what he has blessed us with. Not really. This is a story of where you find your faith.
And as I see it, god is lucky…hes lucky he has his people to show love and compassion. Because the only faith I’ve got right now, is in the people who I believe have been sent to help us through this journey. Because without them, we wouldn’t be ok. I wouldn’t be ok.

I found faith in a friend, who hasn’t given up on us, who calls a few times a week, even when half the time I don’t call her back, that brings her kids to the hospital and tells me hilarious stories about her and her husband and their sex life, knowing that the last thing I need to be talking about is whats going on with Faith. Shes smart, she gets whats going on, she’s scared too, and for some reason that makes me feel better, that someone else is really worried. She invites us to her house, and she takes control, she lets me just forget whats going on. I give nothing back to her, In fact I think I’m a lousy friend right now, but she’s there no matter what. Sometimes at night when I’m sad, I go into my living room and lay on the rug she bought me…just because it makes me remember how much she loves me…for nothing in return, I really love her…she is where I find my faith.

I find faith in my Aunt, who I believe has made it her mission to be there when my dad can’t be…and shes doing a great job…and for some reason when I am with her I miss my dad less.

I find faith in my mom, who I am certain thought retirement would be way more enjoyable than having an ill granddaughter and having to move into my house to take care of Will when Faith is in the hospital. But she acts like she would rather be doing nothing else but being with Will. When I am pretty sure, that’s not the case.

I find my faith in my Aunt, who has recruited me to attend her Lutheran church, where Faith is so happy. I can tell her anything. She does not judge me. She doesn’t get mad at me for being a bitch or not wanting to talk…she just loves me…and she really loves my kids….She is where I find my faith.

I find faith in my nephew who runs out of his classroom everyday when he sees me and gives me a big hug, not because he knows what I’m dealing with, but because he loves me.
I find faith in my niece, who I believe is smart enough to know what is going on, but isn’t scared away. She just loves to be with Faith and Faith would rather be with no one but her.

I find faith in my man. He is there to hold Faiths hand when she has her treatments done, and there to hold mine when I can’t go any further. He loves my kids as if they were his and they love him. He also has a firm grip on my heart, which right now, maybe more challenging than anything he’s ever had to endure. He is a gift from my dad, I’m more sure of that everyday. and he is where I find my faith.

I find faith in kind words, in loving messages, and prayers from people I hardly know…

I find faith in my son, who loves me no less, when everything I once promised him, has come up empty.

But most of all I find my faith in my Faith. When I am weak, she is strong. When I let go she holds on…She is where I find my Faith.

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10 thoughts on “where I find my faith…

  1. Linda

    Maryann,
    I wish you all the best. You sound like you are a wonderful Mother. They say we are not supposed to question, but I do. There is so much I don’t understand.
    Hugs to you and your family…I feel like I know you when I have never met you.

  2. Nancy

    There is no written rule that says your faith has to come from a church or a specific religion. There is no rule that says you can’t rely on the people around you. Faith is in your heart, it is what makes us keep going. Wherever you get the inspiration for your faith, embrace it. Do you ever think that is why you named your daughter Faith?

    You have been given the toughest trials in life and yet you still keep going. You must be doing something right.

    Keep the Faith!

  3. sherry costonde

    MARY ANN, I am a very spiritual person, Love God, but I too question God and faith. I don’t understand who gets the miracles and why some don’t. I have had major “miracles” in my life, but have also had several unanswered prayers (or so I think) . I don’t believe i was deserving of a single one of my answered prayers. I don’t know what to say to you or how to answer Faith’s questions. I am very touched by the story of your dad. Please don’t let the “Institution” of the church discourage you. Let the people of the “Body of Christ” comfort, care, carry and lift you up. they will pray and stand in the gap for you before God. God knows your heart, he knows we get discouraged and doubt. Jesus’ own disciples had these same emotions and they walked right next to him. I do know that without God we will surely fail. Maybe someone at your Luthern church or someone close to you can help you to explain something to Faith about her question. I will also talk to some ppl and try to help.

  4. L. Hill

    Mary Ann,

    You have such a way with words and I can tell writing this blog helps clear the burden weighing on your heart, even if only briefly. I am so glad you have the people in your life that are helping you through this difficult and trying time. I know that I could certainly be a better friend and will try harder, I promise. We are constantly thinking and talking about Faith, I just forget to let you in on it sometimes. 🙂 Your mother is one very strong lady, and I know that this is where you get your resilience from. I’ve never seen her crack, she’s always held it together, and so shall you, because you are your mother’s daughter. Stay strong, and keep your faith, because girl, you’ve got it-I’ve seen it. I’m SO happy that you are trying a new church. If you are not getting what you need spiritually, one must keep looking until that emptiness gets filled, and if people don’t understand that, well then shame on them. I do agree though, that just because one goes to church doesn’t make them a Christian, it’s what’s in your heart and who you surround yourself with, and it seems that you are doing just fine there. We love you and miss you. Know that we pray for Faith often during bedtime prayers. xoxoxo

  5. Susan

    That is the best thing I have read in a long time. I know we hardly know each other but I feel we are connected through our “Faiths” they are not on the same journey but on a similar journey to find childhood in a mess of illness. I couldn’t have said it better myself, I find faith through my support system and my Faith. God Bless and stay strong mama!!

  6. Deb shillington

    Wow, I didn’t know your story, I followed you on twitter, because of Kid Rock. I would do anything to help you… I don’t know how but i would be there if I could. My heart goes out to you. Xoxo

  7. Heather

    I am definitely praying for Faith and your family! I too have found myself questioning God, but I remind myself that He has a perfect plan, even though we don’t always understand what’s going on! And one thing I have learned is that God can use the trials in your life to influence other people! And that you just have to trust him! That is probably the hardest part!

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