You don’t just wake up one morning, light streaming in from the window, birds fluttering about, and jump from your bed with exuberance declaring “I have a faith!”
No, it’s more like a slow crawl from your bed as you try to slam on the snooze button one last time.
Getting faith isn’t easy, even though people put the phrase “have faith!” on repeat like it’s no big deal. It’s a slow, sometimes agonizing process that many people give up on, but in truth, it’s worth the wait. Having faith puts that pep in your step when you feel like you’ve busted a kneecap. It gets you to try one more time towards your righteous desires and keeps you smiling when all you want to do is crawl back into bed. Faith is the end result of a long journey, but makes the trip bearable.
But sometimes it can be hard to see the road to faith, or at least the end of the road. If you’ve found yourself in this spot, Martin Luther King Jr. has some wise words.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
So what is the first step? Honestly, it’s different for everyone. But if you’re having a hard time viewing that staircase, here are a few steps to get you started.
Identify the Doubt
What’s causing you anxiety right now? What’s making you worry? What’s filling you with doubt? Pinpoint an area of your life that’s weighing you down and take some time to ponder why it’s so hard. If you need to, find a quiet space to meditate or pray about the things that are bothering you, and ask yourself why these things are having an impact on your life.
Why are we doing this? Because in order to identify a solution, we need to identify the problem.
Find Your Mantra
Having a little saying you can repeat to yourself in times of trouble is a great way to dispel fear. Faith is a concept that’s been around since the beginning of mankind, and you can find motivating quotes across the religious or spiritual spectrum. Take some time to search them out and find a phrase or quote that speaks to you. Put this quote somewhere you can see it often, like your phone. Then when you feel that fear or anxiety begin to rise, just take a deep breath, and repeat after them:
“Having faith does not mean having no difficulties, but having the strength to face them, knowing we are not alone.” – Pope Francis
“If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.” -Dalai Lama
“For with God, nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37
Now that we’ve identified the problem and have a mantra to keep us focused, let’s work on that solution. Write your problem down and start brainstorming ways to fix it, even the hard ones. What are the obvious ways you can fix it? The not-so obvious? Make bullet points until you have a solid list, then go through and find the solution that would be the most effective.
And now you’ll take action. You might be afraid, but that’s okay. Faith isn’t about not having fear, it’s about acting anyway. So take that solution and run with it, not looking back.
Faith isn’t a one-step process, and it’s also not a one-stop shop. In order to find and keep faith, you’ll need to practice over and over again. But that’s okay! With each step you’ll become stronger and stronger until faith is your first reaction to challenges, not fear.
As a writer, believer, and chronic Pinterest fail-er, Maddy believes that everyone has a unique message to share with the world, and enjoys finding new ways to strengthen her faith through different perspectives.