Faith of many kinds…

When I was in high school, I won a 4-H public speaking competition. I went on to the districts and to state … and won. Instead of a trophy or a ribbon, I won a trip to Israel. This was not too long after the 1991 scud missile attack. It was a 10 day long trip. I was the North Dakota representative, there was a girl from Minnesota and a girl from South Dakota. We would travel with a male chaperone from Minnesota and meet up with an Israeli host family. We came from different faith backgrounds: Lutheran, Catholic and Mormon. It was an amazing trip of a lifetime. We toured much of the country (it is very small). We went to the Lebanese border, ate lunch by the Sea of Galilee, touched the Wailing Wall, stood on the Mount of Olives, swam in the Dead Sea, saw the scrolls, stayed at a Kibbutz, walked in Jerusalem, toured their Parliment building… it was a full trip. And my parents let me go!!! They let a 17 year old girl fly across the globe with strangers. As a parent of a teen, that freaks me out. What faith they had in me, the 4-H council and these strangers! I love my parents deeply and I know they wouldn’t have sent me if they thought I would be in danger. We were very safe on our trip. Our host knew what areas were safe and what to avoid. The people that I was traveling with were nice people. This was before the age of cell phones. We didn’t have much contact the entire 10 days… my mommy heart now knows it must have been the longest 10 days of my mom’s life. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to go.

Faith (noun) complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Also: a strong belief in God or the doctrines of a religion.

I just sent our oldest son for Texas for a week with his church group. 12 kids total and 3 chaperones will spend a week doing service work, attending conferences and getting to sightsee a little. They are supposed to limit their cell phone use and just be present in the moment. It’s only the first full day for them. Other than knowing that he arrived in Texas and it’s hot there, I don’t know much else. I sent him with some cash, a VISA card and lots of faith – of both kinds. There will be 30,000 kids at the convention. I have no doubt it will be an amazing experience for him. I didn’t go on the Lutheran youth trip when I was in high school because it was around the time of my Israel trip noted above. I hope he has stories to tell when he gets back and that his faith grows as a result of the trip. Slowly, I am learning to have faith that we’ve given our sons a firm foundation. I’m learning to let go.

I bought myself some flowers this week for my desk to remind me of the beauty all around. It was also a little bit to cheer me up and take my mind off of the fear of letting my son travel and to just have faith. Wherever you’re at on your journey, I hope you will take a leap of faith, have faith in others & in yourself and grow your faith (whatever that may be.) You are enough. You are always enough. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

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