Finding faith in chaos

As I prepare to turn in final projects for my first semester of grad school, I’m happily giving up control over WTH for the day and handing it over to a lovely lady, Emelda, from Live in Color. I found Emelda’s story to be fascinating and her writing style exquisite—I know you will, too.

witty title here guest post

“Let go of your old narratives when they no longer serve you. Life changes constantly, and your story will, too.” 

- Tammy Strobel (Author/Blogger/Photographer)

Over a year ago, within two months, both of our cars were totaled.


Before my husband and I could sigh, we learned about our baby.
My emotions vacillated from surprise and joy to the kind of wrenching terror novel responsibility bears. How would I bring forth a life as I still searched for myself?

Months passed; halfway through the pregnancy, one of our doctors solemnly cautioned something may be wrong with our daughter’s heart. Racing anxiety quickly yielded to determination and prayer. We stood in the hospital parking lot on a tepid spring day, my husband, mother and I, heads bowed. We remained calm. A few days later the test results were negative.

After a nearly three-day delivery in August, Naima entered the world at 11:11 a.m., healthy and whole. Only seconds earlier, she maneuvered to break free of the umbilical cord which locked itself around her neck twice; the first cries were an audible reminder that life, in all of its complexities, is a continuous marvel.

live in color blog

Photo by Emelda De Coteau

As I look into those eyes, pressing against the softness of her skin, my heart is imbued with unending joy. She is here, because we refused to give up on her, on the power of faith. For me faith is not the absence of doubt—it’s having the courage to wrestle with it, facing our vulnerabilities, one day, one moment at a time. As Iyanla Vanzant, teacher and author often remarks, “we must do our work.”

This inner work is constant and consistent. I believe God pushes us with each new challenge to trust more fully. Certainly, there are days when it all feels impractical to me, as if I am swimming against a current.

This autumn, while leaves fell, so did my tears as I came to grips with a stark realization—a close family member now deals with a lifelong illness. There would be no retreat, only our resolve to cope.

It is during quiet times of reflection, as the bustle of life subsides momentarily, that I am reminded faith, ironically, is perhaps with us most strongly in chaos, when it’s easier to lose ourselves in despair and panic. We only have to remain willing to see promise and possibilities, not obstacles.

 

Emelda De Coteau

Photo by Keston De Coteau

Emelda De Coteau works for an arts non-profit in Baltimore. She juggles blogging and graduate studies at Notre Dame of Maryland University with blissful family life. She loves cuddle time with her hubby Keston, daughter Naima and their beagle, Ms. Foxy. She is the founder of Live In Color blog, which features posts on inspiration, style and culture, and chats with inspirational people in a variety of fields such as independent GRAMMY-nominated artist Carolyn Malachi and Baltimore-based filmmaker Bashi Rose. Her writing has also appeared in The Baltimore Times, Beautifully Said magazine, and Bmorenews.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

  1. What an inspiring post! I thought the sentences, “…faith is not the absence of doubt—it’s having the courage to wrestle with it, facing our vulnerabilities, one day, one moment at a time. As Iyanla Vanzant, teacher and author often remarks, ‘we must do our work.’” summarize the concept very well. I tend to see faith as that emotional support that reinforces one’s asserted agency. Having both agency and faith exude synergy that can bring about great results.

  2. Beautifully written and expressed. I find myself in the midst of a battle between what I believe and what is rational – but I think it’s mostly the pressure to ‘define’ your faith, are you Christian or Catholic? I prefer to stay away from being classified and just say I am spiritual – I believe in God but I do so on my own terms in my own ways. Yes, faith is definitely choosing to see the possibilities although, it’s not always easy however, most things worth having aren’t. Have a great one Emelda and good luck with your finals Cassie! -Iva

  3. Beautiful, lovely, exquisite, magnificent, awesome, breath taking, and all that good stuff. Emelda you are the Best!

  4. Hello everyone!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my piece! It’s always so wonderful when your work resonates with others. I agree with you all about about faith, it’s so multifaceted, and yes, I too believe it is deeply connected to both agency and spirituality.

    AwesomelyOz, to answer your question, I think of myself as a progressive Christian whose beliefs are rooted in love, faith, tolerance and justice. I listen to people of other faiths or philosophies w/ an open heart and mind. Again, thank you all for reading.

    Live In Color! – Emelda

  5. What an inspiration!

  6. i find that to be true too. faith is most strong in the midst of chaos… after the struggle.

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