When In Doubt...
2015 was one of the most difficult years of my adult life.
2015 really tested my inner strength. I remember sitting down and feeling helpless and feeling like everything was crashing down around me. Praying silently, I sat still and just knew that I would get through it. In that moment, I started calculating what I needed to do to begin dealing with everything. The person that was with me was distraught. She was crying uncontrollably and at some point put her head on my shoulder to find solace. I was not in a place to comfort her.
She looked at me and asked, " How are you so calm?"
In the calmest voice, I said, " How is crying going to help me out of this situation?"
That was not the nicest thing I could say but I just did not find the need to cry at the moment. I am a huge advocate for crying, I encourage people to cry; however, I was not going to do it there. When I got home, I cried like a baby. But, in the moment above, I sat and prayed. I was surprised at how centered I felt in the midst of all of the chaos. Looking back, I knew that was my faith that allowed me to be centered. Deep down inside I knew I would be alright and would get out of this situation. I was placed in this position for a reason. Needless to say, I did not sleep that night. I prayed and thought about what I needed to do on my end to be able to get out of this situation.
I have an altar in my home. On this altar, I have pictures of loved ones that have passed away, flowers, candles, crystals, water, amongst other things. I light a white candle every so often. Some times it is for clarity, other times its to give me light and allow my ancestors to guide me through a certain situation.
During this time period, I lit several candles.
My friends and family supported me immensely. They would check in on me and come over my house to keep me company. They prayed with me and I continued to pray every night by myself. There were times where I felt helpless so I would pray. Others times, I prayed to understand what this situation was trying to teach me. After what felt like an eternity, I was finally able to get this matter resolved. It was not the outcome I wanted but it was good enough given the circumstances. To this day, I am still working through the effects of this difficult time.
Nevertheless, when in doubt, anxious, or insecure, I pray.
Three of my best friends and I have an ongoing prayer text message. Lately, I have been using it a lot. I ask my friends to pray for me, for new endeavors, for my worries, for peace of mind, for clarity, for seeing the good in others. There was one instance where I was feeling unsure about a new opportunity. I sent a message to my friends to pray so that I could continue moving forward with this opportunity. As soon as they responded by saying that prayers were going up, I received a phone call. It was literally my opportunity calling. I texted the group and let them know and my friend's responses responses were, " prayer works" and "God is good". This group text message is a constant reminder that others have you in their prayers also.
I once heard one of my tias tell my mom something that stood out to me. My Tia said, "Todo lo que nos pudo pasar cuando llegamos aqui que no nos paso, esos eran los resos de mi mama". She was talking to my mom about what a struggle it was to navigate the U.S. as teenagers and brought up how many horrible things could have happened to them as young women. She believed that they were able to survive because my grandmother prayed for them everyday. This stuck to me because I believe it is true. My grand mother would pray daily, go to church every day. She taught me how to rezar el rosario when I was 6 years old.
Praying is a release. It allows me to let go of my worries and know that a higher being has my back. Every night, I not only pray for myself but for those that I care about and those that may need some healing. Praying for others, even those I am not fond of, is healing. It allows me to release any ill feelings toward them and send some healing their direction. This allows me to keep my energy positive and keeps me grounded.
Taking a Leap of Faith
The opportunity mentioned above was great but it meant that I had to let go of something that I cared for dearly. I prayed for guidance in making the right decision. I was unsure of making the change and taking this opportunity. This needed more than just prayer, it needed me to take a chance. I decided to take a leap of faith and go for this opportunity. It felt right but I was scared. Change is scary. I was nervous about this transition but I decided to go for it anyway. There were insecurities that came up and I had to pray and let it go. If this was meant for me, it would happen. If it did not happen, there was a lesson I could learn.
After all of the prayers and lit candles, I finally got my opportunity. This is a huge change for me and it meant leaving schools to continue to doing this work. I prayed on it, asked for prayers and finally claimed it. It was mine. I took a leap of faith.
With prayer and my leap of faith come new beginnings. Sometimes things will not work out how you expect them and that is okay. Even though I am beginning a new chapter in my life, I will continue to pray. I will pray for understanding, pray for strength, pray for clarity, pray for what needs to come my way. Changes are going to happen in our lives and we have to be willing to accept them. As I wrote this, all I could think of what Octavia Butler's quote:
"All that you touch You change. All that you change Changes you. The only everlasting truth is Change. God is change."
Prayer is not something that I only do when I am going through a hard time. This is something that can be done when you are feeling upset, anxious, worried, overwhelmed, burnt out, grateful, loved, etc. Using this quiet moment to address these feelings can make a world of a difference in your entire being. For me, it makes me feel at peace.