You just have to have faith. Do I agree with this statement? Sure do. I think faith is sometimes all that gets us through the more difficult times in life. If you’re a Christian, you probably read that and related it to faith in God’s plan. I have a small cynical side that has emerged recently. It’s like this tiny part of me that comes about every so often to tap me on the shoulder and remind me, hey, you’ve been hurt. Keep that wall up, girlfriend. Yeah, my cynical side is a tad sassy and calls me “girlfriend”. I like her. Anyways, sometimes this side of me is a little more vocal than others. Today, she’s being all sorts of loud.
The phrase, have faith, has been repeating itself in my head over and over again throughout the day. Finally, as I was driving away from my last patient, I thought, have faith in what? Done that before. Where did it get me? So I threw my mini temper tantrum in my car and sped off to the gym. Tears began to well up in my eyes and I began to do my little spiral thing I do. It’s like I’m hearing have faith and then I whip out a checklist to prove me wrong. Yeah, Dani? Is that all you have to do? Have faith? Has that gotten you anywhere recently? So down the checklist I go, beginning with my mom. I feel like that’s where it always starts. You had faith there, didn’t you? Yep, that’s true. I did have faith that she’d win that battle. You had a lot of faith when you moved out to North Carolina, didn’t you? Yep, also true. We know how that initial plan went. So, Dani, where has faith gotten you?
So I pouted. And pouted some more. Put on my Dani face and pushed through a workout, continuing to hear the words, have faith. Urg! Now it was starting to piss me off. Following the workout, I waddled over to the corner, because you waddle after CrossFit workouts, and started my accessory work. The whole time I was thinking about that damn phrase. I continued to provide myself reasons as to why having faith is a crock of you-know-what. A comment from a fellow gym member then added some emotions to this “mood” of mine and before you know it, I was in a full on wallow.
I pulled into my apartment complex and rattled off all the reasons why I’m in my funk to a friend of mine, further contributing to the wallowing. I feel like wallowing isn’t really wallowing if you don’t tell someone all the reasons as to why you’re wallowing. Maybe that’s just me. So I sat there, crying, glancing up into my rear view mirror, impressed by the fact that my mascara wasn’t streaming down my face. Then, it clicked.
Have faith. My attempts to quantify what “faith” meant had been contingent upon a desired outcome. I had faith my relationship out here would work. It didn’t. Does that mean faith failed me? No way, man. I placed my faith elsewhere. I placed my faith in myself. I had faith that, dammit, it was going to be okay because I was going to buck up and refuse to let this get me. I had faith that my family would always be in my corner and just a phone call away. I had faith that the people around me would point me to God, reminding me that He makes beautiful things from the shattered pieces of unmet expectations and hopes for a particular outcome. In my inner dialogue argument I was having with myself, my cynical side took a massive beating with this one. Having faith never really failed me, I just needed a shift in my perspective.
What a concept. Placing faith in ourselves, rather than outcomes, and placing faith in the ways in which God can make beautiful things out of our broken hearts. I truly believe that when we place our faith in the right things, we realize it never fails us. Having faith has always gotten us somewhere, even if that somewhere is a thousand miles from where we wanted to be. I think, today, “have faith” means “cry and be unapologetic about working through this.” I think today it means having faith in the work that’s being put in and the trust that’s being placed in the hands of God. I think, today, “have faith” means “it’s going to be okay because you won’t settle for anything less.”