Picture
                          Most mornings, I sit down with a crystal, a candle, a bell and a sea stone.


                                                                   Earth, fire, air, and water.


With each one, I say a prayer, first to my root, then my passion, then my understanding, and last of all, my cleaning out.


This process helps me focus my energy before I begin my work, but sometimes, I get a little more out of it.

                                                            Yesterday was one of those days.


As I was mediating, my thoughts roamed, once again, to my desire for assurance about my work.


After ruminating on my doubts for a few moments, I heard a cool, crisp voice state:


                                                      “It is not time for proof,
                                                          It is time for faith.”



Faith.

Faith in what?

My faith used to be believing that God had a certain form and that a certain series of events would occur in the future. But as I have grown, as I have experienced utter loss, and questioned everything I thought I knew, my faith has become more nuanced, and I am left wondering: what is it I have all this faith in anyway?

First of all, aren’t I supposed to have a name for the thing I trust? God, Allah, the Universe, Earth Mother, Jesus, the Divine, Source? All of these names help, but they don’t actually say the thing I’m trying to say.

Because the face of my faith has changed, morphed, and shifted through the years, and ultimately, I am still at a loss for a description of that to which I pray.

                                            But I know it inside. I think a part of me always has.

It is why the God of the Old Testament said “I Am that I Am.” This God that cannot be named because no material form is vast enough for it.


And yesterday, I was given a new image of faith:


                  In the inner cavern of the heart, there is a vast, empty, stunningly white space.


                                                                      It is full with nothing.


                                                                           No assurance.


                                                                             No knowing.


                                                                       It is utter blankness.


                                                     But in the very center there is one word:




                                                                                  Trust.



                                                        It tells no more, gives no other clues.



                                                                              Just trust.



It is when we get to this place that we realize:



                                                                      this is vulnerability.

This is the discomfort of not knowing, but still attempting, in whatever ways possible, to accept the lack of certainty we have about life.

It requires us to be completely vulnerable to ourselves, because we must admit that one awful truth:



                                                                             We don’t know.


We don’t know the future, we don’t know our entire selves, we don’t know the world. It goes on and on and on.



       Vulnerability is getting to the place where we are bereft of all our mental protection.


                                           Faith is believing it’s okay to be there.




Faith and vulnerability are just two sides of the same coin: One gives us strength, while the other cleans us out.


                      We must have one to have the other, and we must have both to be whole.




So...I still don’t know what exactly I have faith in, but I know that my faith is bigger now than it has ever been before.


And I don’t think this is just a coincidence.

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Love,




Whitney

P.S. Feel free to share your own sense of faith in the comments below.
Tori
11/06/2013 6:00pm

Hey Whitters!

This was well written. I think it is normal to have doubts, to question, to search for meaning. I have had doubts--still do at times--about faith, who I am, who God my Father is, etc. It's normal to ask: is this all true? Is God real? What do I believe? What is the purpose for which I live? What does faith even mean? Joy? What IS our faith in? Why do I feel an emptiness/hole/longing for something beyond what I have tried to fill it with. How do I make sense of all that's happened in my past and even now in my life and the life of my family? And freak out--then there's a super unknown future. Who am I?

I think it's been in the hardest times and in the struggles that my faith has been tested for sure--the questions I have about faith. For me, I refer to the faith I have that God Is real and true and is my Heavenly Father. The love he has for me despite all my crap, his acceptance, blessings he gives me I don't deserve, his forgiveness and the beautiful gift of his son Jesus. Do I firmly believe it? Yes. Do I still question it with all the crap and pain I go through? Yes. But I guess I would say that faith for me continues to grow change and develop based not on me and my emotions but by the Grace of God--a God that never changes and never will, even though I ride this crazy roller coaster. Faith for me is a blind faith with a certainty and hope that who I have placed my faith in knows me more than I know myself, and I can REST in the knowing that I am never and will never be in control..which I'm finding is perfectly ok because he knows what's best for me and just wants all of me--to be faithful and take joy in Him. As it says in the gospel of John, "he must become greater and I must become less". So yes, clearly a freaky faith, but a solid certainty (or is becoming) that my faith can't be whispy, but its very foundation is this incredible Heavenly Father that grows daily (kinda like Lucy in chronicles of narnia that even though she grows and gets bigger yearly, the lion seems that much bigger to her). I of course have fears and uncertainties (heck, the craziness of living overseas for who-knows-how-long is just one part), but I know that as Christ continues to remind me of his love and grow my faith, it strengthens, and my fears have decreased.

But this is something everyone needs to search for themselves--to search for truth, to ask themselves what is abundant life.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart! I miss you friend! It has been toooo long!!

Xoxo tori

Reply
Kristina Owens
11/08/2013 6:05am

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They resonate with me right now. And thank you for your letters. I love a sneak peak into your life and your creative process.

With love,
Kristina

Reply
11/08/2013 10:12am

Tori: Thank you. I can't imagine how hard your family's loss has been, and it sounds like your faith has brought you comfort as well as questions. I know that my faith has changed so much over the years, to the point that we do not share it in the same way like we did in High School, but I am still so grateful for those years and for you. I think you are a wonderful, wonderful person, and I'm glad we're friends.

Kristina: Thank you so much. I'm glad you're enjoying them. I love being connected to you through our mutual experimentations:)

Reply
11/25/2013 9:42pm

This makes me ponder just what it is that I have faith in. Faith was not a word that I was raised in.

Reply



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