Tuesday, December 7, 2010

About faith and walking with G-d

I received an email from a 25-year-old daughter living at home, who feels as though her life is going nowhere as she is unmarried and seemingly is doing nothing “significant”. I’m posting here part of what I wrote to her, omitting personal details.

I do not consider myself to be fit to teach others about unwavering faith; however, the first thing to know and remember is that G-d is ever and always present in our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, and nothing in this world is happening without His direct supervision and guidance.

It can be difficult to realize that sometimes, as the story of us all is, as yet, only half-written, and it’s easy to doubt especially when horrible things are happening in the world (wars, disease, natural disasters) or when our lives seem to be crashing, and it appears we are in danger of losing those we love the most – or when we simply feel stuck and life is apparently going nowhere, which can be just as painful as we think of all the time that went by, seemingly with no purpose. When we see a half-completed painting, it’s sometimes impossible to figure out what the artist means to convey – yet. But when it is completed, oh, we stand back in awe and marvel at the beauty of it all. This is how it is going to be when we finally realize what His plan was – though the completion of it may not be in this world.

But personally, when I think back to some things in my life which were terribly painful, and I couldn’t understand why it is that I have to go through them – and then, a couple of years later down the road, I realized that these trials were necessary for the beauties and wonders I’ve been so richly blessed with. That it was, and is, part of the same path. This gave me just a tiny taste of G-d’s perfect understanding.
G-d loves us. He delights in every good deed and every positive thought. He created us, and he has beautiful, beautiful plans for our lives, if we walk through life putting our trust in Him alone.

It doesn’t matter how old we are, how seemingly far from where we would like to be, how deep in trouble, how desperate. There is no despair, no hopelessness – not when we realize that what G-d wants the most is for us to grow in closeness to Him, and quite simply, walk with Him. There is of course much more, but that’s the start – us realizing, and cherishing G-d’s presence, and turning to Him as our rock, our only ever present and solid hope, our dearest, closest, most trustworthy Father and friend. Nothing can replace that.

We cannot do it all on our own, and in fact, shouldn’t even attempt to. The burden of doubt, confusion, fear, guilt, uncertainty, loneliness and frustration can be grave when we try to hoist it all on our shoulders. But when we turn to Him in pure, innocent faith, it is easy to see how these burdens are lifted off us – and I mean especially those things about which we can’t directly do something, such as the future which is hidden. To stop worrying is not irresponsible or mindless. It the wisest, most sensible thing to do.

Not that we should do nothing. There is always something we can do, but once we have done it, the responsibility is no longer ours and we aren’t supposed to torture ourselves with thoughts that perhaps we haven’t done enough – but rather, trust and continue the walk of faith.

On a more practical note, it is important to enjoy every stage, and in fact, every day of our lives to the fullest, without thinking of it as a transition or a step to something greater. Even if it seems you are doing “nothing” in your life, and nothing is happening, it is not so. Neither should you see yourself as unemployed, but rather, as blessed with the gift of time which is not limitless and which is precious and can be used to do great things – I don’t know you, and of course, can’t tell you exactly what you can/should do with it. But it can bless countless people, among them yourself, and your loved ones and perhaps even people you don’t know.

I’m not sure how clear I have articulated my thoughts in this long and rambly talk, as faith is such a huge, all-encompassing subject that it isn’t really possible to “finish” talking about it, but I hope I managed to convey at least a small part of how I feel about G-d and His presence in our lives.

I leave you with my warmest wishes and kindest regards, and hope your life is beautiful.



Anonymous said...

Out of pure curiosity, why do you write "G-d", and not "God"?

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written, Anna, just beautiful...

~Jenny (aka Nonna) :)

Lady Anne said...

My younger sister was diagnosed with ALS (known in America as Lou Gehrig's Disease) and it was very difficult for our family to cope with some of the challenges this presented. A dear friend was watching me do some embroidery while I fussed. "Turn it over" she told me. From the back, it was certainly hard to pick out any sort of a design, which was very clear from the front.
"G-d is working His needlepoint, and while we only see it from the bottom when we look up to heaven, He sees it from the top, and it all makes perfect sense." Ever since, that's been the way I've thought about things that don't make sense to me; I'm looking at it from the wrong side.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. This was beautiful

Natasha L. Faye

Mrs. Anna T said...

I would like to please remind everyone that proselytizing is *not* welcome on this blog. I just had to delete a couple of comments from people who apparently don't realize that I'm an Orthodox Jew and do not wish to become a "double Jew" or whatever name you might call Jews who have renounced the basics of their faith. I hope everyone are having enjoyable holidays.

Lisa said...

Dear Anonymous,

It's out of respect and reverence for God that people of the Jewish faith don't write out the term. It is not written on anything that can be discarded or erased.

Anna, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Anonymous again said...

Oh, I see! That's a beautiful thing, I've never thought about it like that.

Thank you very much, Lisa.

Anonymous said...

That's lovely, Anna. I'm exactly in that woman's place, age and all, and hoping for a job. Sometimes it's hard not being married, but it will also be somewhat hard to leave home (and restore all my precious books and movies!) so I usually settle down and move on from doubts. Plus, I have my mom to help with when it comes to my niece and other matters. I do trust God; in 2009 I suffered a bad depression over a well-known and beautiful young man who died, then lost my dog and beloved aunt a few months later. God was unbelievable, and the hope I felt during the depression from Him was so beautiful. He's been amazing to me and mine.


Aly said...

Miss Anna... this is just beautiful. Thank you for expressing your heart so eloquently. How we all need to walk in faith regardless of our current situation :)