Lately, I feel like a bird who just flew into a window, dazed and shocked because I didn’t see it coming. Life sometimes happens that way, doesn’t it? Knocks you down and leaves you there.

photo-1451076811765-65cbf80d333eAt that point, we have two choices.

#1 – I can stay down, wallow around for awhile, cry a bit, hell, holler if needed, and even bring some others down to keep me company.

Or #2 – I can gather my mind and heart and spirit which were knocked out of me when I fell, put ’em back inside, crawl to my knees, stop and think about what just happened and what I’m going to do about it. Formulate my plan and then stand up, shake it off, and take that first step towards moving on.

One is easy. The other, gut-wrenching hard.

I choose #2. I choose moving on, I choose the gut-wrenching hard way because for me, there is no other. Because it is full of optimism. And hope. But underneath it all, is faith.

photo-1446061595247-0a20dcf3af01Not something I easily talk about. Not something I share with others. Faith is something I keep deep inside, protected, a small reservoir.

It occurred to me recently, that not everyone has this reservoir. That faith could be a dying resource. Nonrenewable.

Faith to me means a lot of different things. Trust or confidence in someone or something. A strongly held belief in a higher power. A hope for things not yet seen.

When I look back on my life, at the most difficult moments – losing my grandparents in junior high and high school, sending my husband off to fight the war in Iraq, losing my father to cancer – it was faith which picked me up when I wanted to stay down, faith who held my hand as I scrambled to my knees, and faith who walked beside me when I finally took those first steps towards moving on. None of it was easy.

My grandmother used to play an organ, one which sat in the corner of her living room. As a kid, I used to plug in headphones, crank that puppy up and flip every lever, pluck every key, and tap my feet on the bass pedals as often as possible. I had no idea what I was doing but man it felt good when I was done.

photo-1447160430190-9d1cae0b73dbShe was a terse woman, one I didn’t actually know all that well. Not that we didn’t spend time with her, we did. But she wasn’t soft like my other grandmother. Grandma Lois’ probably four foot nine inch frame dwarfed in comparison to her tongue, which could be so sharp on occasions.

But she could play that organ, and play it well. She always, always, always played, “How Great Thou Art.” Always. I can see her now, feet gliding over the pedals, her fingers able to handle two separate keyboards and push levers all while never losing the beat. I knew the song well but I never knew the words.

Until one day in church, some years ago, my heart recognized the melody, one I had not heard in so long. And when we, the congregation joined in, singing the words, How Great Thou Art, tears ran down my cheeks. Because I knew then. Despite her tongue, my grandmother had a faith which stood like a brick wall. Silent, strong, and resilient. Such power for me in that melody. Moves me to tears every time I hear it.

And so this week, when I was knocked down like the birds which crash into my front window, I sat there for a moment, shaking off the fear and replacing it with faith. I was okay. My family is okay. We are okay.

When I was younger, fear made decisions for me. Fear would have gripped me while I was lying there, telling me not to get up. What will we do? How will we manage? What if….? There it is, that damn game again.


Now, a bit older and a dash wiser, it is faith which guides me instead, whispering, reminding me of a greater purpose, a reason beyond my realm and to trust the process.

Faith. My trust and hope and confidence in things I cannot see. My light in the darkness.

photo-1474658303661-7a65351507adCall it what you will, relate it to whatever religion you believe, or don’t believe, mock it if you must. Faith is powerful. It transforms. It allows. It believes.

Even when we don’t.