“I love this,” said my mom, looking up at the mural my aunt Martha painted on my bedroom wall when I was in middle school. Scrawled above my name reads the verse I’ve held close to my heart since I was a little girl, Hebrews 11:1 — Faith is being sure of what you hope for, and certain of what you do not see.
“It’s so full of hope,” she said.
I laid across from my mom on my childhood bed just minutes before taking off for the airport to start the rest of my life. It was the only time she and I had alone since Christmas. I remember really seeing her in that moment. Seeing her for the woman she is.
I have the double-edged gift/curse of not feeling the full weight of heavy moments. In instances of intense stress or deep heartache, I am rarely crippled to the core. But when it comes to moments of great joy and unspeakable beauty, I rarely see it to the full extent.
But in this moment, I felt it all. My busy mind quieted long enough to notice the woman laying across from me. Her raven hair messy from a chaotic morning, her face untouched by makeup. She’s always beautiful, but right then and there, she was immaculate.
So I snapped a quick photo of her on my iPhone.
“Try it again, you blinked.”
“Beautiful.” And as you can see from the photo above, she is.
As I lay in my empty childhood bedroom with the woman who raised me, I was filled with an unexplainable sense of hope. I’ve gone on a series of grand adventures in my short 21 years. Adventures that took me to new cities where I didn’t know a soul. But the next chapter of my life would be riskiest of them all — where the rubber would meet the road. No more training wheels. Even still, I did not feel a trace of anxiety or uncertainty.
So I kissed my mother and said goodbye, thanking her for daring me to dream and for always telling me, “yes” — “yes” at eight years old asking for Hollywood and “yes” at 18 asking for Washington.
And so I left, full of relentless hope. Hope that the Lord would open and close doors where he saw fit. Hope for a future.
Three weeks ago, a mentor of mine asked me what I wanted to be doing in five years, what my dream job was. I told him I wanted to be running a press shop on the Hill. On Monday, I’ll begin doing just that.
“I never want to forget this feeling,” I told my parents with tears in my eyes.
My mom quickly replied, “Write it down, Faith.”