Faith in action. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that looks like in real life. When something happens that adds a question mark to all that we know and believe.

Two weeks ago in New York, I saw a play called Accidentally Brave – a one-woman show performed by a truly and incredibly brave, courageous, humble, and vulnerable woman named Maddie Corman.

Maddie took what anyone would call a nightmare and turned her experience into a story of recovery. Maddie’s husband of 20 years was arrested for child pornography. Instead of seeing her husband as a monster and leaving him, she stayed. She chose to see him, as he was, a very sick person. Without condoning or belittling his behavior, Maddie chose to help him through his illness. And she didn’t stop there. She chose to recognize the issues of her own that this horrible experience uncovered. So, along with her husband, Maddie began an effortful road to recovery. She sought out the right supports and fought for the opportunity to heal her and her family.

This is faith in action. When, despite tremendous hurt and fear, we choose to go through our suffering. Not around, over, or under. But bravely through it, growing and learning along the way.

Maddie’s story of bravery pushed me to define faith in more meaningful terms for myself. My immediate reaction to negative circumstances is to wish them away. To fight their existence. Yet, each and every one of the experiences I’ve labeled as “bad” in my life has been an inflection point for the good. They allowed me to learn more about myself, remind me of my values, and, most importantly, help others.

There is a book that was written in 1040 called “Duties of the Heart”. The author states that true faith is not only accepting that all that happens to us is for the best but also, that all that happens is to guide us to our purpose on this earth. So, I will define faith as the acceptance that everything, including the tragic, can help me accomplish my journey, the unique reason I was put on this earth. To guide me towards my gifts.

This week, let’s emulate the kind of faith and strength shown by Maddie. Let’s bring light to the challenges that could very easily imprison us in the dark. Know that no matter the circumstances, you are always deserving of love and community. Rather than painfully dwelling over, “why did this happen to me??”, let’s allow faith and courage to help us learn and grow from whatever life throws at us.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love

-Asher Gottesman, CEO & Founder of Transcend Recovery Community