Looking for Footprints in the Sand
For over a year now, I’ve been on a journey. The purpose for my quest is to find my faith in God, and ultimately myself, filling a void I’ve carried with me for too long. This journey has challenged me intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and, at times, physically.
Ever since my Great Grandma Fran passed away last February, I’ve been carrying a burden. I thought soon after that the burden was my need to have a stronger faith in there being a place for someone as good as her to travel to after death. After thirteen months, and six months in R.C.I.A. (a program to either introduce or renovate the Catholic faith in the lives of adults), to contemplate, I still have my burden. The difference is that now I have taken to dissecting it, examining every cavity and deciphering what every little fragment means, that way I can make a stronger effort to learn about each of them.
Most of the conclusions that I’ve been drawing have come from the retreat that I went on with my R.C.I.A. group: an experience of a lifetime. Contrary to my usual thirst for knowledge, I had yet to put forth all of the necessary effort to get to know God or learn how to pray, but on that two-day outing I armed myself with a pen and notebook. I took time to stop and listen to every melodic drop of rain against my window pane, every song of the crickets and frogs in the neighboring trees, and every question that I had previously locked away in the depths of my mind and heart because they had come before at times which I wasn’t willing or able to explore them.
I thought about this and how odd it was for me to act that way. I am such an analytical person, but on the subject of faith and religion (two separate entities, I’ve concluded) I am either intimidated or aggravated to such a degree where I am troubled with further questioning. I felt like I must’ve been missing something from the others in the group. Granted the other people are at much different places in their lives, whether they be getting married, married with four children, just lost their spouse, or more, I felt like they were impacted harder than I was. Was there a switch that someone forgot to flip? Was I meant to hear God? Did I already have faith, but was misinterpreting it for something else? Goodness did I have questions.
My experience with developing my faith has been a rocky road with a gorgeous view along the way. I’ve not yet reached my destination, but I will be forever mindful that every now and then I may need to make a pit stop to pick-up tools -unlocking that safe- so that I when I do reach my road’s end, I’ll be ready.