My Faith is in You

I am not a religious person. I think, officially, I am agnostic atheist: I don't think that a higher order is known, and because of this I do not believe in any. Unofficially? I am just confused, uncertain, and not as aware of my faith and spirituality as I would like to be. Even more unofficially? I am quick to say that I believe in science, and in medicine. But let's back up for a second here, let's start at day one:
A few days after I was born my dad's side of the family gave me my Chinese name, it roughly translates to: gift from the heavens/sky. An aunt on my mother's side of the family told my parents that my disability and medical challenges was god's way of challenging my parents, to see how well they could approach the difficulties of raising a child with a disability.

And then 20 some odd years later I grew-up, a hellion on the express lane if there ever was one!

No, but all kidding aside -- beyond the way my mom & dad 'approached' raising me as a child -- religion, some higher order, god, Jesus, faith, spirituality, going to church... simply did not have a big role in my life, or in the lives of my brothers. The number of times I have gone to church I could count on one hand. Did I read the Bible? Yes, for English class. Have I ever prayed? If you count wishing upon a shooting star, in the style of Jiminy Cricket - then yes.

Maybe it was because my parents were a little bit more concrete in their parenting styles? So when they saw that my pain was very literal, that the bones broken in two were in stark black-and-white, that my yelp/scream/cry mixture was something that raised goosebumps on their skin - maybe that's why they didn't introduce some mysterious dude up in the sky to me? At least not in the way of Pray, and God will make you better - I never heard that. My random genetic mutation, and my even more random fractures were inexplicable enough; defining a word with the word itself, in this case, seemed to only lead to my pleading to unsympathetic heavens - they decided to not go this route, needless to say.
For my parents - whose job it was to protect me - what made me better was a cast, pain medication, surgery, metal rods, medicine and the orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed me at birth. Those were what my parents saw healed me, and that's what I have relied on as I have gotten older. Those are things that I didn't have to pour my heart and soul into, I didn't have to close my eyes and make my knees sore from those things, I didn't speak words into the air to get access to those means of healing. They were all delivered to me in ways that I could feel happening inside of my body.

But of course not everyone grew up like me, not everyone had parents like mine. This is pretty obvious. So what I mean to say is that I am educated enough to know that hundreds of billions of people on this planet rely on their faith, religion, or a higher order to cope with their challenges. Medical challenges, disability, chronic illness or pain, inexplicable tragedies, inopportune events.. sometimes science and medicine isn't enough to give a reason for those events in our lives. This is fine,
I have no issue with this. In fact, I will admit that sometimes I am in awe of those who are able to believe in an omniscient power they have unwavering trust in - that's cool. It's cool because it's a choice that I don't understand, and I respect the unknown. 

But what is not cool?
As I have gotten older I have mingled with various creatures in our societies, folks who hand out pamphlets with Jesus will save you! Random strangers who clamp their palms onto my forehead, ask me to close my eyes with them and mumble some magic words. (Do you know how frightening it is to have a giant stranger come at your head with a grimy palm? Particularly when you have brittle bones?) "Please get away from me" is all I can muster; during moments like that I feel less than divine, less than touched, less than human - I feel dirty and used.  
When those same individuals tell me I must have faith, or believe in God, or pray to Jesus in order to have a better outcome, or quality of life...and if I don't do those things, I am doomed..??! This in particular is a direct insult to my life experiences, my accomplishments, my health and well being. Quite frankly, it's insulting to the way my parents raised me! I was raised to be self-sufficient, independent, resourceful, to understand yourself and those around you, to be respectful, to try your best and to take responsibility for your mistakes or faults. Those are the guidelines of behaviors in which I have now sought to shape around my, now, adult life. These are not things that I have to repeat night after night to remind myself about; I put these pillars to the test and practice them everyday, most of the time without even thinking about it - because they are what keep my life accountable and progressing.   

Call me concrete, call me unimaginative, call me boring and too literal -- but here are the things that I do pour my every ounce of faith in:
My family and friends who support & care for me, medical science and my medical team, hope, myself, and despite forcing me to question my belief everyday - I have utmost faith in humanity. I believe and have faith in you and in me, that we can depend on one another to achieve happiness and success - to live the best life that we possibly can. 

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