Faith. What does that word mean to you? To me, it means you have to believe in yourself. To me, it means that you have to believe that things will work out for the better. To me, it means you have to believe in the magic that this world has to offer. Those three aspects of faith have shaped me into the human that I am today. Faith is a big part of my life. I started believing in faith when I was little and my beliefs have only gotten stronger through the years. I used faith to get through some of the toughest situations life threw at me. Now, I am stronger than ever because I believed that everything would work out in the end and it eventually did. Faith is a hard concept to grasp because it is abstract and complex. Sometimes situations seem like they will never get better but faith always has a way to work its magic.
When I was three years old, I was diagnosed with Autism. The doctors told my parents that I would never be able to speak, go to a regular school system, or be an active member of society. It was a depressing prognosis but my parents and I worked hard to defeat it. At first it was a struggle but slowly but surely my parents and I worked hard to prove those doctors wrong. The thing that helped us accomplish this goal was faith. We had to have faith that things will work out at the end. We had to believe that despite the struggle we had to face, we would rise to the occasion. Faith was the reassurance that we needed when things were looking bad. Faith was the reason why I relearned to speak. Faith is the reason why we preserved through the regular public school systems despite the lack of faith in the Autistic community. Faith is the reason why I am graduating college with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Communication Studies this coming May. I have learned that faith was my ally but that was not always the case.
When I was in elementary school, I would have patterns. If you do not know what those are, they were basically an exact schedule of how I was going to go about my day. I would create this schedule around the clock. I would have to abide by my schedule or else I would have a meltdown. These patterns caused a lot of stress on myself and my parents. My parents even bought black electrical tape to tape over all the electrical clocks in the house. Eventually, my parents had to wean me off my patterns by telling me that everything was going to be okay if I put on my pajamas at 8:30pm instead of 8pm or if I ate dinner at 7pm instead of 6pm. Autistic people like to have a set plan for everything that happens in their life in order to make sense of the world. Eventually it worked because I knew that my life could not be tied down to a clock. That faith would step in and life would be okay if I had my dinner at 7pm instead of 6pm. I had to learn how to trust the process which is not an easy thing to do espiecally for an Autistic person.
Faith is defined as the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. I need to have the confidence that my life will be fulfilling without relying on strict schedule or patterns to accomplish it. I need to trust the process in order to have a fulfilling life. If I do not trust the process, I will miss out on significant opportunities. Faith has taught me that things will be okay even if they do not work out the way I want them too. It has helped my family come to terms with my Autism. It has helped me prove everybody who doubted me wrong. It helped me become the women that I am today. Faith is the backbone to my being.