How do you believe in something you can’t see? Is it like a ghost, a shadowy doubt that scares you into believing in it, or like true love, which promises total happiness? I ask all these super deep questions because I’m trying to find the answer to the most important question of all: Do Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny really exist? I mean, how can childhood be fulfilled without visits from these fabled figures? My question shows my struggle with the idea of believing in something that I can never prove is real. I had always been skeptical of this risky idea of faith, until I spoke with a Believer (Not Always a Seer) that taught me that having faith in the uncertain is well worth the risk.
What the WHAT?????? I thought to myself while playing with a pair of my blue sunglasses at home. I have to decide where I am going to LIVE for the next four years within the next two weeks???
In my anxiety I accidentally tossed my blue Fake Bans across the room. As I got up to go get them, the piles of info I had from the colleges I had been accepted to spilled off my lap and spread out all over the floor. Yep, this is pretty much what my brain looks like right now, I thought, a chaotic mess of information.
It was the middle of April during my senior year, and decision time was getting dangerously close. Where would I go to school for the next four years? Where would I have midnight runs to pig out on frozen yogurt?!?!?! These where the important questions I had to ask myself during the entire month of April, and even with all the research and people I had talked to, I didn’t have a clue of where I wanted to go. I had planned to check out a few schools before the end of the month, but with my mind in a state of pandemonium, I was not sure I would survive the trip.
How on earth can I choose? I thought as I walked over the papers to get my sunglasses, hearing the subtle *crunch* of those immaculately written letters under my feet. And when I do choose, how will I know I have made the right decision?
A prisoner to my mental turmoil, I began to sift through the pile of papers when suddenly my phone rang. Maybe it’s my peace of mind calling to tell me that it is never coming back, I sullenly thought as I answered the phone. “Hello?”
“Hey, Abi!” my Believer (Not Always a Seer) said. My B(NAS) was always so positive and upbeat that even the mind-scrambled version of myself couldn’t help but smile when I realized who it was.
“Hey, there!” I responded. “How have you been doing?”
“I’ve been very well, thank you. And how about you?” my B(NAS) said. “I wanted to call because I heard you are a bit worried about your college decision.”
A bit worried is a bit of an understatement, I thought. “Yeah, it’s a really big decision in my life, and I just can’t be sure that I will make the right one.”
My B(NAS) laughed and said, “Don’t worry, Abi. You have to believe that wherever you end up will allow you to be successful and enjoy yourself. Have faith that everything will be all right, my dear.”
Faith? I thought incredulously. But I can’t read online about faith’s impact on a college experience or graduation rates. No student can tell me what grade you’ll get in a class if you have faith.
“Oh, B(NAS), I don’t know if I can do that,” I said. This decision just seems too big for me not to be absolutely sure about it.” Talking about my decision was making me anxious, so I said, “Why don’t you tell me about what has been new with you lately?”
My B(NAS) responded, “Things have been a little uncertain about me being able to move to a new home later on this year, but I have faith that everything is going to work out.”
Oh, poor B(NAS), I thought. For a few years my B(NAS) had been trying to move to a new home to be closer to family, but for one reason or another, the plans had just not been working out. I couldn’t help but ask, “When do you think you’ll be able to move in?”
After a pause, my B(NAS) said, “Honestly I couldn’t say. I’ve had to deal with a lot of changes in my life so I would be able to make this a reality, so I have to trust that I will be able to move when the time is right.”
We hung up soon afterward but instead of poring over letters I thought about what my B(NAS) said. Have to trust when the timing is right? I thought. Your whole life is being affected by this decision that you are basing on your belief that it will turn out okay. Yet instead of being scared, you are peaceful and happy. Hmm, maybe there is something to this faith thing after all.
I did eventually make the decision, and am pretty happy with where I’ve chosen. I may not be 100% sure that everything is going to turn out perfectly for me; I just believe that my choice will take me to a future where I’ll find success and happiness.
Lesson Learned: Having faith can truly empower you. Of course, facts and figures are our friends and oftentimes make us certain of what we know. But in every situation, big or small, faith allows us to enter new experiences with a confidence that we cannot create on our own. Use faith to bring hope to situations that seem hopeless, and maybe one day the Easter Bunny and his imaginary crew won’t seem as imaginary to you J.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King Jr.