A SEED WAS PLANTEDWhat is faith, and how does one acquire such faith? In most cases faith and the knowledge of it comes from experiences either from family, church community, or both. I feel my faith was a seed God himself planted within me when I was a very small child. He planted the seed so I could grow and develop a faith so strong it must be shared.
In my heart, I am your typical 16 -year -old, but to the outside world I am very different. I was formally diagnosed with autism at the age of nine; however, I was treated for the disability since the age of four. I have a loving, caring, and diligent family who have always had my best interest at heart. Both of my parents are Catholic, as well as my grandparents and great-grandparents. The Catholic religion has always been important to my family, and that loyalty has seeped its way into my life as well.
I use the word seep because my Catholic faith found its way into my heart slowly, but on some level it has always been there. I can remember being a very young boy strapped in a stroller, thinking about God and who He was. I had never had a discussion with anyone about God because until the age of six no one knew I could communicate at all. However, throughout those silent years I communicated with God often. The time I spent trapped within my body with no communication outlet was the most frustrating period of my life. God helped me through those years. I relied on His attention to me to sustain some sense of order. I needed Him to remind me that everything would be alright and He would not leave me. I'm sure you are wondering how a 5-year-old could have a relationship with God. That is my point exactly. I believe God has been with me since birth to help me and guide me when my parents didn't know what to do.
And now so many years later my faith has grown even more. I now can communicate with the world through writing but still communicate with God always through my heart. Because of my disability, I have always been uncomfortable in groups, especially loud groups of people. Therefore, I try to avoid such events. Needless to say, I find myself alone most of the time. Because my days are not cluttered with socializing, video games, TV, or the like, I spend hours pondering. I believe the time I spend alone thinking about God and praying to Him has made my faith strong. I sit in my Sacred Heart Church or in the yard of my country home and wonder about the events of Jesus' life and compare them to my own. Our obstacles may be different, but obstacles exist just the same. When the obstacles in my life cause me to stumble, I rely on my faith to pull me through.
It is easy to have faith when the steps are easy and obstacle free. These stumbling blocks are what makes so-called believers doubt and lose their way. In my life, these obstacles have done the very opposite. Of course, I do not look forward to these barriers, but I do appreciate them. At these more difficult times my faith has been tested, and each time I have weathered the storm and grown stronger. I need these moments to help me grow spiritually.
Spirituality lives deep inside my soul. I think God has always had a purpose for me in this world, and I have always known the purpose would call me to share my faith with others. Isn't that what we as Catholics supposed to do-share our faith with others? Well, this is the one thing I have always been certain I could do well. Day to day activities are hard for me to complete. These same activities are taken for granted by 99% of the people in the world. I take nothing for granted, especially my faith. I continue to pray my faith will remain strong.
The faith I am talking about did not come from experience. This faith I have is within my heart. Faith drives me every day to be positive, patient, considerate, and courageous. It takes courage at times for me to keep moving forward when I am so uncertain about my future. But no matter what happens, I have my faith. This faith will lead me around or over all of those obstacles, eventually leading me to a place where I have no limitations. Until then, this seed of faith planted on the day of my baptism in Sacred Heart will guide me through.