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“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for faith is to see what you believe.”  Saint Augustine

I was walking in Central Park years ago with another mother when our children were only 2 years old.  Her son and my daughter were enrolled in a research program for bright 2 years olds.  It was a challenging time for me.  I was in a troubled marriage, going to law school and caring for the needs of my beautiful daughter without input from my spouse.  I doubted myself and did not believe there could be more for me.

This other mother spoke of a woman with whom she had been trying to be friends, but had deep trouble understanding.

She said that the woman was pessimistic, high strung and pushy.  She turned to me as we walked and said:  “I think that, “you just have to have more faith than that.”  I wondered what in the world she was talking about.  What was this thing called “faith”?  I had heard that word before, but thought that it was reserved for Sunday Sermons.  I thought that perhaps this mother was some crazy religious fanatic disguised as a caring mom.  For me, it was what I saw before me that ruled the day.  I could not see much ahead of me, except the chaos and the fog of the difficulties that I faced in my marriage.  I could not see a way out.  I could not see my own talents, strengths and abilities to rebuild.

I remained painfully paralyzed in my life.  My self-esteem was low, as I trudged through each day without regard for what lay ahead in all of its infinite possibilities.

Years later, after I had pushed through an almost impossible divorce, graduated from law school, relocated to South Alabama from New York City with my then two young daughters, and was in a healing place, I began to understand this thing called “faith.”  I began to grasp the infinite possibilities that give us hope, promise and the courage to leave a hurtful situation and rise with grace above the fray.

What is faith?

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, states that, “its central meaning is similar to ‘belief’, ‘trust’ or ‘confidence’, but unlike these terms, ‘faith’ tends to imply a transpersonal rather than inter-personal relationship – with God or a higher power.”

For me, Faith is to believe that the universe is bigger than our wildest imaginations.

It is to know that there is enough for everyone, that someone else’s success and good fortune is proof positive that we too can have good fortune.  It is to feel that we will be safe if we step out of an unhealthy situation and we can emerge soundly from the depths of chaos or madness.  It is to know that there is a higher force that will guide us when we do not know where to go, except to get out of where we are.  It is the power to say “no” and know that when a door shuts, a window opens.  It is the strength to keep our heads up high and know that we are worthy and strong and that we have the full forces of the universe backing us up.  It is the opposite of feeling alone and hopeless.  It is coincidence, miracles, healing and promise, all wrapped up in one.  It is the vast ocean and the open fields.  It is talked about in every religion and pondered by scientists, physicists and chemists when there is just no other explanation.  It is a wonderful and wonderous thing.  It is small and big both at the same time.  It is nothing and everything.  It is “Faith.”

Elizabeth Citrin is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.