My Faith is a Messy Process

faith is a messy process

Why had no one told me that my body would become a battlefield, a sacrifice, a test? Why did I not know that birth is the pinnacle where women discover the courage to become mothers?

{Anita Diamant, The Red Tent}

When we plant the seeds of creation, we dig holes deep enough that the tender seeds are protected from the elements. We dig our fingers into the wet soil, pushing it layers beneath the earth. Two inches, three inches. We smooth over the surface, erasing any trace of our impact.

We wait.

It is in the waiting that we are almost broken. In the waiting that we want to rush out to the garden to rake our hands through the earth to run our finger tips over the any changes in the seed’s shape, hunting for any indication that it will sprout.

In the waiting, I need to remind myself to surrender moment by moment. I hold the framework, as best I can – succumbing to the possibility that I might be losing my mind as I misplace my keys, my phone, the credit card that I just had in my hands two seconds ago, again. Softening into my preoccupation with the progress and the overwhelming urge to wail or abandon hope because it feels easier that way.

There is a risk in believing, in remaining in a state of faith.

I tell myself that I am going to be all in. I am going to put all of my positive energy behind it! I am going to think only the most lovely thoughts.

But then I wake up at six o’clock in the morning with the gnawing worry that I have been duped by my own imagination. That I have asked for too much. That there is something wrong with me. That I will be a fool for having believed in something that will not manifest. For loving the seed that will not grow. For tending to the soil every day, without receiving the certainty of it’s harvest.

Having faith is an active process. It is the moment when you are fingers deep in the mud, choosing to believe. It is the humanity of the the tear soaked pillow at first light. It is in the constant reminders when the fear bubbled up in the quiet and humble questions of deserving.

I have a choice to hold the faith without controlling it. To let my faith be imperfect, as I am imperfect. To believe that it is possible, even before I’ve seen proof with my own eyes.

I’m ready be a fool for you. I’m ready to keep asking, to keep planting, to keep praying – even if it doesn’t come easily. I am willing to allow my heart to be broken open by this ask, because I know that as I open, I become more ready each and every moment to receive the answer to my prayer.

Every moment that I accept myself – my tears, my frustrations, my desire to micromanage every step of the process, my dirty hair, my distracted mind, the things on my to-do list that I couldn’t quite get to today – I become more ready for my dreams to be born. For my intentions to actualize.

Every moment that I choose to remember that my ask – my life, my prayers – are worth the risk, my body is shifting and making space. My molecules are reconfiguring. With each tear, the pieces of my story that no longer fit with the reality of receiving what I’ve asked for flow easily down my throat.

My faith is a messy process. There is room here for stomping and wailing and wondering and pacing the floors in the night. My dreams are worth that. The quality of my life is worth the effort that having faith requires of me.
I am not patient by nature, but some things that I desire take time. They ask a lot of me before they show up on my doorstep. They prompt me to spiral into becoming better versions of myself so that I will recognize them when they arrive.

Plant seeds that matter to you. Allow your faith to be flexible, fluid.

Break your own heart wide open – fingers in the dirt, choosing what to believe.

But don’t give up on yourself.

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