Have a Little Faith

“Have a little faith, Miss,” the postal worker suggested to me when I was having trouble with my forwarded mail after I  moved to Eddystone, PA.

His words have come back to me many times over the years.

Have a little faith.

Sometimes a little faith is all I need. Other times, I need a whole lot more.

I just finished writing a book about the nine months Jim was sick. As I was pulling together my journal entries and emails, writing and editing, I was amazed at how much faith Jim and I had. It was as if our faith grew alongside his cancer. Maybe that is a common occurrence—faith fills in when everything else falls away.

Just a few weeks after Jim was diagnosed, I wrote in my journal, “I pray he will have the strength and faith to hold onto God through this ordeal.”

A few months later, when Jim developed a blood clot, I wrote, “I feel like I am living the passion and death of Jesus every day—grateful each morning when Jim wakes up.…I bring communion home every day and share in that holy communion with him. I get the symbolism of it—our lives wrapped up in the mystery of faith, the mystery of suffering, death and resurrection.”

And on April 9, 2012, a week after he died, I sent this email to family and friends:

“Jim celebrated his 58th birthday on March 21, a birthday he was not sure he would live to see. He was so happy to make it to that day. He would have been happy to die on that day, but God had other plans….

“From his birthday on, though, Jim was getting ready…he wanted no more visitors…he wanted to focus on his journey to God, and he did not want distractions which visitors might bring….

“Jim would often talk about the ripple effects of his journey–how many people were touched in different ways.

“Soon after Jim went into the hospital last July, God asked me to do three things: to love unconditionally, to forgive without limit, and to let go. Jim and I often talked about those three things, and if he were preaching his funeral sermon, he would include them. We often talked about letting go–of hurts (new and old), of expectations, of all the things that keep us from being totally free and completely open to God.

“In the end, Jim let go so well–he went to God, fully conscious and awake. His passing was so incredibly peaceful. His last words to me were ‘It’s ok. Really, it’s ok.’”

While I may have started on that journey with Jim unsure of the depth of my faith, by the end, I was resonating with the story of the mustard seed; I had been given the gift of deep faith. (Matthew 17:20)

12 thoughts on “Have a Little Faith

  1. dcharley@delcoliteracy.org

    Thank you for sharing your strength as well as your spirituality it is refreshing to know there are folks who are not afraid to speak of their faith and the blessings encountered because of such a strong faith.

  2. Sister Anne Marie Lom

    Thank you, once again, Madeline for a reflective and inspiring entry. I was glad to know Jim’s last words to you and that, too, increases my faith. Keep posting… and let me know when that book is ready to purchase!

  3. Jean Mulcahy

    I was struck with how much God asked of you that sad July: to love unconditionally, to forgive without limit, to let go…each request by itself was a pretty tall order… and how gracefully you did all that God asked. YOU were indeed filled with grace.

  4. Madeline Bialecki Post author

    Thank you, Jean. Since you were there at the beginning and seeing me in that most difficult time, it is very kind of you to say I did it gracefully. I do know that I was full of grace and that grace was the only way I could have gotten through those months.

  5. Maria Strauman

    I’m so dense, Madeline. I didn’t hear what God was asking of me when Fran took ill. And exactly six months after his death, I still don’t know. But I can continue my journey by trying to do what he asked of you, one step at a time. Thank you for being so open.

    1. Madeline Bialecki Post author

      Maria, Although you may not have “heard” what God was asking of you, you clearly knew what to do–you stayed by Fran’s side. You were faithful; that is what God asks of us and what God promises to us. No matter what we encounter in life, God promises to be with us–and you were with Fran. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

  6. John

    Thanks, Madeline, for sharing your and Jim’s faith. It made me think about my own journey of faith.
    Is there anything simpler than faith? To trust in God without doubt.
    Is there anything more difficult than faith? To trust in God without doubt.
    Affirmative on both counts!


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