Flying without Wings
Faith is as simple or complex as you want to make it. It can simply be the belief that you will be here on this planet tomorrow, or it can be a complex belief system involving religion, philosophy, or a mixture of both. Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing without having cold hard facts to support that confidence or trust. Regardless of how you define “Faith”, it is necessary to have it, no matter what you’re facing. I have found that faith keeps my feet moving—one in front of the other, always forward, no matter what lies ahead.
I have often felt that the fear of the unknown is the most powerful form of fear. We have all heard the old adage, “better the devil you know than the one you don’t.” In other words, don’t move from the situation you’re in because you don’t know what may lay ahead, and it could be worse than what you have going on now. There is certainly comfort in the familiar, but there’s also complacency, boredom, and often times anxiety.
Fear can keep you paralyzed even in the worst of situations, but faith, the belief that things could be better can be your antidote. It allows you the freedom to move, one foot in front of the other. It allows you to accept that no “devil” regardless of your familiarity, is worth knowing.
After being in the hospital for three plus months, the time had come for this baby bird to fly. I had recovered, been put back together, and had no illness left to cure. I was ready to begin the new chapter of my life. “Getting out and getting on with it” became my battle cry. But as eager as I was to get into physical rehab, I was scared to death to leave the safety and familiarity of the hospital. I knew all of my nurses, and therapists. I knew what to expect every day and every evening. I even began to look forward to certain “menu” items provided by the hospital cafeteria. Being in the hospital long enough to know that Wednesday was “Lasagna day” was a pretty sad reality. Nonetheless, I still found security in my knowledge of what my everyday looked like.
I began to express my fears about leaving the hospital to one of my nurses one evening. The words cascaded out of my quivering mouth. Everything, every fear that I was feeling did not go unannounced. After listening for several minutes…or more, he said that he had something that might help allay my fears. He would go to his car and get it for me during his break.
He returned to my room a few hours later, and handed me a paper. I began to read:
When we get to the edge of all the light we have,
and take that step into the darkness of the unknown,
we must believe that one of two things will happen…
there will be something solid for us to stand on,
or we will be taught how to fly. Anonymous
That night I began to believe that even though my life had dramatically changed, and that the body I had come into this world owning had been dramatically altered, I actually would be alright. That night I chose to welcome rehab wholeheartedly no matter what it entailed. I decided that I didn’t want to know this “devil” anymore. I needed to leave the hospital. I also started to recognize that the devil which lay ahead was shrouded in my own self-doubt. And as it turned out, I did know the devil ahead of me. It was simply my own fear. I chose, that night, to embrace my faith, and not allow that “devil” to rule my life, and impede my forward motion.
My nurse gave me something which I had needed for a long time…longer even than my hospital stay. He helped me believe in myself…to regain the faith that I so desperately needed. He helped me sprout my wings. He helped me believe that I would be taught how to fly.
Faith is an amazing tool to have in your Survivor’s toolbox. If you believe in yourself, the “devil you know,” will no longer be someone or something that you are willing to accept. Faith in yourself provides motion…always forward, especially when you’re unsure of what may be lying ahead of you. Your faith becomes your belief that no matter the circumstances, you will stand on solid ground, or like me, you will be taught how to fly.