Photo By Phil Sunkel
I was confirmed as an adult in the Catholic Church when I was 15 years old.
Baptized as a baby, I had always believed in God. There was never a time when I didn’t. But receiving Confirmation demanded even more profundity from a teenager who was already profound.
For those of you who don’t know, every person who receives the Sacrament must choose a Confirmation name, which becomes your second middle name. Conventionally, a Saint’s name is chosen, but after much thought, there was really only one that fit:
The word extended beyond religious context alone. My Catholicism had carried me over the course of my whole life, and my relationship with Christ had always been intimate (it is to this day.) But I realized that the importance of believing, even when there was no practical reason to do so, reached beyond my religion.
Yes, it certainly did apply to my Catholicism. But it was also a concept that could guide me throughout my entire life.
In addition to a name, you have to choose a sponsor. Someone who has already received Confirmation, who is not one of your parents or grandparents, and is currently a Catholic. After my first choice had fallen through, one of my aunts ended up confirming me as Kimberly Jung Faith Hartman.
Since being confirmed more than 12 years ago, there have been many circumstances that tested my faith again and again and again. And there have also been many that have restored it time and time again. But regardless of the status of my faith at the time, I understood that there was value in just believing, even when there was no logical reason for it.
I remember one night I was really discouraged about a major risk that I had taken that had fallen through. For the life of me, I can’t remember if it was professional or personal, but it was one of the two. As I always have for 11 years, I talked with Sky about my feelings.
“If I wasn’t such a risk taker, these things wouldn’t happen to me,” I said. “I take too many chances.”
“No, you don’t,” he said. “You go for the things that you genuinely care about, Kim. And that’s a helluva lot more than most people can say.”
“Yeah, but I get hurt a lot more because of it,” I said.
“You also win a lot more, Kim.”
We continued to talk it over for awhile, until I decided to take a walk to burn emotional energy. The last thing that Sky said to me before I left was:
“Good things happen to people all of the time, Kim. Great things happen when people take a chance.”
I smiled and told him that I loved him before leaving. He reminded me that the greatest things that the world has to offer aren’t bound by the confines of logic or pragmatism but are infinite and faith-based.
My Catholicism continues to be a pivotal part of my life, and any religious person knows the value of believing in the unseen. But even those that aren’t can understand its importance. Ask a college graduate. Ask a parent of a surprise pregnancy. Ask someone who just started at a new job. Ask a newly-wed couple. Ask an athlete who’s playing with the game on the line.
It’s faith that guides their actions.
My faith has carried me throughout my entire life and has enabled great things to happen. It’s made me take chances that I wouldn’t have. It’s made me believe against all pragmatism. It’s made me love against the odds. It’s made me understand that at times, you have to walk by faith alone.
It is my middle name, after all.