Thursday, December 2, 2010

How do you define faith, hope and love.....

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Ever since I heard that scripture, several years ago, I have held onto it to remind me that even though I don't know what my plans are for myself, or my kids or our futures together, God does.
Yes, it's hard for me to “lean” on God when I know that is what we are suppose to do in our darkest hour. But, I have had my share of disappointment with knowing that as well. I have shared with you that I was raised to be a God fearing, Bible devoted, church going Christian. To count on God and to put our faith in him, and believe that without him we won't make it to the pearly gates that await us upon his glorious return. But after I lost the rights to my children, I have lost so much of that faith, hope and love that I have been raised to have. Well, not so much love part, I still have that ability.

Every time I entered a court room or faced an attorney, I silently prayed for strength, guidance and wisdom. Even though deep down inside I was about to loose my ever loving mind. We all know, that when we pray God hears our prayers? Or so we are taught, duh! It's frustrating to know, that the same things we pray about day after day just seem to go unnoticed, and unanswered. I don't know why, and I don't know how to find out. But I have been told that when we least expect it, God will answer our prayers. But is it God or is it just a coincidence? Was it because all the stars were lined up the right way? Was it that penny we threw in that magic fountain at the mall? Or maybe it was that fortune cookie at the Chinese restaurant. Whatever, or however you choose to believe how, “what you prayed for somehow came true,” we were thankful at that moment for a miracle, and we all thanked God for answering “that” prayer. Right?

I had so much faith, or so I thought, each and every time I was about to head into the lions den.
I thought I was able to fight like Daniel did. I put on my invisible breast plate of righteousness, and pulled out my invisible sword and was ready to take on this lion. But unlike Daniel, and the happy ending he had with slaying that lion, I didn't get so lucky. Instead, I was left feeling more like the lion on “The Wizard of Oz.” afraid, depleted and with no courage left to fight. I had no happy ending.
So much for that armor! (by the way, I know he didn't use a sword to fight that lion. He used his sling shot)

We have all heard the saying, “faith can move mountains.” Well, I use to believe that. But that same stupid mountain just never moved out of my way. It always blocked me from getting to the other side.
There was always some reason why I couldn't move it to the other side, knock it down or push with all my “faith” to move that dang mountain out of my way. And it still gets in the way to this dang day. Stupid red tape!

Without faith, nothing is possible, but with God all things are possible. OK, I've had a hard time with this too. We all hold on to faith. We all hold onto it with all we have. When we are waiting for a job promotion that we've worked hard for. When we have a loved one that is sick, we hold onto our faith that God will see us through. We hold onto hope for a breakthrough, or a healing. But how long do we hold on? We don't have to be “religious” to say “it was faith that got me through the hard times.” We don't have to be raised in church to know that hope is what we hold onto when we see no end in sight.
I think it's our own abilities that get us through the hard times. It's how we deal with it will determine the outcome. It's our environment and experiences that mold us into who we are and how we handle situations.

I was recently told to stop counting on God to help me because it doesn't hold us accountable for our actions. It took me a few times to read it to really understand the meaning behind it. But when I finally got what it meant, I realized she was right. Even though, I know that we will all be held accountable for our actions on judgment day. But trying to cry out to God hasn't worked for me in the past, why do I keep crying out to him now for help? It's a touchy subject. One that I choose not to touch on today. I am going to put it in my “I don't know file” and move on.

But everyday I wish I had an ounce of faith to believe that one day I will see my kids. That one day, I will not be judged on what I have or haven't done to protect my kids. But by the person that I have become. By my character, my determination, my perseverance and my ability to continue to love those who choose to judge me. My ability to forgive and love without questions, without conditions. This ability I have to smile when I should have a frown. Or this is a crazy thought, maybe I have to be thankful for the life that I have been given. The time I had with my kids. The love that I showed them when we were together. Maybe the one thing they will remember is that I did love them. Maybe it's that little bit of hope we all posses, religious or not, that ounce of faith, God or not, that ability to love no matter what....maybe just maybe those qualities I have passed onto my kids. And maybe, just maybe they have faith, hope and love too.

So how do I define faith, hope and love? I believe that it doesn't have to be a religious thing. I think we all posses the ability to hold on to hope. We all have a form of “faith” we cling too and we all love in our own way. We all won't agree on what the definition is because we are all individuals with different backgrounds, upbringings and beliefs. But we all want good for each other. We don't want any ill will to come to even our worst of enemies. (well...maybe.....)

I will define it this way. I will see my kids someday. Someday I will be reunited with my boys. Someday, all of this will be put to rest and our lives will back to “normal.” Someday, someone will pay for what they have done. I will see my kids graduate, I will see them married and I will see them happy. I will see this happen in my lifetime. Call it hope, call it it what you want.

I call it a promise!