How do we hold onto faith in the face of devastation?

Fires...shootings...natural disasters. There's a lot going on in our world right now that can leave us all feeling hopeless and depressed. It is a faith-building time, to say the least. All week, I've been praying so hard for rain, for understanding and for protection for everyone. I've been leaning hard on my faith throughout my mental processing while helping to spread some faith and healing too.

Between clients, myself and my family, I have figured out how to put into words how we build our faith, take this month of hardship and turn it into the greatest faith-building practice of our lives. Because we each need it, and the whole world needs it right now too. 

Have you ever wanted something so much you couldn't stand it?  I mean, not just a little bit, but you wanted it so badly you could feel that want in every single cell in your body?

When what you desired didn't happen for you, where did you find yourself? Did you find yourself devastated, maybe even surprised things didn't go according to "plan"? Was it hard to imagine where the next step would be or perhaps that you couldn't imagine life this way?

Of course, in that moment, it hurts like nothing you've ever experienced. This new normal doesn't feel "normal."  It could've possibly even been the darkest night of your heart. I've been there too. It hurts so much.

Now what happens when you follow your timeline and watch your life roll forward from that place in your past? Where did that next step end up falling? Did a greater blessing find its way to you because your life wasn't filled with what you wanted so badly? Did not "getting what you want" give you the freedom you needed to be available one year later so you could jump at the opportunity of a lifetime? Where did you find yourself 2 years later?

Look back on your life and collect these stories. Collect them one by one and add them to your reserve. As you look back and recognize how God's perfect plan really is perfect, you can bring that reservoir of faith into the present moment and put it to work. Trust that in the face of devastation and destruction and death, God has a perfect plan of renewal, strength and blessings headed your way. New relationships will be created, new partnerships formed, new buildings built, new policies enacted, new, new, new. This in no way takes away the grief and sadness we all feel. It merely helps us have faith that blessings are truly abound, and the plan for our lives is perfect and filled with love and grace that we will receive in perfect divine time.

Can't do it? Can't find any examples in your life yet of the blessings of the unanswered prayer? No problem. After my parents and brother died, I entered into the darkest time ever. I kept trying to have faith, but I found it nearly impossible. I recognized though that this was not a healthy place to live from, nor the place God wanted me to live from, even though I was grief-stricken. So, I bought a rock with the word "Trust" written on it. I held that rock everyday when I would go to sleep at night and as soon as I would wake up in the morning. Over time, I was able to build trust in God's perfect plan, but it required my conscious choice. We bring in what we focus on. Instead of focusing on my fear, I chose to focus on trust. And just because I had very little trust at that time, I wasn't going to let that stand in my way. I held that rock and chose trust Slowly, my trust grew day by day.

Now, I use that time period of my life as one of my greatest examples of God's perfect plan. You can too. Whether you build your own reserve through your own life review or hold onto a rock every night, you can find the faith needed to move the mountains in front of you and to begin to watch, with curiosity, which blessing is coming to you just around the corner. Use this very faith to push you through your fear, your struggle and your life.

Erin Garay