Faith and Hope: Are they the same?
“There is no such thing as hopeless if you believe” –Joe Nichols, Impossible
Though these two statements appear contradictory, they are the same. Faith comes from the belief in something, a God or Higher power that someone believe in whole heartedly exists even without real proof of that existence. Hope comes from within, a source that is based on faith but not wholeheartedly. People who don’t have faith do have hope, least that is what I believe as I am one of those people. I no longer have faith in a god but do believe there is a higher power. But I believe that hope does exist because without it, you are left with hopelessness and despair, which is not a good feeling. Are faith and hope feelings? Maybe. I believe that both can exist without the other. It’s belief, not faith that ties it together. If people believe in faith, it exists. If people believe in hope, it exists. If people believe in both, then it exists.
Most people have hope more than they have faith, unless they are deeply religious, than they have both. If someone believes there is a God out there, then their faith lies in that and so does their hope. Those like me who don’t believe in a God, just rely on hope to be there.
I am not a religious person in the least. I lost my faith years ago and more so when the Catholic church turned out to be a hornet’s nest of pedophiles. But when it came to suicidality, I remember asking the priest to ask for forgiveness for me because I didn’t feel remorse about wanting to take my life. I was pretty messed up and just a teen but I felt that I should die because I was an evil person. The priest did not condone me on wanting to take my life but I was still asking god to forgive me for I wanted to take my life and break one of his commandments on “thou shall not kill”. I have tried to wrap my head around it but after several weeks of going to church and praying for forgiveness, I finally tried to take my life. Fortunately, I didn’t succeed.
I was thinking about how faith can affect someone. Who are we really putting our faith into? Is it a god that we believe in or a higher power? Most people believe that there is a god, even if they do not go to church every week/day. As you get older you tend to follow church more closely. We may even decide to talk to the pastor or priest or reverend to find the answers we are looking for because everything happens for a reason, so they say. Maybe by me telling god that I was going to kill myself, he intervened and I did not end up dying like most people would have. If I didn’t throw up I doubt I would be here today.
Why do we put a god or other higher power in our trust? Could it be that we are looking of the whys of what is wrong with our lives or for a bad thing that has happened to us? When a sick child has cancer, we tend to punish the god for taking the child away. When I was in the 7th grade, my priest said that if I went to church for a year, faithfully, that good things will happen. My life was going poorly. My parents were arguing every day and it hurt to see them fight all the time and it made me mad but I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my problems. I kept it in and became depressed. I excelled in school because it became my escape from my troubles. I went to church, sometimes two days in a row on weekends and went to confession, the whole kit and caboodle. When my year was coming to a close, disaster struck, WWIII in my house happened and my parents split up in the biggest fight they ever had. I was traumatized by what happened and still am to this day. My father took his shot gun out of his closet and threatened my cousin if he didn’t leave the house. My cousin was protecting my mother but after all was said and done, I couldn’t understand why God had let this happen. I was devoted to him and wanted peace and instead it resulted in my wanting to take my life. Did god want me to join him? Was that why he wanted me to kill myself and then for me to hear voices telling me to so that I can escape this world and end up in another place? Did he really want me to become psychotic so that my Navy career would end before it even started? No one had the answers for me. Yet my belief then shrunk big time. I stopped going to mass. I stopped believing in god. I felt so hurt and betrayed I wanted to yell at the priest that told me my life was going to change after a year of attending mass when it did not change for the good. Granted my parents were not going to stay together and there was nothing to really do about it. But I blamed god just the same. People might say that I am vindictive about this as I do feel wicked guilty about trying to take my life. I was a good Christian up until then. When my world came apart so did my heart and soul. I was splitting in every direction and I know that if I gave into the voices that night, I probably would be a schizophrenic right now. I still have the voices but they are managed. I tried to go back to church after all that has happened but after I tried to take my life, I have not set foot in a church since voluntarily. I have gone to churches for funerals and weddings but that is the ONLY time I have set foot in them. Some times when things are going bad I do admit I will go to the hospital chapel and pray for my friend or family member that is having difficulty. I may not believe in a god anymore but I do believe there is a higher power out there directing things to happen, whether it be angels or just faith.