We are very grateful for the following article in which Cara Cole shares her faith, why it is strong, and how it is an ever- present part of her life:
Growing up, faith was simple. Faith meant we got to share a pew with the whole family and hopefully Grammie had a mint in her purse to share during service. Faith meant we got to attend Sunday School with our cousins and then beg our parents to go over someone’s house to play afterward. When I was younger, faith meant family. As I grew up and life dealt it’s different cards, my faith evolved into what it is today.
When I was eleven, my mother’s brother succumbed to brain cancer. Eleven was a young age to swallow death. I remember someone telling me to have hope. Hope – that was something I could understand. I remember praying every night for a miracle. If God provides us with a miracle that will prove my faith. My faith became measured by whether or not God would provide. When that miracle never came, anger set in. I was angry that after all my prayers and faith, nothing happened. My faith was lost after this in a time when I needed it the most.
Throughout the years, we lost more loved ones. My senior year of high school we lost my Grandma. That year someone gave me a little memento, an angel with the word hope. There was that word again – hope. Hope now felt different. As Grandma was now gone, there was no hope for a miracle here on Earth. I realized that hope was believing in God and knowing that everything happens for a reason. To have hope now meant believing that one day, with God’s help, we will meet all our loved ones again in the miracle of Heaven.
In 2011, we lost Martha, or Grammie as she was known to us. It was kind of sudden and I felt unprepared to lose our matriarch, the glue of our family. At Grammie’s funeral, my aunt’s eulogy read this: Martha believed and lived each day by the three F’s: Family, Faith and Food. I vowed that day to honor her each day through those three F’s. Faith was now my way to live like my Grammie. Martha was a woman of integrity, kindness and faith. She instilled values in her children through her love and commitment to God and the church. Reflecting on that today, she was also doing this for her grandchildren. Each time we wanted to go to church to see Grammie and get a mint – we were living in her faith.
My faith today is stronger than it’s ever been. I’ve learned from the values of my family that faith is living each day as God intended us. To be good people, to help our neighbors, to love our family and friends and to love our God. I realize God’s miracles may not be grandiose and loud, but they are all around us. They are small everyday miracles. My faith is strong, even in trial, and I hope sharing it with those around me helps someone else who may need it today.