Day 7: What keeps me going? Faith

I saved the best for last.

When I couldn’t find anything to be grateful for, or didn’t care to. When I lost hope; when I lost sight of my passion; when I wanted to rebel against what’s right; when I didn’t love myself, when I didn’t feel love from anyone else; when I wanted to give up; when I felt like throwing away all the things that made me who I am; when I fell the hardest on my face: I fell onto my faith.

I’m not “religious”. I don’t follow rituals, I don’t do the step by steps. I didn’t grow up in a church and, in fact, the two memories I have of going to church as a child were not good experiences. I’ve had much better experiences as an adult in churches, I enjoy the discussion, I seek the truth, but the church does not define my faith.

I was taught early on, and still believe, that your relationship with God is personal and you don’t need a whole list of special days and specific steps and enlightening books to make faith right.

Faith is TRUST. Trust in something bigger than your circumstances. Trust that you are a part of something more than you can humanly understand and within that idea, you find a purpose. I don't care who you pray to, what your hats look like, or the way your parents made you dress on Sundays. I care that you TRUST that life is bigger than you and you are a part of something greater.

I’ve doubted my faith, I’ve questioned it, and every time it jumped back up into my face as if to say, “I’m still here, you’re just not listening.” And every time, it grew stronger.

Truth is, I do believe in God. I can shout it from the rooftops with pride and no doubt in my heart because it is at my core. It may or may not be the same as your God, if you have one. But it matters not to me what you believe. I believe in God, I believe Jesus is my savior, and nobody could ever convince me of otherwise. I can say that with absolute resolve because I have faced doubt so very many times in my life. I have seen, and heard, and experienced things that cannot be taken away from me and have become a part of who I am today. And I can say I wouldn’t be right here right now if it weren’t for God.

I have been saved so many times and I don’t mean in that Sunday morning type of way. Literally- my life, my mental state, my home, my job, my car, that accident that would have killed us, that trip and fall that would have thrown me into fire, that rejected opportunity, that closed door, that brick wall, that abusive relationship, that toxic person, that traumatic experience that I walk through: I have been saved so many times by God, I could never credit my own doings for where I am now.

All we can control is how we react to what life throws at us. If you think you are the entire world, that the entire world is on you, that you have no effect but are only effected by… you will crumble in spirit. You are not a victim, you are a survivor. Trust that you are a part of something bigger.

Your faith doesn’t have to be about a spiritual or religious thing; it doesn’t have to be about worshiping anything or anyone. It just has to be a deeply unmovable belief in something that is bigger than yourself. Life. Meaning. Purpose. Hope. Wisdom. The Butterfly Effect states that the tinniest movement creates the biggest storms across the Earth–there is something bigger than you out there. Believe it.

I cannot tell my story without God. I could preach about it all day, but there are more than enough people doing that out there. I will never deny Him, but my story is not your story. Whether or not you believe is up to you, and I pray that you do, but it’s not what I am here for. I am not here to convince someone to believe. I can only tell what I know.

That faith, that trust, is what will catch you when you fall. It is the ground that you will lift yourself up from. It is the rock you stand, or kneel, or face-down ugly cry on.

There has to be a belief in something deeper than whatever bad thing is going to happen–because it will. Something will, it does, it has, it will again because that’s life. Failures will come, as will rejections, traumas, losses. And the only way to be truly prepared is to establish an unbreakable faith that you will, at some point, have to grasp onto in order to keep going. Just until you find a little gratitude, find your passion, love yourself, stand with your integrity, and use your grit to keep moving forward.

Day 6: What keeps me going? Fear

We all have this life. Have you actually sat down in the quiet and considered that? You’re going to die one day. Then that’s it. You won’t be here anymore and life will go on without you and the world will keep moving. Scary thought? Maybe at first. But take a moment, really let it sink in. Denying it is entrapment. Denying it paralyzes you. Don’t let fear control you: harness it. Use it. You can control what you do with it. Embrace it. You have this life, right now. This day, this moment.

One of my biggest fears is not dying, but waking up when it’s too late. When I’m 85 or on my death bed, or at any point thinking “I wish I would have…” FILL IN THE BLANK. What is scarier to me than anything I could ever face in life–wasting it.

It’s not a fear of living that keeps me going, or a fear of failing, or a fear of success, or any of that hot-word bs. It’s a fear of wasting. Wasting life, wasting away, wasting opportunities, wasting potential, wasting time. I want to accomplish things, I want to use my time for a purpose. I want to do things that matter. Because in the end, in my end, when I am gone and everyone else keeps living, all that is going to count is what impression I left upon the world–what I left with the people who are here to continue.

We do everything from a place of fear. Do we let it stop us or push us forward? Fear of the unknown is sometimes the rush we get when jumping out of an airplane; a fear of heights, a fear of falling is the fun of the roller coaster. Fear is a biological reaction to circumstances-adrenaline through our veins, a fight or flight in our mind and body. Fear keeps us alive. Fear kept humans from waking off of cliffs or being eaten by animals in the wild. Without it, humanity wouldn’t be here. Fearlessness is a lie. It’s bs. “Don’t be afraid” is like saying don’t breathe. Be afraid. Life can be scary as hell. But do it anyway. Embrace it, feel it, then take hold of it and use it. Be scared and do it anyway. That is courage.

Let the fear motivate you. Let the knowing that you someday, any day, won’t be here anymore, push you to live your best life. You can allow your fear to stop you or you can jump and let it motivate you further.

Day 4: What keeps me going? Grit

Grit: short word, tall meaning.

Grit is endurance, perseverance, determination, resilience.

Having grit means having all of these things at different times, and sometimes, all of these things at the exact same time.

Grit is saying, “No, this is not the end. No this is not how this is going to happen. No, this is not what is going to bring me down. I will keep going, I will not stop, I will get back up.”

Will. Will. Will.

Grit is hitting that brick wall and climbing over, going under, or breaking through.

And sometimes, it’s something you have to pull out of your ass.

Yes, sometimes it is that hard. Life is hard. So what. Do it anyway. Pull your head out of your ass and push through.

Set your eyes and your mind on what you want, and then push through to get it.

The end.

Just kidding, more tomorrow!

Writings as Random as I am

I am real. I say bad words, I am the friend who might hurt your feelings to tell you you’re a dumb ass but I’ll always be honest. I hurt, I cry, I am angry. I am hopeful, I am passionate, I am determined.

I’ve always known I’d be a writer in some form or another. I used to envision myself editing for major newspapers or agonizing over my tenth novel. Even as a child, these were things that came naturally to me as if they’d already happened. I never imagined it would be my only job, but it was always there.

Fast forward 5 lifetimes, at least it seems, and I still am not paid to edit and haven’t begun my tenth novel. I have started 5 or 6 but finishing them is not my strong suit. Life has a way of getting in the way.

I am determined to start and see this one through. I have heard that little voice telling me “it’s time” for a long time. I hesitate again and again, mostly because I’m not sure what to tell or who would be listening, but if for no other reason than to shut that little voice up, I have begun.

My writings will likely cover anything from anecdotes from a mother of 6 to keeping your marital bed afire, from discussing the idea of 13 dimensions, to the living hell that is losing a child. I have random thoughts, usually 100 at a time, and I love a good discussion.

I can only promise these few things at this point: I am real. I say bad words, I am the friend who might hurt your feelings to tell you you’re a dumb ass but I’ll always be honest. I hurt, I cry, I am angry. I am hopeful, I am passionate, I am determined, and so random.

1+1=8

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