Monday, January 5, 2009

Leap of Faith

The bookstores are filled with stories of those who in times of personal strife suffer a crisis of faith. I must admit that I have never been fond of such stories. My idealistic self has always thought that in our darkest hours faith was the only thread that would hold things together, that when humanity fails us, God’s love will prevail. My suspicions and hopes have been proven true in the last few months. Life has been on the chaotic side. And though I did not lose my faith (actually it is stronger than ever), I did lose my ability and my confidence in writing. Even when I journaled more regularly with pencil and paper, great voids existed in my writing during difficult times. I think this is because I don’t like whining, though I suppose it could be construed as some kind of denial. I’m not sure. Whatever the root cause of my lack of oneness with words, this accounts for the deep silence that has fallen over this space since October.

Much has happened. Though all of the details are not necessary here, I do wish to share how faith can sustain when nothing else seems to have that ability.

The most significant thing that has happened is that I filed for divorce. That in itself was a leap of faith. When I made this decision, it was not as much a selfish act as it was an act of love and compassion. Though I freely admit that neither Mike or I was truly happy, I believe that he bore a much heavier burden because of that than I did. The act of faith that I took by being the one to actually file for divorce comes my heartfelt belief that that truly was the best thing for both of us emotionally and spiritually and further faith that though I do not have a full time job, I will be OK in terms of the necessities in life. In terms of the comforts of life, I have been blessed. We have a wonderful home and I have wanted for very little in the material world. By going forward with the divorce, I ran the risk of “cutting off my nose to spite my face.” After much prayer, I believed that filing for divorce was indeed what I needed to do. I was not wrong.

The process has been painless and, in many ways, life-giving. The level of honest communication that Mike and I have had with one another has been better in the last few months than it has been in years. We are still happily cohabiting and on the surface, life has not changed much. Internally, however, much is different . . .in a good way.
We have both reached a point where we are ready to move forward . . .independently and in whatever form our new relationship will take. I fully support him in his journey forward and he has given me that same support.

I have also been blessed by a new relationship. Allowing myself to become close to another person at this point in my life was also a leap of faith. I was unsure of my ability to love and be loved. And, for both of us, the timing of us falling in love was, to quote a professional friend of ours, “sucky.” Again to pursue this relationship was truly a leap of faith. There have been moments where it has felt like a leap of stupidity, but these times are brief. God’s hand always reaches down and holds us up when we are discouraged or have fallen.

Many things have happened, some good and some very painful, over the last few months. All of them have been necessary elements to this journey called life. I would be lying if I said that I have enjoyed or been happy with all that has happened. I have not. In fact, I’m sure there have been more tears of despair shed than those of joy. However, even when I have felt like I am drowning in those tears of sorrow, I have never doubted God’s presence. That unconditional love that we all long for has not escaped me. This is the greatest gift that I can imagine.

So we are five days into this new year. Though I know that some tough times are still before me, I feel that I am ready and able to move forward. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I know that whatever I meet on my path I can handle with God’s help.

My prayer for all of us is a life of peace, joy, and happiness in 2009.