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On that snowy Saturday morning as I sat there in church listening to the pastor preach with tears filling my eyes, I knew I never wanted to lose that feeling. A feeling of hope and comfort filled my soul and took me in. I knew in the end I would be okay. When I was younger I would often tell myself during worship and the sermons: you need to get it together, but now I realize I never want to become deprived of God’s greatness or lose my faith in Him. I was raised in a Christian household where attending church every Saturday was a usual routine. It helped grow my faith as I did and has only further strengthened it. Over the seventeen years of my existence, I have experienced God’s immense love, greatness, and power get me through tribulations. It has been something I have always had and kept close to my heart. Faith has given me courage and strength, purpose, peace, and happiness and it is the one thing I hope I still have in 30 years.

According to the Oxford Dictionary faith can be defined as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. In the Bible, faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. It is believing deep down inside your heart, things will get better. Faith is a characteristic that generally does not have a middle ground for compromise. It is a powerful element that human beings either hold or do not, but it is an essential part of life. During our everyday lives we experience faith and it often goes unnoticed. For example, when we get into an elevator we have faith in it and the fact that it’ll take us safely to the floor we need. We trust that it will not breakdown while we are in it. There are also many small things we need to have faith in to move through our days with as much success as possible and without doubt. If we didn’t have faith in small everyday moments, we would be constantly second guessing our actions, and it is just as important as the oxygen we need to breathe. Faith pervades our world and is increasingly becoming more popular in our society, acting as a key aspect throughout the world. The Guardian, a daily newspaper, states that 84% of the human population identifies as having faith in something. My faith is in God and it is knowing that things will get better, that good things are to come and it is what has moved me through life and what I forever want to possess.

A study done by Gallup found that 35% of the world’s population experiences large amounts of stress everyday, and excessive worry and stress are attributed to negative physical effects as well as mental anguish for human beings. I find that I am continuously enslaved by stress producing anxiety and fear in my life. There was a point where it began to define me and control my everyday actions. I would confine myself in my room and thought of the worst possible outcomes for every situation and burden I had. There were things out of my control, but I still found ways to worry about them. The feelings I was experiencing blocked my connection with God and made it easy for me to lose hope and even faith. I began to suffer from being tied down to worry, stress, and fear which transformed me into a weak person. How could I get through a life filled with everyday stressors that I couldn’t control? There was no reason for me to believe that this situation would get better but I had a small amount of faith that I would get through this. Slowly over the course of a year I worked on harboring my faith in God. I prayed and asked for strength, I read His word, and deep down inside my heart my faith began to grow again. Faith is something you need to exercise in order to grow, just how we exercise our minds to gain more knowledge. Although it takes time and results aren’t immediate, it’ll grow day by day. Faith gave my soul strength and courage to know that any insurmountable situation will end and no situation is too difficult for me to handle. It pushed me to move forward with my head held high and my trust in Him. We receive courage from knowing that whatever failures, tribulations, stress, and fear life has to bring, faith will trump them. There is no doubt our world is not painted of pretty rainbows and flowers, but I know that my faith in God will forever act as my shield of protection through the ups and downs of life and it helps fend off fear. As I believe and trust I gain insight and strengthen my courage to face everyday life and continue my journey on this earth the more I grow older.

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Not only does my faith give me courage and strength, but it also gives me peace of mind and purpose. The feeling of peace comes as a result of having faith in God. Knowing that all will be well brings the heart to ease especially through the rollercoaster of life. There are many things we experience that are constantly in the back of our minds. Those constant thoughts seem like a grey cloud hovering over our happiness. Certain situations in life often have me ask, why, and cause trouble in my heart because I can not make sense of it. Having peace in your heart is essential when living especially if you do not want to live with a constant torment. It is important to enjoy every moment of life because it is so precious and we should experience true happiness as much as we can. I remember laying in bed every night and constantly feeling uneasy of what could come during the night, especially of nightmares. A nightmare would wake me abruptly and I would close my eyes and pray, asking God to be there with me. My bedroom door didn’t open up and have God walk through there to comfort me, instead I saw Him as the peace that covered my body. In every unsettling situation life may throw at us, faith is what plants peace in your mind and will get you through it. Peace is necessary to produce happiness, joy, and gratitude towards life and decrease the negative and hateful feelings. Along with peace comes the balance of finding a purpose.

When navigating through life, there may be moments where one questions their existence or reason to be in this world. Studies done by the University of Pennsylvania show that a staggering number of participants stated having a concern with purpose. Struggling to find a meaning to what you are doing can bring about worry and ultimately lead to a negative state of mind but with faith, it’ll be your guide towards the right direction. I believe that God has a plan and purpose for me to fulfill on this earth and I am walking through it with Him by my side. Navigating through the path towards discovering my purpose, I experience the good and the bad, but I am certain that it’ll turn out right in the end and it’ll bring true joy to my life. True joy and happiness can have many different meanings to individuals. Some believe happiness is having a smile on your face while others believe it is being fulfilled and content with having your needs satisfied. To be happy I learned to accept that the way my life is going is because of God’s will and it is exactly what is meant to be. There may be moments where we don’t understand or are disappointed with something that has occured but faith allows you to accept it and try to improve by leaving the rest to what you believe in. It is a scary concept to understand, but I find it necessary for me to do in order to live happily and continue with my everyday life.

As we grow older we experience more and more moments that make and break us. We move through life not knowing what will come but we all have the tools that we need to help ourselves and others. Every individual has a different life, needs, and priorities and it is found that without having certain things we feel like we can not move forward. Faith has always been a part of me throughout my life because of the happiness, peace, and strength it gives me. In thirty years I do not know where I will be, but the one thing I hope I still have is faith.

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