Faith and Hope
I was surprised when our one and only, most beautiful Faith Reaper sent me an email about taking the baton of faith from her, following her Faith Without Borders hub. She certainly knows a thing or two about that word and all that it entails and she spreads love, hope, and faith just by being herself. So it was quite an honor to read that she had me in mind to pass it on to!
There seem to be so many hubs that originate from or that spin off of Jo_Goldsmith11's original Light 2 Love Project Good Words hub project. It is hard to follow the trail and the many branches of them all. I'm going to say that is a good thing, though, because the idea is all about spreading these good words far and wide.
What Is Faith?
1. a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
b (1) : fidelity to one's promises
(2) : sincerity of intentions
2. a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God
(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof
(2): complete trust
3. something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially a system of religious beliefs
Jo Dee Messina reflects on "That's God" and what inspired her to write it. She talks about the wonder in the eyes of a child in awe of the world around him and the child-like awe that can be discovered in the beauty of things around us if we take the time to notice. To me, this is much of what child-like faith is about. The beauty and goodness in the world around us and the hope that is present just by realizing it is there!
Like a Child
Okay, friends. No promises on quality from me. Far from a professional singer and NEVER publicly shared a clip of myself singing. . .this is what you get, though. A whispered version (for fear of waking light sleeping kids up while recording) of the melody to the poem/lyrics. Sorry. No instrumentals to possibly improve quality somewhat. I'm definitely not a professional singer so no guarantee an instrument would even improve anything. ;)
Faith Reaper's hub focused on child-like faith. Her sweet story about God fulfilling her heart's desire to see the hatching birds on Easter morning reminded me of a few experiences in faith from when I was a child. One of them I shared with her.
According to the date in my journal, I was 16 when I wrote this poem. I was ruminating on the very subject, thinking how wonderful it would be to have such faith all the way through life. That simple poem came from those thoughts. As I told Faith Reaper, at the time, no one else really cared when I tried to share my excitement about that poem. Heck, no one hardly seemed to care about anything I wrote. But, I have a determined spirit sometimes.
A couple of years later I enlisted the help of a friend to put something else I wrote to lyrics. He agreed to do so, but we got so caught up in working on the song that we ended up being late for a scheduled weekly prayer meeting that night. Naturally, those gathered came to hunt us down. They sat and listened as we finished and then we prayed.
The next day or so, some of us gathered again to put another set of lyrics I had to music. One of my friends was looking through my journal. Something in this poem must have stirred something in her because she suddenly insisted that it be put to music. The next thing I know we had a simple melody for it and ended up using it as a worship song for another gathering with a group I was a part of. Truth be told, it was one of the last poems I would've expected someone to see lyrical value in.
Like a Child
Sometimes I doubt
And I don't know what to do
Please help me to see
That you're always there for me
There's nothing that I fear
When you lead the way
So like a child I'll dance
And let you hold my hand
Lord all my life
May I be like a child
With unconditional faith
To trust in all your ways
"The past year has been a trying time for my family, but my faith has carried me through and made me a stronger person. In the midst of those trying times, my daughter Brittany and I wrote 'Undefeated'. It was truly a gift from God as the lyrics came to us almost quicker than we could pen them." ˜Collin Raye
What Does It Mean?
Faith can have many different meanings to people. In the context of my own personal faith it is, to me, a belief that everything is going to be okay even in the darkest of moments when it is hard to fathom how. At times, it has felt more like nothing more than a deep seeded desperate hope for the best. But through it all, one thing I have learned is that hope leads to faith and faith provides hope. The two work in conjunction with love to create something powerful - a sustainable ray of illumination that is both focused internally and a beacon that radiates throughout the darkness.
I have had many experiences that left me close to total despair. The only thing that kept me going during those times was my faith. Without it, everything about my situation seemed nearly hopeless to me. I wrote about one such time in my Mission of Love hub (which, incidentally, Faith Reaper also encouraged me to write). I didn't know what was going to happen or how everything would be okay. All I could do was desperately pray and remind myself that even faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. I needed to let all of my fears and anxiety go, to give it all to God. And I did. Somehow. Then I went to sleep and had a dream that I never will forget about.
If I had the space, I could share so many more stories of how amazing faith is and what it has done for me. Perhaps more hubs for the future, but for now, I will leave you with one more thought about faith. It truly does open doors to the child within us. The world doesn't look quite as bleak as it otherwise might seem. Even the beauty of a flower, a sunset, or birds hatching can be awe inspiring again, just as they are to children. There is so much beauty to delight in and so many ways that faith can move a person out of ourselves and into the fire, as the song "You Moved Me" says. Dance like a child! And who cares if someone is watching?