That’s me. A Doubting Thomas. I’ve always related to the story where Thomas didn’t believe Jesus had risen until he saw him, until he put his fingers in the wounds. I myself am slow to belief, quick to demand proof. That may be a good quality for a law career, but how about for a life?
While waiting to see my holistic healer last week (I know, I know, I belong in California), I read an excerpt from The Call, a book written by Oriah. The book began with a poem with the following lines:
“Remember- there is one word you are here to say with your whole being.
When it finds you, give your life to it. Don't be tight-lipped and stingy.
Spend yourself completely on the saying.
Be one word in this great love poem we are writing together.”
Intrigued, I skimmed through the chapter where she elaborates on this idea. What I gleaned is that each of us has one overarching lesson to learn in life. And that once we learn it, or as we learn it, we can teach it to others. The word is the thing that encapsulates this message, the thing we would entreat people in the world to do. Oriah’s word was “rest.”
She said one way to find your word was to look at where you have really struggled in life; to see if there was one lesson that we really struggled to learn, some mistake that we repeated over and over.
As I’ve thought about this over the past week, I decided my word is “trust.” My lack of faith is what gets me in trouble: my shaky faith in any kind of higher power, my lack of faith in humanity, in myself, my talent, my intuition. Faith does not come easily to me.
But here’s my new realization: just because it doesn’t come easily doesn’t mean I can’t have it. It just means I have to work harder at it than other people. So that’s the good news. It’s still possible. And maybe (dare I even wish this?) maybe once I finally learn the lesson, my faith will be even stronger for having been tested so severely. A girl can dream, huh?
So over the past few days, as I’ve been panicking about throwing a party for 60 people in my small home, and getting ready for my first writer’s conference, when I find myself anxiety and doubt-ridden, heart racing, breath shallow, overwrought, I’ve begun gently saying to myself, “Trust.” Just the word. And miraculously, it works. I get a small reprieve from my fear. Even if it comes back 30 seconds later, for a short time, I enjoy the belief that I am good, safe, and loved. That I am enough. What a gift.