Faith in others

TODAY’S MUSINGS: I’ve been thinking about faith today. Faith is widely criticized in today’s world and yet we all exhibit faith in something. I might have faith in God. You might have faith that there was a Big Bang at some point that created the universes. Another may have faith in Jesus and yet another have faith in herself.I absolutely have a deep faith in my Heavenly Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ. This faith has been tried and tested over the many years of my life. I realized that sometimes, even though I have faith, I didn’t always have trust. My sister, Andrea, taught me a great deal about trust. Her faith was active — knowing that God was in charge and that she would trust Him with the outcome no matter what. This trust was hard-earned for her through many serious challenges. After going through some serious challenges of my own, I better understand that trust. But as a certified control-freak, it is still a challenge.I cast my burdens on the Lord but then I’m sometimes guilty of taking them right back and worrying–as if to say, “Well, I asked you for help but I’m not really sure you’ll do it.” Dumb. But also the challenge of a controlling person who has been plagued with worry. I have to consciously say, “No, I prayed about it and I trust Him and I will stay there and let the worry go.” Not easy for me.But another aspect of faith has grown (and been challenged) with having adult children. That is faith in other people–particularly my adult kids. It is hard to pivot from running their lives to stepping back and letting them take over. My kids are now in their 30’s (yes, I’m that old!). And they are terrific people. I’m so proud of my kids and their spouses. Each one is trying very hard to be a good person. So as they face challenges in their lives and make their own choices, I have repeatedly and consciously made the choice to have faith in them. I say it out loud – “I have faith in my son.” or “I have faith in my daughter-in-law.” That has been an interesting experience. As I say it out loud, I pause and think, “You know . . . I do have faith in them!” And I step back and watch them manage their own lives. (And try very hard not to be controlling :))Fundamentally, I have faith in people. Not everyone does, I know. But I believe that most people are good, caring, well-intentioned people who are trying to do their best every day of their lives. I have faith in people to make good decisions. I have faith in people to help others. I have faith in people to learn and change and grow. They may do things differently or believe differently than I do–but I still have faith in them.And I have faith in my self. Not always easy, I know. But I say (yes, I talk to myself out loud quite often) “Merrilee, I have faith in you. You can handle this.”Faith is so empowering. Faith in God is central and essential. But faith in others and their inherent worth and goodness is also very strengthening.