New Best Friend

November 22, 2011: B is for BELIEV E

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. – Hebrews 11:1NIV (from New Best Friend – A Little Book of Faith by Vera Jones)
I have a confession. No, this has nothing to do with an illicit affair, sex texting, a secret drug addiction, pedophilia, money laundering or any of the other sinfully exciting, dramatic or traumatic events that lace our news headlines daily. It’s not that kind of party, you thrill-seeker, you! Well, there was this one time when I got drunk in college….

I digress. My confession is that I have not always been of the strongest faith. Granted my name means faith and I have a strong spiritual foundation in Christianity. But despite religious dogma I have not always known what or even how to believe. I think many people struggle with this same experience. Arriving at this place of strong faith I have now took a life threatening and eye-opening experience. Perhaps eye-closing is more accurate.

My son Andrew, now almost 14 years old was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 12. After undergoing a traumatic surgery, weeks in intensive care and witnessing his once fairly attractive mother turn into an unsightly gargoyle of stress almost overnight, Andrew’s small body was left with numerous life-threatening hormonal complications and a loss of 75% of his visual field. He awoke from surgery totally blind in his right eye and the outer peripheral of his left. Andrew sees life now through a very small tunnel, much like looking through a straw. Naturally, this was as emotionally and psychologically challenging for him as it was physically debilitating. But during this phase of our lives, a time we felt was our darkest and most helpless moment, we both gained a new best friend named Faith. She was once a casual acquaintance. Now we don’t go anywhere without each other! Both Andrew’s life and mine have improved dramatically for one reason. We never stopped believing things would get better. There is not enough room in this blog, or even a novel to tell you how much they have!

One day, soon after surgery, Andrew was agonizing over his unwanted visual condition, and spending a lot of time focusing on the things he could no longer do like play sports, or things he would never be able to do like drive a car. “It’s not about what you can’t see, it’s about who you are meant to be,” I told my son. I admit I was pretty proud of myself upon hearing such profound advice come out of my own mouth. But I couldn’t take credit. It was Faith who whispered this in my ear. Faith has shown me that we as humans, a relatively intelligent species (void our penchant for illicit affairs, sex texting, drug addictions, pedophilia, money laundering, etc…) live life committed to “seeing is believing.” What you see is basically what you get. To live a faith-filled life, however, we must change this paradigm and accept that “Believing is Seeing.”

There is a vision, a dream placed in each of us – an urging to do something great, something creative, something noble, or something that we personally have never done before. It tells us despite whatever adversity we face we will overcome if we just believe, and then take action upon this belief, bringing our belief into reality. The challenge lies in being able to listen to the voice of faith which tells us God, our ultimate Creator, has a plan for ultimate good, and you and whatever adversity you currently face is part of that plan. Hearing this voice and believing it is difficult because there are equally strong voices of worry or doubt that say, “Yo Dude, this situation looks pretty bleak. There is no way this is going to turn out good. Give up.” It is also difficult because we expect immediacy. We must learn that patience and faith are like Siamese twins. They rarely operate independently.

All great accomplishment begins with what we choose to believe. The key word is choice. You have a choice every moment of the day to believe the voice of faith or the voices of worry and doubt. Achieving greatness on any level in life is not about what you can or cannot currently see. It is only about who you are meant to be. Believe you are meant for good, that’s what you will eventually see. The best thing about finding Faith as my New Best Friend is that she keeps things simple. Faith already knows I have much to learn from trials and tribulations, so she does not ask me to ignore my dark or painful past… She only tells me to BELIEVE in a bright future. Ask her to be your New Best Friend, and I believe she will tell you the same, over and over again, until you finally live a life where believing becomes seeing, not so much the other way around. Thanks for letting me confess.



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