Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.       –Saint Augustine

I lost my favorite bracelet.

It was one of those leather cord bracelets, its two ends attached to a horizontal sterling silver cross. I love traditional items created in non-traditional ways, and this one made me happy, even though I’m not particularly religious.  Whenever I would find myself in a pensive or anxious moment, I would instinctively rub the slight curve in the cross, as if it was going to grant some wish. It reminded me to have faith.

And then, it was gone.

When on vacation in the Bahamas a few months ago, I lost one half of my favorite pair of earrings. Just vanished, no longer with me. It seems silly to mourn a thing, but I’ve become particular with my belongings. I’ve made a pact with myself to only keep things I love in my life. So, it makes it more difficult (and disappointing—such a big word) when the things you love don’t stay around.

I suppose these are life lessons. You love, but you also have to be willing to let go.

In this season of miracles, I’ve been thinking a lot about faith. Mainly, how can you trust life to work out in your favor? And, how do you craft a life of meaning, a life that fits and feels true?

The wisest part of me keeps hearing, Allow yourself to be led.

Though it has been clear I need to make some significant changes, I’ve been reluctant to act. But sometimes life has other plans. For all the things I don’t actively act on, something falls away.

It started with my clothing. Almost every top—blouse, sweater, T-shirt—has emerged with a hole. Some eaten by moths (who have waged a closet battle I am not winning), but most have simply come apart at the seams. Literally.

When, before venturing out in the final snowstorm of the season, I tried to pull on my tattered but still warm boots, but my foot wouldn’t fit in the right one. These almost 10-year old boots had become my go-to in seriously inclement weather. I tried to pull harder to force my heel to take its rightful place in the boot, and I felt something pull. I looked down and saw the leather on the side of the boot had split from its seam.

As I put on my favorite dress for big client meetings last week, I heard the unmistakable sound of fabric ripping. It didn’t just tear, but ripped apart completely, beginning at the seam just at the underarm and fraying into the body of the dress.

Even my sheets have joined in. A pillow case ripped in my hands as I tried to rejoin it with its pillow mate after the laundry. And the fitted sheet suddenly looked woefully thin in the bottom half, as if its days were numbered.

They were.

This is perhaps a result of all the times I opened my closet in the morning, desperate to find an outfit for the day, and thought, Nothing in here feels like me anymore.

Or, perhaps of something that is trying to be born within me. I’m a believer in signs, and I believe life speaks to us, if only we would listen to what it has to say. If nothing feels like me anymore, then maybe it’s time to get rid of it all. It could be time to start anew.

For years I felt like life was like a sweater a few sizes too small—it just didn’t fit. Maybe this is life speaking to me. Maybe it’s a messenger calling to the deepest part of me to stop living the way I think I should, and to start listening to the longing of things I’d hidden away long ago. Maybe I’ve crammed life so full with situations and people and ideas it’s now time to clean the proverbial closet.

Maybe it’s time to believe in possibility again.

I’d forgotten about my bracelet. You lose things, you feel sorry about them, and then you find the space to move on without them. One morning, I arrived at work late because I’d had an appointment, and I came back to the office feeling unsettled. I walked into the office, fully living in my head, not noticing anyone or anything. I was lost in my thoughts as I sat down at my desk.

My heart skipped a beat. The bracelet was on my keyboard. My co-worker found it in a conference room and returned it to me, whole and unscathed. I was elated.

And then a couple of weeks later, I lost it again.

I think there are no accidents in life. Losing it again was a test of my devotion. If this, my symbol of faith, had been lost again, then what did that mean?

Mabye I think too much. Maybe it’s the past disappointments that keep things dreamed of long ago at bay. Maybe this is a moment to believe the unknown of days ahead may hold the possibility of not being disappointed again.

But, my faith is certain of a few things. The sun will rise and the sun will set every day. If I’m lucky, I will regularly be witness to both, occasionally in the same day, and they will look as magical as they actually are. Even after the most brutal winter spring still arrives, with its fresh blooms and warmer days, and I will feel at home on the earth again.

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Maybe if I can believe in those occurrences, miracles all, then I can believe in my ability to dream a life beyond anything that currently seems possible.

And so I wait, in faith.

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