As a Christian, it seems the idea of "faith" has become a cure-all for all of life's troubles.
Lost a job? "I'm relying on my faith."
Health concerns? "I'm trusting in God."
Family issues? "Our faith is our foundation."
But what is faith, really?
When we packed up and moved 280+ miles away to a new place where the Man and I knew hardly no one, we said we were trusting God. But the "trust" part manifested itself in job searches, unpacking boxes, and finding new friends. We were doing something to live out our faith.
When the Man goes into work each night, I have faith that God will protect him. But my faith is confirmed as he puts on his bullet-proof vest, loads his weapon, and turns on his radio. These tangible things keep my faith from wavering.
So when we were faced with the sudden and unexpected loss of our second baby, I really struggled with understanding how faith works. I had no control over what was happening. My body wasn't cooperating so I couldn't do anything. There were no treatments, no remedies, no medicines that could stop it. I couldn't change, fix or do anything. All I could do was wait. And trust.
I remember driving to a vacant parking lot late one night and spent 45 minutes yelling at God at the top of my lungs. I cursed, I cried, I sobbed, I punched the steering wheel (not my best idea) - anything to physically act on my grief. Yelling somehow helped me bridge the gap between my anger and what seemed like a silent God. Yet unknowingly, through the choking sobs and cuss-laced accusations, I was surrendering my faith into Jesus' hands.
I'm learning that faith isn't for the faint of heart and "trusting God" is so much more than a Christian catchphrase. Faith is the freedom to be honest, knowing that God can handle my mess of emotions. Faith is believing that the darkness won't last forever. Faith is forcing myself to hope. Faith is ignoring the doubt. Faith is giving up control. Faith is finding the good. Faith is claiming truth. Faith is not knowing the answers. Faith is not understanding why. Faith is admitting life is unfair. Faith is doing nothing but cry. And sometimes faith is just waking up and choosing to live that day, that hour, or that moment because you have to believe that the last chapter hasn't been written yet.
I know mine hasn't.