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When Reason Ends and Faith Begins

Erin Iler- circa 1984

I was known as a kid as a bit of a doubting Thomas.

The meaning of the idiom is – a person who refuses to believe anything until they are given proof.

I was skeptical of new situations, of meeting new people, I was shy and it terrified me too. It took me a while to warm up to others I didn’t know. When something seemed to good to be true, well, 9 out of 10 times it was too good to be true. I was a realist one hundred percent.

But what I found over the years is that I built up these walls of reason to make sure I wouldn’t be let down and it helped in many situations.

What’s interesting is my Dad was far from a doubting Thomas. His name was Thomas Joseph but he had the keen eye for what was real, what was fake, and sometimes just took a leap of faith.

Growing up, my dad was known as more of the risk taker in the family. Don’t get me wrong, he had a very stable profession, we settled in one location, we had a familial routine; however, when times got tough, he was able to use his spontaneity and willingness to take a chance in order to find some goodness around us.

It could be from taking a drive down to the beach when we were all in a funky mood to clear our heads, to giving a neighbor a chance that everyone else thought was grouchy, to saying YES to an idea when all logical arrows said NO.

Erin and her dad enjoying a Sunday afternoon- circa 2000.

The ability to trust in oneself is a rare trait to have. My dad was solid in that trait. And I have found over the years, I am slowly cultivating that trait.

In the past year, I have had to take many leaps of faith. When the road of reason came to a dead end, I had to rely on my parachute of faith in many instances.

Take my friend, she has gone through 6 rounds of IVF, her last option was a mosaic pregnancy. I had no idea what this meant, but 34 weeks later, I have complete faith that this pregnancy is meant to be for her. The odds were against her, but guess what, that little lady developing inside her womb is going to succeed against all odds. For the past 34 weeks, it has been beyond rough for my friend, but I truly believe the collective strength of other women cheering her on mentally has helped her. Is there proof that this is helping her? Not really. . . but all I can say is this pregnancy was meant to be.

Parenting. Need I say anything more? Pre pandemic, amid a pandemic, post pandemic- parenting can make the sanest individual sometimes feel like they are on a roller coaster that is about to derail from the tracks.

There have been many moments when I honestly do not have enough fuel in my emotional tank to move onward with my children. Then, something completely random happens that restores my faith as a parent. A kind word, an unexpected gift at the front door, a smile when I need it the most.

Starting a new business venture, cultivating friendships, trying yoga classes via zoom, providing support to students through technology platforms during the past school year. . .

The doubting Thomas in me years ago would have said that many of these experiences that I have witnessed in the past 18 months would be impossible, but the post pandemic optimist in my mind says “anything is truly possible if it is meant to be.”

I think my dad would be proud of me. . . my parachute of faith is much bigger and sturdier than it was two years ago. And guess what. I am much more at peace with myself. It’s freeing when you believe that there is a plan and let go of the worry that oftentimes circles around you. I don’t have proof that everything is going to be okay but I do know that in my heart, there is going to be the strength that I need in order to succeed.

Can you think of a moment when all arrows are pointing to No? But something inside of your heart is pointing to Yes? Trust in it. Faith goes a long way.

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Donna McCabe Baker
Donna McCabe Baker

I also think my Dad would be proud of me. It's such a comforting notion, but it keeps me grounded!

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