Sunday, July 19, 2009

Call me Faithful

What is Faith?

Could it be..all Faith..religious or spiritual, is a belief that your life is worth living no matter what obstacles are thrown in your way? Whether it be losing your job, your house to foreclosure, family squabbles, death of your most beloved dog, cat or horse. Or have a child or husband fighting in our country's terrible wars or maybe fighting a war with cancer...Or maybe you are the one fighting for your life!
....but it is a fact...NO-ONE gets by without having to face life's overwhelming obstacles!
In the book, "Faith:Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience", meditation teacher Susan Salburg writes, "Faith is the animation of the heart that says, "I choose life, I align myself with the potential." This spark of faith ignites the moment we think.."I'm going for it..I'm going to try to have faith!"

"Whether we are aware of it or not, Faith permeates each day of our lives. Everything we believe is based on some form of it. Faith in ones self. Faith in life or the Higher Power."

Faith has given me the strength to meet new challenges in the face of great adversity. Challenges that were new to me and that I thought I could never meet, unbelievable problems I never thought I could ever overcome...accomplishments that I never thought I was ever capable of doing! When my husband was first diagnosed with hepatic pulmonary syndrome and was given 3 years before his kidneys would give out...he was told he needed a dual surgery for new transplantated liver and kidneys ...the news overwhelmed us and that alone sent me on my journey of Faith. Mike already had other serious illness's and he was one that never has liked hospitals or doctor poking around on him so he wasn't a very willing patient for "any doctor cutting up on him..alone putin' in someone else' organs." ha! This transplant thing was a big, scary, deal and he just was not ready emotionally or intellectionally. He really wanted no part of it.

Well, needless to say..alot has changed since then! One lesson that Salburg teaches is that life is ever changing and so are we and that change doesn't always feel good. Mike learned that the hard way!

Sometimes the opposite of Faith can be despair. Salburg writes about: "Without a sense of possibility, we would be stuck, isolated, hopeless, and unspeakably sad."

Five years later, my husband still has yet to get that dual transplant surgery although I was very proud of him as he went to San Francisco and applied for a new liver and kidneys. After a tough screening, he was accepted and listed for a year until those doctors found a metastisized cancer in his liver. He was very quickly scheduled for a double heart by-pass surgery to be quickly followed by removing of 60% of his cancer-ridden liver. These surgeries far outweighed any trepidation and pain the transplants would have laid ahead for him....they were far worse. He got seriously ill after those serguries and needed two more after getting an infection which turned into septic shock and spent many weeks recovering.

So when you are about to be plunge into the depths of despair it's important to consider the possibility that you are not really seeing the big picture! It's impossible to know all the factors that contribute to any difficult situation. You may think you are powerless... you may see injustices..or unfairness taking place or you may be just scared..but with faith you will have a purpose..a direction. Faith gives us a meaning to our existence.

I spent alot of time alone, watching life and death in those San Francisco ICU rooms..contemplating our lives.. with the hours and days ticking away as I sat beside my sick, weak, somnolent husband. I had no job or small kids to distract me. No husband coming home at 5:00 for dinner. No grass to water, no dog to feed, no house to clean.. real socialization. Just me and my prayers and my Faith. I was by myself for the most part and had so much time to concentrate on and what life meant to me. The rooms were usually quite small, often times not affording me barely enough space to squeeze in my coveted hard, metal chair some nurse had scrounged up for me. I was afraid to leave my husband's side in those 6 weeks he spent in the ICU's, except to hike the hills of S.F. back to my room to sleep. I ate off of his tray, slept with my head beside his, answered his delirious questions about seeing his dead family members and his wonderings about where he was and how long he had been there, rubbed lotion on his feet, powered his dirty hair, creamed his dry lips...... and tried never to miss any-one of the many doctors who would traipse in and out of his room at any given moment-as it is a teaching hospital-with questions or answers to what their next stradegy would be. I kept up my Faith but mostly I kept up his.

Susan Salburg writes: "Life is not likely to deliver only pleasant events. Faith entails the understanding that we don't know how things will unfold. Even so, Faith allows us to claim the possibility that we ourselves might change in ways that will allow us to recognize and trust the helping hands stretched towards us. It enables us to aspire to a better life than the one we have inherited."

Faith. I watched a few others die in that hospital and I watched many others go home to their families. I watched many who had Faith and, sadly, many who did not. Some had families would visit with care and concern but many patient's only consolation were the wonderful nurses who cared for them, but sadly many remained alone in their misery. Some died alone. Happily and thankfully, I got to bring my husband home. he wasn't the same man I took in..but he was coming home.
Although Mike is now on kidney dialysis and some doctors say he can't be a recipient for a transplanted liver and kidneys because of his cancer, they still call him their Miracle Man. I will never give up hope. God gave me Faith. Once you have it you don't want to ever lose it again! He is learning new things about himself, his life and he has changed through this ordeal...and so have I. God has a plan for us.. and I am a testament unto Him. I remain true to my Faith. How about you? Do you have a reason to be Faithful?


The Wife said...

You are so eloquent. I have faith in the Divine power and I thank Him everyday for the life He's given me (good and bad).

little apple tally said...

Oh my.... How sadly ironic that the more hard times we face, the stronger our faith seems to grow..... Like we have an advantage over those who have it easier.... But I would hope and pray that you've grown enough faith already? That things can get better?

I love the way you express it....... May God Bless.....

gtyyup said...

Beautiful words...blessings to you.

Faithful said...

~The Wife~ We can never give enough Thanks..Thankyou for your kind words!

~Lil Apple~ I seem I feel so blessed at times..I can't describe the relief and the honor. Thankyou for your expressions of goodwill and prayer.

~Gitty Up~ I am grateful for your blessings to us, believe me.. it truly makes us heal inside when others show their concern.