I fully intended to blog on this yesterday, but I opted for an all afternoon nap instead and truthfully.....I don't regret a second of it. That being said, my Sunday blog has now become my Monday blog and with that.....I hope you are not too confused.
So as I was sitting in church yesterday, once again I was trying to give my heart, my soul and my mind over to whatever God wanted me to hear. It was a little harder yesterday as I was really tired. It had been a long week and my mind was pretty much mush. I was actually worried that it would be one of those times where Mass would end and I would not even remember being there. Yes....I was that tired.
As Father began his sermon, I had no actual hope that my eyes would stay open and that I might not be drooling and snoring before it was over. I prayed that God would not let me do that and that I would catch my second wind. Ask and you shall receive. Father was barely two sentences into his sermon when I heard the words, "Leap of Faith." It jolted me out of my almost dozing state and immediately, my mind was off and running. Of course Father tied it into the readings and also about a beloved local Bishop that had just passed away. I did listen to the entire sermon but the whole time my mind kept coming back to "Leap of Faith." It struck a chord.
I started going back in my mind to all the leaps of faith that I had taken in the last couple of decades. Some it seemed like an unseen hand pushed me into the leap and others were situational where I didn't seem to have much of a choice.
The definition of a leap of faith is: an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved. Many times a leap of faith is prompted by a desperate situation where believing and having faith in the unknown are the only choices we have. If you can't go backward and standing still isn't an option, sometimes jumping headlong into the unknown is all we have.
As I thought about this, I realized I did just this when Tim asked me to marry him and I was terrified of what the future might hold for me as a wife and mother. I did it again when Tim died and I was left raising the kids by myself and my only option was to keep moving forward. And of course, where David is concerned with surgeries and his health, many of those times have been nothing more than a huge leap of faith. There have been other times too and truthfully, not all have worked out the way I hoped they would, but there again, in a leap of faith, the outcome is not guaranteed. The "faith" part is that you know that no matter how it pans out, something positive comes from it. It always does.
This last year I have been faced with several leaps of faith that I simply did not see coming. When I thought I might lose our home, it was a huge leap of faith to trust in myself, my community, complete strangers and most of all to hand it all over to God and not look back. That may have been the first time that I handed something to Him and then didn't try to play tug of war with Him when I thought my way might be better than His.
Since then, there have been some much less public leaps of faith that I have had to take. They were desperate situations in which I had no choice but to leap and have faith and hope that wherever I landed and whatever the outcome, that we would all end up in one piece. The verdict is still out as I am still leaping and doing my best to have faith that God has got this.
I was fully coherent as I listened to Father and thought, how profound that he would be saying exactly what I needed to hear. Or was it? Perhaps it was all part of a greater plan. At any rate, as I contemplated all of this leaping and faith, it occurred to me that each time I had to forge ahead into the unknown, that each time I came out stronger. Sometimes battered and bruised, but always stronger. Then looking back on this year, I realized that I had pretty much let go of all control and all illusions that I had of control over anything......situations, people and sometimes even my own life. In doing so and in letting go and letting God, I had actually witnessed some pretty astounding miracles and also, that I was changing in ways I never thought possible.
Letting go and leaping into faith has made me stronger in my faith and thus stronger in myself. It has helped me to learn what is important and what is not and to not fight the losing battles, but to put my time and talents into the things where they are best utilized. I have also learned to be kinder to myself and not to have unreasonable expectations of either myself or others. WOW! And I was worried I might fall asleep in Mass.
As Father finished his sermon, it occurred to me that there is so much that I can do that I have never done. I have lived a lot of life out of fear....fear of failing, fear of falling, fear of having no true faith. In some ways it has been debilitating and has stunted my desire to find out more about life and most of all, more about me. This was all quite the startling and enlightening revelation on a quiet Sunday morning.
Before Mass ended, I made a pact with myself and with God. Today is the first day of October and coincidentally also the first day of my birthday month. I decided that I was going to give myself the greatest gift I ever could. Starting today, I am going to try and take a "leap of faith" everyday. Well, maybe they all won't be momentous, but they will all pull me out of my world of fear and allow me to live outside the little box that I have created for myself. Each day, I will attempt to do something that I have either feared or never attempted before. Most attempts will undoubtedly be small, but some may surprise us all. And each day, I will make the effort to take the leap of faith and turn it ALL over to God with the greatest sincerity and to do everything I can to leave it in His more than capable hands.
Yes, I am changing. I feel it in small ways and see it in my actions and reactions to most situations and to those in my world. I am learning to forgive both myself and others and I am giving myself the gift of kindness on those days that feel anything but kind. Today and for the rest of this month, I will not fall back. I will not stand still. I will however, move forward taking a giant Leap of Faith!