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For me, my Catholic faith was a way to keep in touch with my culture in college. Every Sunday, I would go to church and at least through that I would have something that connected me to things that I had done before. Even if it was something I was doing to resist completely becoming another person, it is something that truly kept me sane. Now, I am out of college and yet I do still keep going back. Church, is a formal way for me to acknowledge God’s presence in my life and to keep in touch with the the community of faith. It is a ritual that does take time and even a little sacrifice, but having to make time and get the strength to go through this weekly ritual is part of the process of connecting with God.

I consider myself a believer. No. I am not one of those Bible thumping, snobby nose, holier-than-thou ones. I do not think that if you do not believe in God you will go to hell or that you should go to church every week. I do not think that what the Pope says is the key to salvation or that women should take a back seat to their husbands because that is what the church says, but I do believe in God and his Mother, who I call the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Faith is a funny thing. It is something that cannot be explained, but it is something that keeps people going even through moments that seem impossible. Going to church, I see so many people that left a whole bunch back home, and yet they are still grateful for what they do have. Every Sunday, I see people put what little money they have into the collection basket with the faith that God will provide. And maybe it naive to think it happens, but I see it happen. I see these people come back with more to give. Yes it is through their own hard work and it is through their own sacrifice, but it is the belief in God that makes them be willing to go through that sacrifice.

Faith is indeed a funny thing, but you have to have faith in the right force. Last summer, the immigration debate was going on in the Senate. I put my faith in the law makers instead of putting it in God. I put so much faith on them that my heart hurt and my body ached for change that they would provide. However, as most of you know immigration reform did not happen. The morning I found out, I felt crushed. The tears flowed from my face. My body felt like it could no longer go on. My life felt impossible. I had hit rock bottom. This sounds dramatic, how could my life depend on the wishes of a couple of law makers. But my life did. And a lot of people’s lives does.

This is the reason I know that the law can be powerful. Because of a law the options that I have in my life are limited. I cannot work. I cannot drive. I cannot go abroad. I have to be careful about what schools I could apply to. Every single one of my actions, until that point had been guided by what the law said I could and could not do. Of course, the law said I could no longer be in the United States and I almost gave into that. I did almost leave. The moment I found out that the law would not change that law makers could not or were not willing to do anything to help my dreams, my faith in them was destroyed.

Faith is a funny thing. My faith in them was destroyed and that is good because it is faith that was misdirected. Faith that was put on humans. Humans who create laws to enslave each other. Who create wars to kill each other. Humans whose greed allows for poverty to happen. Whose selfishness allows other people to hurt. Humans who are the ones that create evil. I am not saying that law makers are evil, but I am saying they belong to the human race and as such putting my faith an fallible beings was not the right place to put my faith.

I clearly remember having to go out for a walk and thinking that the universe or God or the Virgin Mary or the Mother of Guadalupe or Allah or Jesus or Yahue would have to help me because I deserve to be happy because the universe is a fair place. Just because I have faith that something better is to come. The faith engulfed my body and at that moment I stopped crying and I started to pray. A couple of days later we found a lawyer who found a way for my mom to process her paper work. Maybe it is naive of me to think that a greater power had something to do with this but I believe it because it is too big of a coincidence. Faith is a funny thing, say what you will, think what you will but I am still here because of my faith.

So, I did not leave the United States. And, I decided after that not to put my faith in law. Not to put my faith in people, and not to put my faith in things. Instead, I started praying. I live my life one day at a time and instead of trying to figure out how I should I act according to the law, I try to figure out what God wants from me. Faith is a funny thing.

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3 Comments

  1. Marip0sa, I found your blog via “No to borders and binaries,” via Citizen Orange. Welcome to the blogosphere! I’ve read several of your entries, and will be reading more. How could anyone argue against the DREAM Act after reading your story? Hang in there, and best of luck to you.

  2. You’re work is beautiful, and you’re part of a growing contingent of DREAMers that are making their feelings heard on the web. I write for Citizen Orange and helped get A Dream Deferred off the ground. If you’re interested in getting further involved in the pro-migrant sanctuarysphere, email me. If not, just keep doing your thing, because it’s great.

  3. I love the way you wrote about faith here. It is an inspiration.


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