“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”

– Hebrews 11:1

 When I was a kid one year my mom couldn’t afford to get me a real Christmas tree. I was so upset because for me it was never about the presents; the tree was like gold when you would wake up on Christmas morning it would have a presence about it as if God himself was sending the most beautiful rays of light just to say “ Hey, I am here.” But, that year I remembered I prayed so hard and I believed I would get that tree somehow. Well, my faith worked that year because on Christmas Eve my aunt and mom somehow surprised me and when I opened the front door, there it was the most beautiful tree ever; in fact, it was so big it touched the ceiling. I spent hours decorating that tree and when I woke up the next morning it was there like always, the glow of light that gleamed like gold.

When you are little “faith” is so much easier to believe in; you believe without question. As you get older your innocence is taking away and that faith you once had is not as strong as it was when you were a kid. The reality of the world attaches to you like a leach sucking you dry. And as 2020 is coming to a close a lot of people are finding it difficult to celebrity during this holiday season more so than previous years due to living in a pandemic without an end in sight. Even the Christmas decorations seem to be slowly being placed and some neighbors who would normal have Christmas decorations up by this time of year are nowhere in sight. This seems to be a trend across the United States, having to watch yearly traditions on a laptop doesn’t have the same magical experiences as it would in person.

So, I decided to survey some family and friends to see where their faith laid during this holiday season. Their responses were interesting and a lot of them very similar, but one of the responses imparticular answered my question with one sentence; It stated “ You shouldn’t have to find faith when you know it’s with you always.” Which I found to be a straight forward answer that many people might agree with, but “ Faith” is a funny thing because when things are going well in life and you can actually see the things hoped for coming into existence it’s easy to believe but when things you hope for seems unattainable or out of reach people lose that faith. So where is it? How do you find faith?

Let’s start here with these five bible scriptures:

Seek God first: In Psalm 23: 1-4 “ The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior, my God is my rock, in whom I find protection, He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold.” In difficult times it’s easy to lose faith, but this is the best time to seek God again and to remember that you are not a lone.

Find understanding: Proverbs 3:5 “ Trust in the Lord with all your heart,  and do not lean on your own understanding.” When things are going wrong in the world and in our lives we tend to seek out answers sometimes in the wrong places to find understanding in chaos rather it’s negative or positive and we forget to trust that God is working on our behalf even when we can’t see it.

Be at Peace: John 16:33 “I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.” Having solace in knowing God is working for us, and the problems that has rattled our hearts and minds have already been worked out.

Know you are strong: Deuteronomy 31:8 “ It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” When things are out of place in life it’s difficult to give into fear but with God we can find strength that everything will be alright.

DON’T FORGET THE LOVE GOD HAS FOR US: Corinthians 13:4-7 “ Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It is not irritable,and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,and endures through every circumstance.”  Love is the strongest force, it’s a force that can not be defeated and the love God has for us can not be forgotten.

The question of “finding faith during the holiday season” is a reminder that we are in a season of evaluation, that this time in our lifes shall pass and we will come out on the other side stronger.  We might not have to find something we already have inside of us but sometimes we have to reassess what that something inside us has meant to us in the first place.

“There is no place where God is not.”

– Maya Angelou

This feature was submitted by Shynikia Means

Shynikia Means is a writer of poetry and short articles that focus on empowerment and overcoming life challenges. She is a mother of three girls, who loves to travel and watch scary movies. Who resides in Houston, TX. Visit her Instagram @elavated_to_live to find positive inspiration.