Finding Faith

Once upon a time...

there was a 19 year old

who loved having dance parties, lifeguarding, and chocolate milk.

She loved getting journals as gifts.

She loved smelling *f*l*o*w*e*r*s*.

And she loved running because the w i n d felt nice and her legs could be free.

She loved her dog, Chloë and she loved Panera' chai lattes.

She especially loved having them with chocolate chip muffins, and oatmeal cookies.

She loved the thought of exploring the world, trying new things, meeting new people.

She loved books so much she even listened to them in her car.

She loved her view of the ocean every morning and her favorite thing in the world was being cuddled UP in his arms where there was warmth and PEACE and love breathing through them all night.

She loved her mom's brownies and her little sister's giggles.

She loved when her father talked about history and loved the way he had a lazy eye when he talked of things he was passionate about, which was always dealing with helping people.

She loved singing the kids she babysat to sleep.

She loved HOT cups of tea and warm pancakes on rainy days and laying out in the sun when it was out.

She loved.

She loved dreaming.

She loved writing.

She loved breathing and feeling a l i v e .

She felt like the world was hers to fly around in.

And she didn't care what those watching from the ground thought.

Except one day,

a wing began to slowly cripple.

Inside she was ready to take off again but instead she was left feeling cornered in a cage.

Adult life maybe. Bills, being sick, family troubles, dreams drained from her sight. She was now always worrying, f r e t ting, getting anxious about the energy she would have to find to live out the afternoon, wake up the next morning, run, go to work, buy groceries, finish her paper.

It all seemed so pointless. So meaningless. All she could now see from the corner of her cage was that sooner or later she would be gone. Everyone she loved gone. Everything on this Earth, gone. Death is inevitable and she accepted that. But she worried that she wouldn't make the most of the time she did have. Her faith slipped away.

What happened to this singing 19 year old whose life was so good but now she couldn't have peace with how good it was because that goodness wasn't guaranteed to be there tomorrow?

She did everything she could when she did have the r a r e will too. Read positive books. Ate good food. Ate enjoyable food. Slept as much as her body would let her.

But the Earth seemed

smaller

and

smaller as did this cage every day. Not knowing what her purpose was

t o re away at the damaged wing until it seemed nothing but a single feather.

She had a heart still.

She wanted nothing more than to help people.

But she felt helpless herself.

***

One dreary sleep w a l k i n g evening, as she browsed through her bookshelf, she came across one she had dared not touch in months. She had feared she was so far gone off the path she had thought was right that what she would find in t h e s e pages would only MOCK her... tell her that everything she had done was wrong and she must change the very instant her eyes laid on the words so well preserved for thousands of years. Tell her rules to strictly live by and only cram in something into her cage that didn't have enough room already. SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT SHE WAS DOING. But she picked it up and thumbed the pages and began to read.

Even if she didn't believe this book, it was a book of stories none the less.

And she loved stories.

***

But these weren't stories.

It was like warm broth her sore throat l o n ged for.

It was like fresh water after a l ** o* *n ** g run.

It was like a cast for her wing.

It was the music that she needed to be able to dance.

She wasn't condemned. Or thrown in some fiery pit. She wasn't even sure she still believed everything about it yet but she couldn't stop reading.

She didn't know where the voice was coming from but she held onto the words it soothed her with.

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? ...Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?"

No. Not a single one could. ***

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