Beacon of Faith

Bob Marley is my beacon of faith. Seriously, whenever you are in doubt, listen to Bob.

When my husband came home roughly seven years ago and told me he wanted to quit his job as a teacher/coach and go into real estate, I was scared. It wasn’t “nervous” scared; I was “angry” scared. I was angry that he wanted to take a risk by forfeiting a guaranteed monthly paycheck and daring to reach for something bigger. It took me three days to calm down and then another two weeks to be fully on board.

I only got on board with the idea after a huge amount of prayer and a reminder to have gritty faith. That reminder came in the form of Bob Marley. Every time I turned on the radio, I heard Bob singing to me, “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing.” (By the way, husband became a Realtor and there was no need for worry.)

Four years later, it was my turn to tell the husband that I wanted to quit my job as a school counselor and work full time for the nonprofit that I had just started. There was no money to pay me a steady paycheck. All he said was “okay.” I once again found myself “angry” scared (with myself this time) – but, every time I turned on the radio, I once again heard Bob singing. It was an incredible non-coincidence. Three years later, I am still receiving a steady paycheck.

Two months ago I came home and told husband, “We have to sell our house, find something smaller, get rid of all our excess clutter and, with the money we save, we will travel to developing countries so I can work with girls in those countries. Our little family needs experiences in serving others.”

And do you know what husband had to say? He simply said, “Okay.” Apparently my husband is one with Bob.

One month later, we had a contract. And now – with Thanksgiving less than a month away – I am in the process of packing boxes instead of making our grocery list for Thanksgiving. I am clearing out junk and trying to wrap my brain around how minimalists survive without having six mixing bowls, three sets of measuring spoons, and three copies of “Pride and Prejudice” in every room. Once again, I am “angry” scared.

No joke – last week, I turned on the radio … and there was Bob.

If I can get a bit deep here, Bob wasn't really telling me to relax – I think he was telling me to have some faith in my decision. Faith in God’s purpose for me. Sometimes I think I can control my universe. I believe God gave me free will, but I also think that sometimes I know better than God. Such audacity. But every time – every stinking time I think I know better and decide worry and anxiety are the way to ensure success – the universe and God show me I am wrong. Worry does not get the job done; faith does. Faith always wins. Always.

This holiday season, along with my family’s theme of “paying it forward,” I am working on strengthening my faith. Faith that I can do all the gritty hard work that has to be done in order to fulfill my purpose and mission in this life. Gritty faith.

Faith requires grit and grit requires faith. The two are inseparable. As I pack up my beautiful home – a place with a backyard pool, within walking distance of two of my son’s good friends; a dwelling that housed two businesses and made me feel established in this world – I find it is a daunting task. At times, I want to run away, change my mind … and find I am slightly angry at myself for having this grand idea of “less is more.” This is when I find myself bearing down in faith. I believe that, whether this idea of mine was born of free will or God-breathed, it will work.

It will work because I have gritty faith. Gritty faith – the type of faith that lets me cry and cuss one minute and then be totally chill the next. Gritty faith lets me deal with the puzzled looks and eye-rolls from others when I reveal my grand idea, just as it helps me get up at four in the morning to pack boxes and pray to God to change my mind about the move. Gritty faith helps me go to bed at night, knowing the decision to sell the house and travel was the right decision.

It is not beautiful faith, it is not smooth faith, it isn’t fluff faith. No, it is the hard type of faith that lets me hate and love the same idea at the same time. It is a fighting faith.  Vulnerable faith. Human faith. I will pack up this house and move. My family and I will travel and work with girls in developing countries and I know that, no matter what happens, “every little thing gonna be alright.”