Faith: (noun) ‘firm belief in something for which there is no proof’ – Merriam-Webster
Faith is a tough feeling to pin down with words (hence why I went to Merriam-Webster). So when I started relying on this thing ‘faith’ it took me by surprise. Why do I use this to comfort my wife and myself through our transition?
In my life, I have never described myself as a person of faith. I have always just associated it with a strong belief in a church doctrine that people want or need to cope with whatever life throws at them. Perhaps they show their faith by decorating their living room walls (or perhaps the back pockets of their jeans….) with religious symbols. So, in my world, religion and faith went hand-in-hand. To me, faith was just a strong belief in a religion. And, as I was not raised in a house of much religion, I figured it was something other people got to feel and express: not me. I accepted this and at time embraced it. The other kids did the Sunday School thing and school cliques were formed by church affiliation or (for me) non-affiliation.
Needless to say, I never gave faith much screen time in my life. So when Michelle asked me how I can believe that her physical transition is possible and I answered “Faith”, it shocked me. When she asked me “Why?” and I answered “I just believe it”, something snapped. My confidence that our family will be successful and our daughter will grow to be a strong, caring individual is my faith. I cannot prove it. I cannot tell you why I believe this. I just do. And I don’t have to go to a place of worship to feel it. I can carry my conviction with me every day in my heart: in the office, running errands, and at home. It helps me through times of stress and defeat. My faith is the antidote when the anxious pain in my chest rises. It relaxes me and keeps me sane.
My faith in my family is my clique and my comfort: my religion and my doctrine. It is a certainty that I will always try ambitiously to articulate and always fail to communicate. It is my faith.