Faith : confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof; belief in anything as a code of ethics or standard of merit; belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion. 

Has there ever been a time in your life when you have said, “Why is this happening to me? How could this be God’s plan for me?” Even if God is not part of your belief system, surely this question has posed itself to you in one way or another at some point in your life.  It undoubtedly has for me.

In the midst of the vivid memories of 9/11 on it’s 10thanniversary; numerous current natural disasters including earthquakes on the east coast, blackouts on the west, wild fires, hurricanes and flooding, tornadoes; the defective economy; dear friends dealing with divorce; parents taken from us too soon; and children with cancer – do these things strain your faith? Do you question why?  How couldn’t you? However……do you lose faith over them?  Wouldn’t that be giving up – on life, on the people you love, on yourself and your potential? Several events in my life have definitely tested my faith; however, those same events have inevitably strengthened it.

For me, faith is allowing myself to be vulnerable and practicing what I believe to be true.  Living.  Sounding quite cliché, it is my belief that things happen for a reason.  Mishaps and opportunities are presented to us in life at certain times, not by coincidence.  Every moment in life is a lesson, a turning point – there is always a choice; take the path to the left or the one on the right.  Have faith that the one you choose is the correct one for you at that point.

I feel that most of us have faith, just varying degrees of it.  Let’s face it, life is hard at times.  It throws you a curve ball when you are least expecting it.  The highs can take your soaring and the lows can knock the wind out of your sail.  Life itself is a test of faith.  We have all heard the theology “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” But do you believe it?  I have seen it time and time again and up to this point in my life, it seems to hold true.

Friends and family members of mine have experienced situations in their lives that I can’t begin to understand or imagine; and their faith and strength has been an inspiration for me.  The same faith that we have when things in life are going well and our days are filled with gratitude and appreciation, expresses itself as that voice in our heads saying “you can do this, you will get through this,” when times are strenuous.

I do believe that if we are not challenged in life, we become stagnant; we don’t grow as individuals…and then again, what is the point if we are not growing?!  Life is a gift – here for us to live it, to make the best of everyday, to get the most out of it and to make a difference.  It is the hard times in life that teach us, that we remember and grow from…..believing in ourselves and our purpose in this life is having faith.  Faith is what keeps me positive and grounded. It changes my outlook when it needs changing, picks me up, inspires and motivates me.

One of my favorite motivational speakers, Jim Rohn makes an insightful statement with his words, “It is not what happens in life that determines our future, it is what you do about it.”  Life happens…good, bad, happy, mean, ugly, enlightening, evil; but it is how we choose to live it that makes the difference. Faith.

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