My Year of Faith or Reflections on 2016
For the past several years, I have picked a word for that year. And I had dedicated 2016 to be a Year of Faith. As I have spent the past few days since Christmas reflecting on all the joy and triumphs, trials and tribulations of the year, I was struck by the my diary entry a year ago, where I had written: FAITH does not make things easy; it makes them possible.
I had little idea of what would come in the new year, and even less of an idea of how my faith would be tested. After this past year I am cautious and less thrilled about the word God has put on my heart for 2017, but I will dwell on that later.
The sinner that I am, who likes to be a perfectionist, wants to cling to the fiction that Faith makes life's hard times easy. And yet as I grow older, I realize that maybe life is never easy.
My heavy teaching class load split between two catholic universities, my relationship with my boyfriend, the publication of my first poem, embarking on a new career path as a proposal writer...all of these beautiful things took faith. Faith in myself, faith in others, and most importantly faith in my God who I know, even when I don't feel Him, or choose to ignore Him, carries me each and every day.
So many times I stepped out of the boat and within minutes began to sink, and I would wail, "Oh Lord why am I drowning?! Why won't you help me? Why isn't this easy?" And he says every time, stubborn, independent daughter of my flesh where is your faith? Why don't you trust me?
God doesn't ask for us to feel spiritually happy or devoted he asks for our faithfulness day in and day out. And this year has been a year of quiet yes's, shaky first steps, many tumbles and many times I picked up the cross and tried again.
It hasn't been a glorious year, with a St. Joan of Arc faith riding into battle, but a year of small trials and small loves. And as I look back, Our Lord was teaching me throughout these twelve months of a different kind of faith that has it's one glory. A faith that is persistent, like a winter flower, a faith that will not die, but one day will rise again.