how to have faith.

"Wait for the Lord;be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord." Psalm 27: 14

1217 the chair


I wrote this on July 19, 2013, a week before my mom passed away.

The other day I was watching "The Family Stone" with Dianne Keaton and Rachel McAdams.  Long before I found out my mother had cancer, I loved watching that movie.  The chaos of one family coming home for the holidays reminds me of the chaos in my own family.  I should say that it's probably not the chaos you're thinking of, but more of the chaos one (being me) feels as an introvert (feeling overwhelmed when there's a lot of people around.)  But anyway, I love the movie.  The part when Meredith gives everyone pictures of the Cybil breaks my heart.  And now, having experienced my mom's own battle with cancer the scene means so much more to me.  I think of this beautiful picture of my mom with my eldest sister.  She's sitting in my grandmother's house in a blue chair, just admiring my sister.  Even though it's not of me and my mother, I always think of that images when I think of the importance of photographs and the bond I share with my mom.  But I fear the day when that's all I have of my mother.

When I found out my mother had cancer two years ago it broke my heart.  I spent the first couple of weeks in my room crying to myself.  The thing about believing in God is that it's a double-edged sword.  On one hand I know that God will take care of my mother and in the end everything will be as it should be, but on the other hand it means it could be part of God's plans to take my mother away from me.  I know that in the bigger picture both those things do go hand in hand.  That if my mother should leave us, that there will be good that comes from it.  That God "makes beautiful things out of dust".   I realize that someday my mom will have to leave, but I just can't bear to think of it.  Since then my mom and I joke about death.  I don't always take it to heart, but I really can't imagine my life without my parents.  I don't want to get married if they're not around.  I don't want to have kids who won't know their grandparents.

But I honestly don't feel like I have the strength to go through it again.  I don't know if my faith is strong enough to depend on God if it happens again.  My mom has been in remission for sometime now, and I feel so selfish questioning how I'll get through it when I know my mom is the one who's really going to need the strength to get through it.  I want to believe that whatever happens that I will always turn to God.  I want to believe that I will remember to depend on God's strength and not my own.  I want to remember to pray and trust then pray some more.  I want to remember to rely on God.

The funny thing about faith is that I have to let go to really have faith.  I can't hold on to what I want if I want God's plans instead.  And I do want to trust God.  I do want to believe that whatever happens to my mother that I will continue to have faith.  That the fact that someday I'll see my mother in heaven will sustain me should she have to leave us, but how do people really have faith in the hardest of times?  I really don't know.  But when it all comes down to it, that's all I can depend all.  I just have to let go and trust.

Today marks the third week since my mom's passing.

Every day is different.  Sometimes I have good days and sometimes I have bad days.  My friend told me that the sadness would come in waves, and it has.  I'll be doing something when something else reminds me of my mom and I start to cry.  Waking up or going to bed crying has become "normal".

When I wrote that passage I never really thought my mother would die so soon.  It's strange to think that I will have to live through that last scene in The Family Stone, celebrating Christmas without my mom.  My mother's death was unexpected to say the least.  And when I look back on what I wrote and the thoughts that were going through my head, I believe that God was preparing me, in a way, for what was to come.  You're never really prepared to lose the people you love, but I believe God prepares you in His own way.  And in those moments when I feel like I don't have enough faith to continue, I truly believe that God gives me encouragement and more strength to believe.

I'm just letting go and trusting God.